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Men’s College Basketball Power Rankings: Week 12 (2021-22)

by January 25, 2022
Men’s College Basketball Power Rankings: Week 16 (2021-22)

With college basketball in full swing, I will be writing a weekly power rankings article to get you up to speed on the risers and fallers of the week, along with any other important storylines to be aware of. 

The firework show of Auburn-Kentucky was the icing on the cake of a spectacular week. We saw a court-storming level victory with the Hoosiers taking down the Boilermakers, and Houston quietly continues their complete dominance, despite being impacted heavily by injuries. With February right around the corner, teams are discovering their true identity, as they make the push to make the tourney in the second half of the season. 

When I write these college basketball rankings, I write them based on how teams are in the moment, rather than based on where I expect them to be come March. I will mention my anticipation of future positive or negative regression, but the rankings themselves simply express teams’ rankings to date. Let’s take a look at rankings.

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College Basketball Power Rankings Week 12

Dropped from Rankings: Texas, Loyola Chicago

Next Up: BYU, Murray State, Alabama, Tennessee

Movers & Shakers

This wasn’t the most eventful weekend in terms of rankings shake-up but we did get to see a rare flip of the top spot, despite neither team losing. I said last week that Arizona and Auburn were my 1a and 1b, respectively. The Tigers win over Kentucky however was enough to give Auburn that boost in my book to take down the top spot.     

Marquette was the team of the week, ranking 12th in efficiency and beating two top teams. Shaka Smart has surprised a lot in his first year, and Justin Lewis has continued to impress, scoring double-digit points in each of Marquette’s last six games. Michigan finally showed some life with two solid wins so we will see if their success is sustainable. They have a chance to really shake up the Big Ten when they play Michigan State on Saturday. Kansas continues to win nail-biting games with their double-OT takedown against Texas Tech. I fully expect them to experience another game that goes down to the buzzer when they take on Kentucky this weekend. The game of the week for me however happens tonight. Arizona, while elite, has had a pretty average strength of schedule so they will get a chance to prove themselves vs. UCLA. We will see if Azuolas Tubelis will suit up with his injury, but if he can’t, it would be a big blow for the Wildcats offense.     


Texas and Loyola-Chicago dropped from the rankings this week after both teams continue to struggle. While the Longhorns finished the week off with a home win over the Pokes, their home loss vs. Kansas State is too bad to pass up. Granted, Kansas State has been playing surprisingly insane of late, I can’t trust Chris Beard and Co. enough right now to rank them. While I am still on board this Loyola-Chicago team, they have to stay essentially perfect in the MVC to stay ranked. Tennessee earned a spot in the AP Poll after taking down LSU, but for me, that simply wasn’t enough after their inconsistent play. BYU continues to be knocking on the door but they simply are playing up to par right now, winning games against vastly inferior opponents. Any loss from the bottom-five ranked teams this weak however could easily see the Cougars make that leap into the top-25 next weak.       

And-One Focus

I figured to give a focus on a team each week outside of the top-25 that still could very well hold an argument to not only be ranked but to be on everyone’s radar come tourney time. This week’s focus: Arkansas.  

The Razorbacks' journey this season has been a rollercoaster. They got up to 10th overall in the AP Poll earlier this season, and then fell from graces, losing five of six games at one point including against a KenPom 110th ranked Hofstra team. Recently, Eric Musselman has led his squad to four straight wins including a road victory over LSU and an OT victory over current bubble team Texas A&M. JD Notae leads this team in possession percentage, impacting his team with his all-around scoring, passing, and rebounding. Notae has got to take better care of the ball however after totaling 12 turnovers after his last three games. Arkansas lacks heavily in shooting talent, shooting below a 30% clip from beyond the arc. This takes away from the possibility of dynamic offense but they make up for it by getting to the hoop and taking advantage of second-chance looks. This team's path to a deep run in the tourney is to focus on their interior scoring, limit the opponent's exterior shooting, and potentially light a fire from deep of their own.       

Covid-19 and Injuries

While there is absolutely light at the end of the tunnel with fewer teams needing to go on pause due to covid, it is still imperative to remember the impact the pandemic and injuries had on teams during the season. I am going to include this reminder in each one of my power rankings from here out, as a reminder that some teams' losses in December do not equate to how they will perform in March, for countless reasons.

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