College basketball power rankings: Michigan State surges into top 10 from land of the unranked

1 Previous: No. 1 | The 27-3 Jayhawks are overflowing with really good wins. I’ll narrow it down to their best four: over Dayton and BYU in Maui; at Baylor; at West Virginia. This team is obviously a lock for a No. 1 seed and the only way it doesn’t get the No. 1 overall seed is if Baylor wins out to take the Big 12 Tournament title. Kansas has been the No. 1 overall seed three times before (2008, 2010, 2016) and a fourth time in 2020 would be the most in history. The No. 1 overall seed came into existence in 2004. 2 Previous: No. 2 | The 28-2 Flyers have a 19-game winning streak, the longest in the sport. Dayton is a subject of prodding in regard to its credentials because its best wins are at Saint Louis, at Rhode Island, at Richmond and Saint Mary’s on a neutral court. It has not defeated multiple teams that are locks to make the NCAA Tournament. But the Flyers are set to be the first undefeated A-10 team in 14 years. Shouts to Pops Mensah-Bonsu and George Washington, who ran the table in 2006. Coincidentally enough, Dayton needs to beat GW at home on Saturday to get to 18-0. 3 ⤴️ Previous: No. 5 | The 29-2 Zags are one win away from locking up their sixth 30-win season in the past eight years. Did you know: Gonzaga never had a 30-win season before 2013? The Bulldogs own a neutral-court win over Oregon, a road win over Arizona, a home win against BYU and a sweep of Saint Mary’s. Gonzaga has ranked No. 1 in offensive efficiency for more than half the season. It opens WCC bracket play in the league’s semifinals on Monday night.  4 ⤴️ Previous: No. 6 | I The 28-1 Aztecs have a sweep of Utah State, a win at BYU and takedowns on neutral courts against future 6-seeds-or-better Iowa and Creighton. Still ranked top-10 in both offense and defensive efficiency. Still a 1 seed. SDSU begins postseason play on Thursday against No. 8 seed Air Force in the Mountain West Tournament.  5 ⤵️ Previous: No. 3 | The 26-3 Bears claim wins at Kansas, over Villanova on a neutral and home defeats over Arizona and Butler. There’s more, but we’ll leave it at that. The loss to TCU last week was a dinger; BU’s gotta slip. Baylor has never won a Big 12/Big 8 regular season or conference championship. It may never get a better chance under Scott Drew than this season, but will need to win at West Virginia this weekend to have a shot. 6 ⤵️ Previous: No. 4 | The 25-5 Seminoles pulled a rabbit out of a hat to steal a two-point win at Notre Dame on Wednesday night and bring FSU to within one victory of its first regular-season title in 1989. The Metro Conference! FSU’s signature victories have come against Florida on the road, a sweep of Louisville and Purdue on a neutral. Leonard Hamilton is set to be your 2020 ACC Coach of the Year. 7 ⤴️ Previous: No. 11 | The 23-7 Wildcats have a trio of terrific takedowns: home against Kansas, road over Creighton, road over Seton Hall. The last one of course coming on Wednesday night and, in my view, putting Nova on the No. 3 line. (Our Jerry Palm has the Wildcats on the No. 2 line.) The only time VU was a No. 3 seed under Jay Wright was 2009; it made the Final Four with Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes. Nova ends its regular season vs. Georgetown this weekend.   8 ⤴️ Previous: NR | The 21-9 Spartans have won at Seton Hall, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland and Penn State. Michigan State fans, I have your reads for you. I was on hand for the win over Maryland and wrote this column. And Wednesday’s Court Report details how Tom Izzo and Cassius Winston came together to push each other again, just as much as they love each other. Both provide a lot of detail as to why MSU has been one of the five hottest teams in college basketball the past three weeks. 9 ⤴️ Previous: No. 10 | The 21-8 Pirates had an interesting past two games. Myles Powell spoiled Markus Howard’s senior day at Marquette last Saturday in an 88-79 win, then got upended on senior night Wednesday by Villanova. SHU’s best Ws are at Villanova, at Saint Louis, home against Maryland and a sweep of Butler. I’m thinking, come Selection Sunday, it will be a No. 3. 