College basketball conference rankings: Big 12 vs. everybody

LAWRENCE, KANSAS - JANUARY 11: Isaiah Moss #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks controls the ball as Mark Vital #11 of the Baylor Bears defends during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on January 11, 2020 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LAWRENCE, KANSAS - JANUARY 11: Isaiah Moss #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks controls the ball as Mark Vital #11 of the Baylor Bears defends during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on January 11, 2020 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Big 12 is still at the top of our college basketball conference rankings and the ACC remains at the bottom but the middle ground is up for grabs.

1. Big 12

The more things change, the more they have stayed the same in these rankings. Once again, the Big 12 comes in at the top conference in college basketball. Baylor remains the number one team in the country and Kansas continues to good down the three spot. However, that won’t be the case next week as the two teams will meet at noon on Saturday. The Bears won the first matchup and the rematch will happen in Waco, which might give them a leg up and a chance to remain the team with the longest tenure at number one in the 2019-20 season.

2. SEC

It was a rough week for Tigers as both Auburn and LSU were upset. Auburn had been flirting with a loss in their last few games, escaping close games and overtime in recent days. Yet, their luck ran short against a Missouri team that’s been getting better and better throughout the year. Will Wade’s team was taken down by another SEC team making a late push for a potential at-large bid, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kira Lewis and co. have been teetering on the NCAA Tournament bubble all season but this win over LSU will certainly help boost their resume. At least there’s still John Calipari and Big Blue Nation for you Southerners.

3. Big Ten

The game of the weekend occurred in East Lansing over the weekend. Even College Gameday showed up! Yet, the Michigan State Spartans did not when they began their game against the Maryland Terrapins. Tom Izzo’s crew would fight back to make it a game, cutting the deficit all the way down to 2 points. However, Anthony Cowans closed the game out on a personal 11-0 run to give Maryland a big road win. On the upset front, Rutgers took down Illinois at The RAC to keep their storybook season going. All signs point to the Scarlet Knights getting into the NCAA Tournament.

4. Big East

Seton Hall could’ve wrapped up the Big East this weekend but let a road game against Providence slip away after a slow start. The Villanova Wildcats might not be on the cusp of taking home another Big East Conference regular-season title but they might have their eyes set on an even bigger prize. Jay Wright’s name has been mentioned with a potential move to the New York Knicks but given how unsuccessful John Beilein has been after making the leap I doubt Wright will be jumping at the chance to follow his lead. Especially given the juggernaut he’s built in Philadelphia.

5. Pac-12

It’s time to give up on the Washington Huskies morphing into the team that many foresaw when they secured the signatures of Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart. This team has suffered letdown after letdown and it’s a big reason why the status of the Pac-12 as a conference remains down in the dumps. Oregon and Colorado have tried to bolster the entire group but their efforts have not had the lasting effect that their supporters would have hoped for. Unless Payton Pritchard goes wild in March, it’s unlikely that any of the teams from the Pac-12 are relevant in the NCAA Tournament this year.

6. American

The American Athletic Conference was supposed to be on the rise this year. The trio of Houston, Memphis and Wichita State went 4-4 this week. Given that those three teams were thought to be clearly superior to the rest of their conference members, going .500 is not a good result. For now, Houston is tied with Cincinnati for first place and the surprise third-place team in Tulsa. Those three teams are separated by just one game. While the final stretch of games will certainly be entertaining, it’s not a battle of the names many thought we would be getting at the start of the season.

7. ACC

Well, it was certainly fun while it lasted. Cole Anthony’s return to the court brought hope that North Carolina could remind the nation of the team they were supposed to be. Yet, the Tar Heels have gone 0-6 since Anthony has been back. Another team that has gone cold is the Louisville Cardinals. Chris Mack’s team worked itself into the top five only to suffer back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and Clemson — who are a combined 13-16 in ACC play.

Duke, who narrowly escaped Chapel Hill with a win and Florida State, who held on for dear life at the Carrier Dome, are the two teams doing all that they can to keep college basketball’s “best” conference in line with the rest of the country.

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