While the Big 12 has struck a dominant tone in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Top 25, that had some carryover into Matt Norlander’s ‘Hey Nineteen,’ the power rankings for men’s basketball at CBSSports.com.
Writing that there is clear separation in his Top 4, Norlander had Baylor (7-0) at No. 2 and Kansas (8-1) at No. 3 in this week’s edition. Gonzaga was at No. 1 and Villanova was at No. 4, rankings that basically mimic the other two polls.
Baylor’s No. 2 ranking came before the Bears swatted down Central Arkansas, 93-56, on Tuesday. The Bears host Alcorn State today before taking off for a few days before the trip to Ames, Iowa, on Saturday to take on Iowa State. Norlander writes that the Bears “have scored at least 80 in six straight games for the first time in 26 years.” It’s now seven straight with the win over UCA.
Kansas won’t play this week until Saturday when the Jayhawks host Texas at Allen Fieldhouse. Norlander referenced the Jayhawks’ recent wins in Big 12 action, writing that “…its most recent wins are at Texas Tech and vs. West Virginia by a combined 15 points. Turns out having the best team in the sport last season is translating nicely for 2020-21.”
Those Longhorns (7-1) are at No. 7 in Norlander’s ‘Hey Nineteen,’ so their contest with the Jayhawks is one of the most hotly anticipated of this weekend. Texas hasn’t played since Dec. 20 and their game this week with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was canceled. So, like Kansas, Texas will be shaking off some rust on Saturday.
West Virginia (8-2) fell five spots in Norlander’s rankings this week after its loss to Kansas last week. The Mountaineers cleaned Northeastern’s clock on Tuesday, with Oscar Tshiebwe putting together a double-double and probably his best performance in about three weeks. Even though the Mountaineers took a drop, Norlander wrote that “The Mountaineers have the best two loss results in college basketball and it’s not all that close: against Gonzaga on a neutral court and at Kansas.”
**Want to win a $20 gift card? Go sign up here and join our conversation! The best poster each week wins a gift card to your favorite establishment!**