College basketball power rankings: This is March and the madness has arrived

LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 29: Tyrese Maxey #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates after defeating the Auburn Tigers at Rupp Arena on February 29, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Wildcats clinched the SEC regular season championship and the number one seed in the SEC tournament. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 29: Tyrese Maxey #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates after defeating the Auburn Tigers at Rupp Arena on February 29, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Wildcats clinched the SEC regular season championship and the number one seed in the SEC tournament. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The newest college basketball rankings see a major shakeup after teams like Duke, Baylor and Maryland all lost in Week 17.

Yet another crazy week of college basketball has come and gone with a handful of top 10 teams taking a spill, others locking up conference titles and one even letting its first league crown slip through its fingers with College GameDay in town.

Kansas will remain the No. 1 team in the country for the second straight week, but the teams that follow are far from set in stone.

Outside of the top 10 getting a major shakeup, what else will the Week 18 rankings look like?

College basketball rankings for Week 18

25. Michigan Wolverines (18-11)

This spot was a tough one to predict as I believe Michigan has a good shot to stay in the AP Top 25 on Monday afternoon because of some ‘others receiving votes’ losing. The Wolverines lost a couple of games to Wisconsin at home and at Ohio State but this may be a toss-up for No. 25 between the Wolverines and UCLA Bruins.

24. Wisconsin Badgers (19-10)

This may be a bit of a surprise because Wisconsin hasn’t been ranked all season long, but the Badgers have been playing incredible basketball. They have won six straight games including a road victory over No. 19 Michigan this past week. The Badgers have gone from bubble to tied for second place in the Big Ten.

23. Illinois Fighting Illini (20-9)

Brad Underwood has been one of the Big Ten’s best coaches this season, turning the Illini into a contender after a couple of average seasons. Illinois is sitting in second place in the Big Ten (a tie) with a chance to tie for first. It took care of Northwestern and Indiana this week to extend its winning streak to four games.

22. Virginia Cavaliers (21-7)

Don’t look now, but Virginia is playing its best basketball of the season as Tony Bennett has righted the ship with a six-game winning streak. The Cavaliers may have just one win over a ranked team in that span, but that came on Saturday against No. 7 Duke.

21. Houston Cougars (22-7)

The biggest surprise of the season in the AAC has been Tulsa sitting in first place with a week of play left but Houston moved back into a tie with a big win over Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon.

20. Penn State Nittany Lions (21-8)

Penn State picked up a big win over Rutgers to start the week which may have crushed the Scarlet Knights’ NCAA Tournament hopes but followed that up with a tough road loss at Iowa. Pat Chambers may be the Big Ten Coach of the Year, but his Nittany Lions need more consistency.

19. Auburn Tigers (24-5)

It’s been an interesting season for Auburn and that has led to a crushing loss to Kentucky which ended any hope of an SEC title. The Tigers lost their third game in the last five with the defeat at Kentucky which followed a nine-point win over Ole Miss.

18. Iowa Hawkeyes (20-9)

Through 20 minutes of a Tuesday night battle against Michigan State, it looked like Iowa was one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten, aiming to take part of the crown. But the Hawkeyes crumbled in the second half and lost by eight. They did come home to beat No. 16 Penn State which will keep them put at No. 18.

17. Ohio State Buckeyes (20-9)

Ohio State had one of the best weeks of any ranked team, putting together a 21-point road win over Nebraska and then coming back home on Sunday to complete the season sweep of rival Michigan with a 14-point beat down. The Buckeyes will jump into the top 20.

16. Villanova Wildcats (22-7)

I’ll admit it, it’s been tough to figure Villanova out this season. One week, the Wildcats look unbeatable and the next, they’re losing a home game to Providence. A few weeks ago, Villanova suffered a three-game losing streak and then recently followed that up with a five-game winning streak before a home loss to Providence.

15. Creighton Bluejays (22-7)

Creighton rose all the way to the No. 10 spot in the rankings this week after putting together a five-game winning streak with three wins over ranked foes — and two on the road. St. John’s was a roadblock for the Bluejays this week, however, hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer to pull the upset of Creighton.