10 ⤵️ Previous: No. 7 | The 24-6 Wildcats beat Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on the opening night of the season and have since claimed Louisville (home), Texas Tech (road) and LSU (road) as their biggest victims. The Wildcats could prove to be a controversial seed choice as they have problematic losses. Wednesday’s Tennessee collapse was truly shocking. Kentucky would put itself in danger of falling off the No. 4 line if it fails to win at Florida on Saturday. 11 ⤵️ Previous: No. 9 | The 23-7 Bluejays have really good wins spilling out of their pockets: at Seton Hall, at Villanova, at Marquette, Texas Tech (neutral), at Arizona State. Get this: The Jays still will be the 1 seed in the Big East Tournament if they win at home vs. Seton Hall on Saturday. A Nova win over Georgetown would make VU the No. 2 and Seton Hall — hello — the No. 3. All would finish atop the Big East at 13-5 in that scenario.  12 ⤴️ Previous: No. 13 | The 27-4 Buccaneers are the regular-season champions of the SoCon for the first time since 2004. Steve Forbes’ team won at LSU and has a sweep of UNC-Greensboro along with a split against Furman. ETSU will play in the league quarterfinals on Saturday against either Samford or VMI. I am of the opinion that if ETSU merely wins in the SoCon quarters, it should be assessed as a lock for the Big Dance. 13 ⤴️ Previous: No. 16 | The 24-6 Cardinals won at Duke and NC State, plus they pushed away Michigan at home. They close out the regular season on Saturday at Virginia. Louisville won the first meeting back in February but has never beaten Virginia twice in the same season.  14 ⤴️ Previous: No. 17 | The 24-6 Blue Devils’ most discussed result of the season is their home loss to Stephen F. Austin, but their top three wins are worth crowing over: Kansas on a neutral, at Michigan State, home to Florida State. Duke as always will end its regular season with a game against UNC. Duke is set up to continue its streak of a No. 4 seed or better for the 13th consecutive season. 15 Previous: No. 15 | The 27-3 Lumberjacks are 24-3 as far as the selection committee is concerned, as three of those wins are not vs. Division I teams. Everybody knows the big win: at Duke. Invaluable. The next two strongest are at Arkansas State (16-15) and at Abilene Christian (19-11). Stephen F. Austin wraps its Southland slate on Saturday at home against Sam Houston State. If it does not win out, it could be the most discussed at-large team leading into Selection Sunday. 16 ⤵️ Previous: No. 8 | The 23-7 Terrapins are mini-tailspinning thanks to three losses in four games. The best wins: Marquette on a neutral court, Ohio State at home, Michigan State and Illinois on the road. Two weeks ago, Maryland was the Big Ten’s only chance at a No. 1 seed. Now the league, deep as it is, will be hard-pressed to get anyone on the No. 2 line. Terps can get right at home vs. Michigan on Sunday.  17 ⤴️ Previous: No. 18 | The 24-7 Cougars won at Houston, beat Gonzaga at home and knocked off Utah State on a neutral. Hey, they also took out UCLA in Maui. BYU is the No. 2 seed in the WCC Tournament and will play on Monday night, potentially against No. 3 Saint Mary’s, which will need that win in order to secure a single-digit seed for the NCAA Tournament.  18 ⤴️ Previous: unranked | The 18-12 Friars are in the power rankings after winning five games vs. ranked teams in February, becoming only the fifth team in history to do that in the same month in the regular season. Providence is one win away from lock city thanks to wins at Marquette, at Butler, at Villanova and vs. Seton Hall. The Friars, winners of five straight, are the wild card of the Big East Tournament — and I love it.  19 ⤴️ Previous: unranked | The 19-11 Bruins are just as much of a bonkers story as Providence. In Mick Cronin’s first season, he has turned an 8-9 team into a group that could be safe for a bid if it wins at USC on Saturday. UCLA has won at Washington and Colorado, plus has a sweep of Arizona. It’s in first place in the Pac-12. It’s in these power rankings! This is all preposterous. 

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