Friday, March 1, 2024

College basketball power rankings: Surging Marquette enters top five, finds offensive rhythm despite injuries

The Golden Eagles are among the big risers in this week’s CBS Sports power rankings

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Marquette fans, and anyone who follows the Big East, know by now how special point guard Tyler Kolek is for the Golden Eagles. He was the league’s player of the year last season on a team that won the Big East regular-season and tournament titles. But since Marquette was bounced in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the country missed the chance to see Kolek shine on the biggest stage.

As of late, he’s been taking his game to even greater heights. Over Marquette’s current five-game winning streak, Kolek is averaging 18.8 points and 9.8 assists per contest while shooting 50% from the floor and 43.5% from 3-point range. Kolek’s elite stretch has helped Marquette recover from a 2-3 start in Big East play and is fueling the Golden Eagles’ rise in this week’s power rankings.

January was a tough month for Marquette’s backcourt health. Sean Jones was lost for the season due to an ACL tear and Chase Ross missed seven games because of a shoulder injury. Now, the team’s third-leading scorer, Kam Jones, is navigating an ankle injury that sidelined him for Marquette’s win at Villanova on Tuesday.

Between the injuries to Jones and Ross and a rough two-game shooting stretch for Kolek, it makes sense why Marquette fell to Seton Hall and Butler earlier this month. But with Kolek playing like an All-American again and Ross back in the lineup, Marquette is showing why it was a preseason top-five team.

With that, here are the latest CBS Sports power rankings.

College basketball power rankings

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