College basketball rankings: Louisville slides, Baylor’s last week at No. 1?

Could this be the last week the Baylor Bears are the No. 1 team in the college basketball rankings with Kansas on the schedule on Saturday?

Another week of college basketball is in the books and we’re officially about two weeks away from March Madness. This is where the schedule starts meaning more, especially for teams on the bubble and those fighting for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

The top three should remain the same this week as both Baylor and Kansas took their turns beating up on West Virginia while Gonzaga took care of another cupcake. San Diego State remains undefeated and in line for a No. 1 seed but Duke is getting hot at the right time and could take their spot should the Aztecs fall.

Outside of those three teams, there may not be one comfortable No. 1 seed. Everyone seems to be struggling to find consistency — outside of maybe Duke.

Baylor has been the only team to hang on to the No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll but with Kansas looming on the schedule on Saturday, could this be the last week the Bears own the top spot in the college basketball rankings?

College basketball rankings for Week 16

25. Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-9)

This isn’t your 2018-19 version of Texas Tech but Chris Beard has done the best with what he has. Texas Tech has lost a ton of talent from last year’s national runner-up and it’s been obvious this season in terms of consistency. They beat TCU by 46 and then lost at Oklahoma State but should hang on in the Top 25.

24. BYU Cougars (21-7)

Playing in the same conference as Gonzaga, BYU doesn’t get as much recognition as it should. The Cougars have received some votes to be ranked lately and after a six-game winning streak, they should sneak into the Top 25 at No. 24.

23. Houston Cougars (20-6)

A week ago, Houston jumped five spots all the way to No. 20 and escaped an upset at South Florida to start the week but lost a heartbreaker at SMU over the weekend. Don’t expect a massive drop here, but three spots seems fair.

22. Arizona Wildcats (18-7)

Arizona has bounced in and out of the Top 25 as much as any team in college basketball this year, but after beating Cal on the road by 16 and then Stanford on the road by nine, the Wildcats will jump back in at No. 22 — or somewhere in that area.

21. Marquette Golden Eagles (17-7)

Marquette is relatively new to the AP Top 25 in the past couple of weeks but the Golden Eagles lost their only contest of Week 15 to Villanova on the road. They’ll drop a few spots, but should be in no danger of falling out of the rankings.

20. Ohio State Buckeyes (17-8)

Ohio State has had quite the season. DJ Carton stepped away from the team and the Buckeyes had a stretch where they lost six out of seven games but they have since won five out of six. Wins over Rutgers and Purdue should launch Ohio State back into the Top 25.

19. Butler Bulldogs (19-7)

It’s been a disappointing conference season for Butler, sitting at just 7-6 in league play after losing to Georgetown at home just days after beating Xavier. This team is probably better than its conference record suggests but it’ll be clinging on to a spot in the top 20.

18. West Virginia Mountaineers (18-7)

You might be wondering why West Virginia only dropped four spots after losing a couple of games in Week 15 and that’s because the teams ranked behind them didn’t fare much better. Oh, and the fact that West Virginia’s two losses were to Kansas and Baylor.

17. Colorado Buffaloes (20-6)

Who would have guessed that Colorado would be sitting in first place in the Pac-12 in the middle of February? The Buffaloes lost to second-place Oregon in Week 15 after blowing a late lead on the road but blew Oregon State out.

16. Seton Hall Pirates (18-7)

Seton Hall was one of three teams in the top 15 to lose two games in Week 15. The Pirates started the week with a five-point home loss to Creighton and then capped it off with a three-point defeat at Providence. Luckily for them, the teams that were ranked 15-25 had a rough week as well so they didn’t drop all that far.

15. Creighton Bluejays (20-6)

Creighton is officially the first team from the Big East to reach 20 wins this season after beating No. 10 Seton Hall on the road and DePaul by 29. With the win over the Pirates, the Bluejays pulled within one game of first place in the conference and should jump Seton Hall in the Top 25.

14. Auburn Tigers (22-3)

Auburn suffered a two-game losing streak near the start of SEC play but reeled off seven straight wins before a loss at Missouri on Saturday. Not many teams getting ranked this harshly for being 22-3, but no one is sure what to make of the Tigers just yet.