15. Duke Blue Devils (23-6)

Big, bad Duke is not in a good spot right now, fumbling a chance to hold on to sole possession of first place in the ACC due to a two-overtime road loss against conference bottom-dweller Wake Forest. The Blue Devils then lost again at the hands of Virginia on the road. They should drop about 6-7 spots this week.

13. Louisville Cardinals (24-6)

Louisville had a chance to take a commanding lead in the ACC standings early in Week 17 with a road trip to Tallahassee, but Florida State came away with a big 15-point win. The Cardinals bounced back to beat Virginia Tech on Sunday evening, but they’ll still drop a couple of spots.

12. Michigan State Spartans (20-9)

Michigan State should see the biggest rise this week thanks to a couple of ranked victories that may have turned the Spartans’ entire season around. They beat No. 18 Iowa in East Lansing thanks to a second-half comeback and then dismantled No. 9 Maryland on the road. This team is peaking at the perfect time.

11. BYU Cougars (24-7)

It’s crazy what kind of momentum a conference win over a top-five team in the country can do for a program and BYU is quickly rising. Even though the Cougars had just one game — a win — in Week 17, they’ll jump quite a bit with six teams directly ahead of them losing.

10. Maryland Terrapins (23-6)

Maryland overcame a huge deficit at Minnesota to hold on to a two-game lead in the Big Ten standings but couldn’t do the same against Michigan State on Saturday with College GameDay in town. The Terrapins will benefit from plenty of teams behind them losing to stay in the top 10.

9. Oregon Ducks (22-7)

Oregon benefits from having just one game this past week, dominating rival Oregon State from start to finish and improving to 22-7. The Ducks are still playing catch-up in the Pac-12 standings with UCLA with a week to go, though.

8. Seton Hall Pirates (21-7)

Experts are high on Seton Hall as we enter the month of March, and for good reason. The Pirates are playing great basketball and look like the best team from the Big East. They went on the road to pick up another big win over Marquette in Week 17.

7. Florida State Seminoles (24-5)

Florida State will only drop one spot after losing to unranked Clemson on the road and that’s because they smacked No. 11 Louisville around earlier in the week, 82-67. The Seminoles will also benefit from a handful of teams behind them losing, so a top-10 spot is locked up.

6. Kentucky Wildcats (24-5)

The SEC once again runs through Lexington as Kentucky has clinched the title with a win over Auburn. The Wildcats beat Texas A&M on the road to start the week and then downed the No. 15 Tigers. Kentucky is playing impressive basketball lately, winning 12-of-13 games and the Wildcats are now flirting with a No. 2/1 seed.

5. Baylor Bears (25-3)

For the second straight week, Baylor has fallen. Last week, the Bears lost as the No. 1 team in the country at home to the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks and they fell only a couple of spots. The same will happen this week as the Bears fell at TCU as the Horned Frogs got hot late and hit some clutch shots. The Bears will likely stay in the top five, but two losses in three games at this point in the season is somewhat concerning.

4. San Diego State Aztecs (28-1)

San Diego State recently lost its distinction as the only undefeated team left in college basketball but the Aztecs have gotten back on track. They beat Colorado State and then overcame a deficit early to take down Nevada on the road in a hostile environment. This team has already locked up the conference crown and it’s just aiming for a No. 1 seed at this point.

3. Dayton Flyers (27-2)

The Obi Toppin show continued this week with Dayton’s close win over George Mason as well as a 15-point victory over Davidson. No one could have imagined this team would be sliding into the top-three at this point in the season, staring down a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Could we see two mid-majors earn No. 1 seeds?

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-2)

Mark Few has Gonzaga playing at an incredibly high level right now. Despite losing at BYU last week, the Bulldogs bounced back to dismantle San Diego and then beat a good Saint Mary’s team by 10. There will be some doubters of Gonzaga come NCAA Tournament time, but this has the feel of a Final Four-caliber team.

1. Kansas Jayhawks (26-3)

The nation’s new No. 1 team remained red-hot this week, beating Oklahoma State by 25 points and the Jayhawks also won the rematch with top rival Kansas State on the road by four. We’re looking at the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament playing its best basketball and looking virtually unbeatable as March is upon us. With Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike playing well, this team is scary.

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