The Slippery Power Rankings are back after a short hiatus. While the committee of two was away, the madness continued.
Speaking of madness, Kansas coach Bill Self did not mince his words when asked about a certain brazen move by one of his players following the Jayhawks' recent victory over Kansas State. It's never a good look when the coach has to call out a player for a classless move at the end of the game. Looking at you Brannen Greene...
If you don't know what we're referring to, here's the play:
Yea...that will get you a good scolding from your coach. Greene was already suspended by Self for six games earlier this season following a dispute over playing time. Needless to say, Mr. Greene has locked up a spot deep in Self's dog house for the foreseeable future...
On the Bubble: Texas, Wichita State, Louisville
No. 11 - Kansas (17-4, LW: 10)
The month of January featured the Jayhawks playing in two of the season's most memorable games, that awesome triple-overtime win over Oklahoma, and last weekend's overtime victory over Kentucky at home during the Big 12 - SEC Challenge. While those wins should merit a higher ranking, Kansas also had some games where they just looked off.
No. 10 - Oregon (18-4, LW: NR)
The Ducks make their debut in the Slippery Power Rankings after consecutive weekends of beating up on LA and Arizona based teams--notably ending Arizona's 49-game home win streak. Oregon sits atop a Pac-12 conference that has defied preseason expectations. Traditional powerhouses such as Arizona and UCLA find themselves squarely in the middle of the standings, looking up at programs such as the Colorado Buffaloes. Oregon's success this year has left most college basketball observers flabbergasted, but its success with a patchwork roster will force the Selection Committee to give them a long, hard look at a top two seed in the tournament field should they continue their conference prowess.
No. 9 - Michigan State (19-4, LW: NR)
When last we looked at the Spartans two weeks ago, they were reeling from a three-game losing streak and in need of some man-in-the-mirror introspection. Since then, Coach Izzo and his players have righted the ship beginning with a big home win against the Maryland Terrapins, and then blowing the doors off of Northwestern and Rutgers by a combined 65 points.
No. 8 - Texas A&M (18-3, LW: 6)
Like nearly every other team on this list, the Aggies have had a questionable loss recently that makes most second-guess their credentials. Despite the narrow loss to Arkansas, the Aggies are still benefitting from Kentucky's bizarre season and lead the SEC. Seniors Danuel House and Jalen Jones have been the engines driving the success in College Station, and with the nation's second most efficient defense, the Aggies are for real.
No. 7 - Xavier (20-2, LW: NR)
They still have some tough games remaining on their schedule, but the Musketeers get the nod here for taking care of business against the teams they should. Something that can't be said about many teams this season.
No. 6 - Maryland (20-3, LW: 7)
Turgeon's Terrapins have flirted with danger throughout most of the Big 10 schedule, but they've come out on the right side of some very close games. You have to respect their ability to protect their homecourt, and they have one of the nation's most balanced attacks with their inside-out combos.
No. 5 - Virginia (18-4, LW: NR)
After a turbulent start to January, the Cavaliers bounced back and finished the month with a dominant win on the road over the Louisville Cardinals. Yes, the same Louisville that just knocked off North Carolina. Virginia's defense has slipped a bit this year, but this is still an experienced and senior-laden group that will be very dangerous when the calendar turns to March.
No. 4 - North Carolina (19-3, LW: 2)
UNC was cruising through conference play before a hiccup on the road this week against Louisville. As UNC begins the tougher part of their conference slate, they have a great chance to solidify their hold on a #1 seed in the tournament. The Tar Heels have the talent to be a #1, they simply need to avoid the pitfalls that await them in Miami, Duke, and Virginia.
No. 3 - Iowa (18-4, LW: 1)
The Hawkeyes drop a few spots in the rankings due to a road defeat against Maryland last week. But, there's no shame in that loss. Kenpom projects Iowa to close out their regular season schedule undefeated. If they are actually able to pull that off, no guarantee in a year such as the one we're having, I think Iowa will have locked up a #1 seed no matter what happens to them in the Big 10 tournament.
No. 2 - Villanova (19-3, LW: 3)
After recovering from their loss against Providence with two strong games, Nova will get a chance for revenge against the suddenly reeling Friars who are coming fresh off a loss against DePaul. Villanova leads the Big East in offensive and defensive efficiency, which is a good formula for winning your conference...
No. 1 - Oklahoma (19-2, LW: 4)
In a premier matchup against LSU's freshman phenom, Buddy Hield once again showed why the conversation for the nation's best player begins and ends with him as he posted his 8th (!!!) 30-point game of the season. While the Bahamian's (I hope that's the right term for folks from the Bahamas...) free throw percentage has dipped under the 90% mark (he's currently at 89.6%), he has a good chance to finish the season in the 50-50-90 club. That's ridiculous.