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Men’s College Basketball Power Rankings: Week 8 (2021-22)

by December 28, 2021
Flo Thamba

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.

With the holiday season and school out for winter break, there weren’t too many basketball games played. So while there may be a little lack in the movement of rankings, there is still a lot of basketball to look forward to after the New Year, right around the corner.

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 early season rankings:

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Movers & Shakers

As I mentioned in the opening, there weren’t too many basketball games played this week with holiday break and COVID-19 shutting down games left and right, so there hasn't been too much movement across the board. Alabama seems like an early favorite for “most difficult team to figure out.” They hold wins over Gonzaga and Houston but losses to Iona, Davidson, and Memphis. Their inconsistency is scary and makes me steer clear of any future value on them. Tennessee had an impressive showing in their victory over Arizona, but I am still high on the Wildcats. Foul after foul led them to play with back-ups for a significant portion of the game, and Bennedict Mathurin still managed 28 points.

This week we get into some incredibly exciting matchups. Undefeated LSU will be put to the test against an underrated Auburn squad. I see Auburn pulling off a close one here, considering LSU is due for some regression. Their defense is solid, but teams have been shooting abysmally across the board against the Tigers. Providence-Seton Hall should be a grind with plenty of time spent at the charity stripe. I see Seton Hall’s height and perimeter defense being too much for the Friars.

COVID-19

With 50-plus teams on pause due to coronavirus concerns, it will be difficult to pass down accurate judgment for when teams on pause will resume play. Of course, the hope is that teams will be able to play all scheduled games, but January may be a wild wild west scenario when it comes to the cancellation of games. Simply from the angle of rankings and when we look back on these games, remember how teams play after coming out of the COVID-19 pause, and perhaps take it with a grain of salt. I have to imagine this will only continue impacting teams further with the Omicron variant sweeping the nation, so it is an important item to keep in mind when filling out your brackets come March.

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