Wednesday, January 19, 2022

College Basketball Power Rankings: Auburn and LSU climb to the top, Villanova re-enters, Illinois makes debut

This is CBS Sports’ weekly look at the hottest and most impressive teams in men’s college hoops

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We are nearly 2,900 games into the season — essentially at the halfway point — and north of 95% of the scheduled nonconference games are in the books. Non-league play shapes computer-based rankings, in addition to how conferences stack up. While teams across the nation have a dozen-plus opportunities to improve their dossiers, what’s already been decided outside of conference play is going to wind up having significant impact on the bracket two months from now.

That’s right: Selection Sunday is exactly two months away. 

What are the nonconference wins that carry the most weight? There are metrics that measure these things. The Kevin Pauga Index (KPI) is one of them. It also weighs wins on team strength and situation (home, road, neutral). Here are the 10 best non-league wins with winning team listed first. 

  1. Providence @ Wisconsin
  2. Arizona @ Illinois

  3. Virginia (neutral site) vs. Providence
  4. Kansas (neutral site) vs. Michigan State
  5. UConn (neutral) vs. Auburn
  6. Gonzaga (neutral) vs. UCLA
  7. Dayton (neutral site) vs. Kansas
  8. UCF @ Miami
  9. Tennessee @ Colorado
  10. Iowa State (neutral site) vs. Xavier

Let’s get to this week’s Nineteen.

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 having no shame for recency bias and rewarding significant winning streaks.

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