The 2018 College Basketball season is officially one month underway and things have been crazy. Favorites like Kentucky and Villanova have fallen fast while Michigan and Texas Tech have risen from the bottom and out of the rankings respectively to top 13 spots. Here is a quick look at the top 25 teams in groups.
Best of the Best #1 Gonzaga, #2 Kansas, #3 Duke, #4 Virginia #5 Michigan #6 Nevada #7 Tennessee
Gonzaga and Kansas remain the top two teams in the nation without any doubt. Lagerald Vick helped the Jayhawks survive a scare against Stanford last week by scoring the last 11 points and Gonzaga put up 100 points to survive a road game against Creighton. Both teams have quality wins in their early season resumes and look to continue their success in December. Gonzaga will have tough games against Tennessee and UNC later this week.
Duke is the far and away third best team in the country that is close to being a top two team. The Blue Devils won their last game against Stetson by 64 points and as long as Duke continues to have incredible depth they will be a top three team in the country.
Virginia and Michigan are no doubt above the other teams in this group as they have not faced any competition thus far that is close to them. Despite Virginia being ranked higher than the Wolverines, the yellow and navy have faced a much tougher schedule, coming away with blowout wins over number eight Villanova, number 11 UNC and most recently number 19 Purdue.
Nevada and Tennessee have both been solid starting the season as they both have good wins and the only loss between them was when Tennessee lost to number 2 Kansas. Nevada has no losses but also no wins to write home about but will be tested against Arizona State this Friday. Tennessee takes on number one Gonzaga on Sunday in a game they will not win.
Second Tier #9 Kentucky #10 Michigan State #12 Wisconsin #14 North Carolina
All four of these teams have at least one loss to the group mentioned above. Kentucky was whalloped by Duke on opening night but have not lost any games they shouldn’t against unranked opponents so far. Their rank will improve once they beat some quality teams. Wisconsin’s only loss was to Virginia in a defensive style game where only Ethan Happ scored. They will play Rutgers and Marquette to find out if they are for starting real early next week.
Michigan State has two losses, one to number two Kansas but only by five points. Their loss this week to Louisville came in overtime as they were unable to score enough down the stretch to win. UNC lost to Michigan significantly and haven’t been as impressive as they should have been to start the year. Despite this, they will be there when it counts and are still considered second tier.
Overrated #8 Auburn #11 Florida State #13 Texas Tech #16 Kansas State #19 Ohio State
Here are some teams that haven’t proven themselves yet. Starting with Auburn, the Tigers loss to Duke showed that they are not elite and their secondary scoring is not as good as it seems against bad teams. Florida State has two strong wins against LSU and most recently Purdue but neither has been convincing. The wins have came by a combined four points and if Carsen Edwards had gotten the ball on the last play, Purdue could have came away with a win.
Texas Tech jumped from out of the rankings to number 13 in a matter of two weeks. This isn’t saying that the Red Raiders are not good but they are not number 13 good. They will not beat any opponent ranked above them when it comes time to play them.
Kansas State has always been overrated even though Dean Wade makes them a contender. Their loss on Saturday shows that they aren’t a top team like some thought they were. Their rank of 16 is more accurate of where they should be but still a little high.
Ohio State was unranked two weeks ago before a jump in the ranks followed by a loss. The Buckeyes are a good team that should be tanked in the bottom of the top 25. They need quality wins before anything else can be said about them.
The Rest #15 Virginia Tech #17 Buffalo #18 Iowa #20 Arizona State #21 Villanova #22 Mississippi State #23 Maryland #24 Nebraska #25 Furman
Virginia Tech and Iowa were both humbled by losses this week. Maryland lost to a good Virginia team but they didn’t fall in the rankings because it was a close game against a top team.
Buffalo has improved every week after being unranked to start the season and beating West Virginia. They haven’t played anyone better than the first team they’ve beat but it is still impressive what they have done.
Villanova is back to going upwards in the rankings as they have beaten Florida State and have a ranked team victory on their resume. Arizona State is new to the rankings even though they deserved it last week. If the Sun Devils can beat Nevada next week they will prove to be more than just a flue top 25 team.
Mississippi State Nebraska and Furman are the fringe teams in the rankings. Both Mississippi State and Nebraska have a loss already but Furman does not have a bad loss (or a loss at all) and beat Villanova when they were number 8. They play LSU in a few weeks with a chance to show they aren’t a fluke.
Photo: USA Today Sports