Fourth Quarter Sports’ College Basketball power rankings: Week 16

It was another week of some amazing games. It started with one top 10 team beating another, with Virginia over North Carolina, while top five team Kentucky lost on a controversial tip at the buzz against LSU. Let’s not forget about the comeback win by Duke against Louisville that will go down as one of the best of all-time.

As we will see from last week’s rankings, there is not much change to the teams who are in the top 25, besides the last minute change that was the result of a great team win by St John’s against Villanova. We will also see Tennessee fall from the top two spots with their embarrassing loss to Kentucky.

Hilton Coliseum” by SD Dirk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Let’s see where all the teams will end up in the top 25 after several of them have moved around over the last week.

Top 25 Rankings

  1. Duke (23-2)
  2. Virginia (22-2)
  3. Kentucky (21-4)
  4. Tennessee (23-2)
  5. Michigan (23-3)
  6. Gonzaga (25-2)
  7. Nevada (24-1)
  8. Marquette (21-4)
  9. Houston (25-1) 
  10. Michigan State (21-5)
  11. North Carolina (20-5)
  12. Kansas (20-6)
  13. Texas Tech (21-5)
  14. Florida State (20-5)
  15. LSU (21-4)
  16. Villanova (20-6)
  17. Purdue (18-7)
  18. Iowa State (19-6)
  19. Virginia Tech (20-5)
  20. Kansas State (19-6)
  21. Iowa (20-5)
  22. Buffalo (22-3)
  23. Louisville (18-8)
  24. Maryland (19-7)
  25. St John’s (19-7)


On the Bubble

TCU, UCF, Syracuse, Davidson, Temple, VCU, Seton Hall, Toledo and Washington


Dropped from the Rankings



Top 25 Breakdown

Numbers One through Five

After continuously playing hard and winning all the important games down the stretch, Duke will remain the No. 1 team in the nation. This week, they face two of their biggest opponents in Syracuse and North Carolina. Virginia jumps to No. 2, despite me having put them out of the top five last week. After Tennessee lost to Kentucky, I had to drop them, but at the same time, Gonzaga had to get dropped too. It’s only fair that teams with tougher schedules be ranked higher. Ironically, all five of these top teams have played in some great games against each other or other top 10 opponents and have managed to survive.

Numbers Six through 10

Gonzaga has only lost two games all season, to Tennessee and North Carolina. They have also beaten Duke earlier in the season. Now that’s what makes this all interesting. You see, Gonzaga beat Duke and Duke have beaten Virginia and Kentucky, who have both beaten North Carolina, along with Michigan. I hope you’re following me, because this is why Gonzaga is no longer in the top five.

Nevada and Houston are proving they won’t let their one loss impact their records, as they continue to stay hot and look to take over their conference. Marquette has been able to hold on to the conference lead by a very slim margin. It’s simple to say that Marquette is the best team in the Big East, but they are battling a tough battle. Michigan State is also one of those teams who everyone thought was going to be great. They were in the top six for the longest time. We could see Michigan State climb their way back up to the top five. Their game against Michigan will be a very important piece to that success.

Numbers 11 through 15

North Carolina’s loss to Virginia set them back a bit in the standings. But with big wins over Duke and Florida State this week, they could find themselves right back in the top 10 with another game against Duke and Virginia still to come.

Kansas and Texas Tech are trying to fight off Kansas State for the Big XII title, but they are also looking to fight off each other, as they are also set for an important game this week.

Florida State will not only have North Carolina, but Clemson as well, and they want to make a push for the top 10 after dropping out months ago.  For LSU, they are ready to prove it doesn’t just take a lucky tip at the Buzzer to beat a top five team. LSU can prove that by taking down Tennessee this week. Who will have a great chance of being in the top 10?

Numbers 16 through 20

Villanova was so close to being back in the top 10 after all the struggles they’ve had this season. Unfortunately, that will have to wait another couple of weeks after they lost two of their last three games to conference opponents, Marquette and St John’s.

Virginia Tech is moving up and down in the top 25 every week. It literally feels like they have been in every position in the rankings. I mean, it wasn’t until last week that I had removed Virginia Tech from the top 10. Maybe 19th is a bit harsh, but we’re at the point of the season where key wins makes a difference.

Iowa State jumped Kansas State because of their victory last week. They will look to continue to get victories over conference foes and move up. Purdue and Kansas State are lucky to have held on to their spots in the top 25 after their losses last week, but this week is a bounce back week for both teams.

Numbers 21 through 25

Iowa and Louisville have had a tough time getting higher in the rankings, and they probably should be higher than the bottom five. But it’s getting tougher and tougher to get all 25 teams in the right order, as you can see. Buffalo and Maryland have managed to save themselves from getting knocked out the top 25 for now. Buffalo has won three games in a row, and Maryland’s win over Purdue early last week helped them stay for now.

But St John’s late comeback against Villanova on Sunday landed them back in the top 25 for the second time this season. They bumped Cincinnati out in the process. How long will St John’s be able to stay ranked this time?


Until then, we will be looking forward to seeing if the same teams are in the top 25 next week. Who will rise? Who will fall? Can one of the bubble teams make their case for a top 25 spot? Stay tuned next week and see who’s in and out of the top 25. Also, share who you believe should be in the top 25 based on what you’ve seen this season!

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