13. Oregon Ducks (20-6)

Before this week, Oregon had lost two straight games to surrender its lead in the Pac-12 standings but it beat the first-place Colorado Buffaloes in a comeback effort before beating Utah on Sunday night. The Ducks have the highest ceiling of any Pac-12 team.

12. Louisville Cardinals (21-5)

With two losses, Louisville will drop out of the top 10 this upcoming week to make room for Penn State and Kentucky. Don’t expect the Cardinals to see a massive drop even though they did fall to a couple of average, at best, opponents in Georgia Tech and Clemson.

11. Villanova Wildcats (19-6)

Just last week, Villanova was facing a three-game losing streak to three teams currently ranked in the Top 25, but the Wildcats snapped it with a win over Marquette 72-71 this week. And then they beat Temple on the road by 20. Expect the Wildcats to move up to No. 11.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions (20-5)

Who could have seen this coming? Penn State was just another Big Ten team to start the season and now the Nittany Lions are the hottest team in the conference with a 20-5 record. The Nittany Lions beat Purdue on the road by 12 and then held off Northwestern at home. This team is looking like a serious Final Four contender.

9. Florida State Seminoles (21-4)

Looking for a big ACC win to keep pace with Duke and Louisville in the conference standings, the Seminoles fell just short to the Blue Devils. Florida State bounced back by beating Syracuse which wasn’t all that easy, even at home. The Seminoles won’t drop much because of a five-point loss to Duke an ACC title is still within reach.

8. Kentucky Wildcats (20-5)

Kentucky is alone at the top of the SEC standings after Auburn lost to Missouri in Week 15 but the Wildcats will be tested at LSU next week. Kentucky won at Vanderbilt, escaping a recent trend of upsets in Nashville, and then held off Ole Miss at home. John Calipari‘s team has Final Four potential and are approaching the No. 2/1 seed line.

7. Maryland Terrapins (21-4)

Maryland might just be a lock to win the Big Ten at this point in the season with just three losses in conference play and another big road win over Michigan State on Saturday night. The Terrapins avoided two upsets in Week 15, coming back from seven down at Michigan State in the final three minutes to win and then holding off Nebraska 72-70.

6. Dayton Flyers (23-2)

Obi Toppin is one of the most exciting players in college basketball and he’s helped put the Flyers on the map this season. Will Dayton earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? If they win out and take home the A-10 Tournament title, it’s more than possible. The Flyers beat Rhode Island and UMass to improve to 23-2 but it doesn’t look like this team will be moving in the rankings.

5. Duke Blue Devils (22-3)

Duke needed a big week, and some bad luck from Louisville, to re-take first place in the ACC standings and the Blue Devils did just that. They knocked Florida State out to start the week with a top-10 win and then ended the week with a 34-point blowout over Notre Dame. I see the Blue Devils jumping Dayton and landing in the top-five yet again.

4. San Diego State Aztecs (26-0)

The last remaining undefeated team in college basketball remained red-hot, beating New Mexico by 23 and winning at Boise State to officially lock up the Mountain West regular-season title and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. With these two wins and a 26-0 record with three games left, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament also looks likely.

3. Kansas Jayhawks (22-3)

Kansas is one of those teams that has an incredibly high ceiling but sometimes is tough to judge. Lately, though, the Jayhawks have been on fire. The Jayhawks topped the Mountaineers on the road by nine to start the week which should earn them some No. 1 votes and they ended the week with a 17-point win over Oklahoma.

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-1)

Gonzaga gets ripped for their strength of schedule in conference play every year, and deservedly so. While the Bulldogs may be the clear top mid-major team in the country, they’re still playing teams like Pepperdine, San Francisco, Pacific and Santa Clara night in and night out. They beat Pepperdine by 12 in Week 15, but it won’t be enough to sway voters into ranking them No. 1.

1. Baylor Bears (23-1)

Why are we even surprised anymore? Baylor doesn’t look like a team that’s ready to lose any time soon and wins at Texas and over No. 14 West Virginia fuel a 22-game winning streak. The Bears are the hottest team in the country and they’ve added yet another ranked victory. They got 48 first-place votes last week, but expect that number to go up as they extend their lead at No. 1.

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