College Basketball Power Rankings: Where should Kentucky, Louisville, West Virginia be ranked?

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
1 Comment

There is a lot to get to with the top 25 this week, but let’s start with the obvious: What should we do with Kentucky?

I dropped them three spots in my top 25, from No. 8 to No. 16, and frankly, I think that might be a little too high for where Kentucky is at this point. Let’s call it like it is – Kentucky is not very good right now, at least in comparison to where the other elite teams in the country are.

This isn’t a surprise.

We knew this was going to happen.

The Wildcats are an incredibly young team, one that started two different lineups of five freshmen this weekend, one that struggled to score in the half court against Utah Valley and that could not find a way to stop Vermont’s point guard Trae Bell-Haynes defensively. They’re going to get better, but I have a feeling that what we’re going to see against Kansas on Tuesday at the Champions Classic is not going to be pretty.

There are probably more than 15 teams in college basketball that are better than Kentucky right now. There are not 15 teams that are going to be better than Kentucky come March if Coach Cal can get these pieces to come together.

The same can be said about Louisville, who turned in a worrisome performance against George Mason on Sunday that I’m willing to give them a pass for early on. This team has been through more drama off the court than any team I can remember, particularly the veterans that have been around since the escort scandal first erupted. Playing for a first-time, interim head coach, they struggled to find a rhythm and pulled away late. Let’s wait and see.

Lastly, Texas A&M jumped up from No. 19 in our rankings to No. 11. Full disclosure: I had the Aggies as a top 15 team in the preseason, but my colleagues – who clearly are not as intelligent as me – had them ranked lower. Our preseason rankings were a poll. Our in-season rankings are all mine. So this reflects how I felt about A&M entering the year as much as anything.

The big surprise was West Virginia, who got smoked by the Aggies. I talked about why at length on the Monday Overreactions podcast, but suffice to say, I am not yet ready to say that West Virginia is bad, although I think that, for the first time since West Virginia became Press Virginia, the loss of system guys has caught up to Bobby Huggins.

Anyway, on to the Top 25:

1. Michigan State, 1-0 (Last Week: No. 1)
2. Duke, 2-0 (2)
3. Arizona, 2-0 (3)
4. Kansas, 1-0 (4)
5. Villanova, 1-0 (5)
6. Wichita State, 1-0 (6)
7. Florida, 1-0 (7)
8. Cincinnati, 1-0 (9)
9. USC, 1-0 (10)
10. Miami, 2-0 (11)
11. Texas A&M, 1-0 (19)
12. Louisville, 1-0 (12)
13. Notre Dame, 1-0 (14)
14. Xavier, 1-0 (15)
15. Seton Hall, 1-0 (16)
16. Kentucky, 2-0 (8)
17. North Carolina, 1-0 (17)
18. UCLA, 1-0 (18)
19. Minnesota, 2-0 (20)
20. Northwestern, 1-0 (21)
21. Saint Mary’s, 1-0 (22)
22. Alabama, 1-0 (23)
23. Gonzaga, 1-0 (24)
24. Purdue, 1-0 (25)
25. Providence, 1-0 (NR

NEW ADDITIONS: No. 25 Providence
DROPPED OUT: No. 13 West Virginia