Thursday, January 27, 2022

College basketball power rankings: Duke jumps to No. 2 after returning from pause; Wisconsin and Texas move in

In advance of busier-than-usual Thursday slate of games, here’s a look at who’s been best as of late

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USATSI

I’ve seen a little bit of this attitude going around: College basketball is harder to embrace this year because of so many postponements and cancellations for a second consecutive season. 

I’ve gotta say, I feel the opposite. If anything, the lack of games is making me appreciate the good matchups we do have even more. And in speaking with people around the sport since the calendar flipped to 2022, there is optimism emerging. While more teams will go on COVID pause in the coming days, the rate at which we’re seeing pauses is reduced from a week ago and especially two weeks ago. I won’t go promising or proclaiming anything tied to this pandemic — because it has a way of making a lot of people look foolish on a daily basis — but I can say people in college athletics are encouraged that February will offer a sunrise on a new phase of this season. The postponements should (hopefully) be minimal and the ramp-up to March can (largely) go on as planned.

With that, let’s get to this week’s 19 hottest teams.  

Hey Nineteen Power Rankings

Reminder: My rankings are not solely about whom I think is “best.” (Our Top 25 And 1 already does that daily.) The Hey Nineteen is a weekly encapsulation of the 19 hottest, most successful and/or most interesting teams in college basketball, combining team quality with win quality but also leaving no shame for recency bias and rewarding significant winning streaks.

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