Sak Top 25: Week 3

The Sak 25 has been the opposite of the Greek legend King Midas. Rather than gold, everything it touches turns to fold. Illinois was in my top 3; they lose to unranked Marquette and got blown out by unranked Cincinnati, even with Kofi back. I moved Memphis into my top 5, way ahead of where anyone else had them; right on queue they get blown out by unranked Ohio State. I keep UCLA at #1 over Gonzaga; y'all guessed it, Gonzaga blows out UCLA this week. Naturally, new teams now move into the top 10 of my rankings. To the fanbases of those teams, proceed with caution and I apologize in advance.


#1 - Duke (previously 4)

A lot of difficult decisions came in this week's Sak 25; this was not one of them. My former #1, UCLA, got blown out by my #2 Gonzaga. Then Duke proceeds to beat that #2 Gonzaga team in what has been the best college basketball game of the year so far. With an undefeated 7-0 record and two top 10 wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga, Duke is the only correct choice for #2.


#2 - Gonzaga (2)

I do not drop them from the #2 spot because of a loss. First of all, they also had a huge blowout win over UCLA. Secondly, while watching the Gonzaga-Duke game, I told myself, "These are the best 2 teams in college basketball right now. The winner will be ranked #1, and the loser will be ranked #2."


#3 - Purdue (3)

Purdue only played 1 game last week, a blow out win over Omaha. While they continue to impress and prove to be one of the best teams in the country, I could not move them over Duke or Gonzaga, who each had great wins against elite teams this past week.


#4 - UCLA (1)

UCLA lost a very tough battle to their coach Mick Cronin this past week. I still keep UCLA this high on my list off of talent alone. Johnny Juzang and Jamie Jaquez Jr are still two of the best players in the country. But UCLA has to be the biggest example of a misutilization of talent as they are completely incohesive on both sides of the basketball, despite all of the talent and chemistry they have returned this year.


#5 - Baylor (12)

I haven't been huge on Baylor this year due to the huge pieces they lost from last year and them not playing good enough of competition to prove themselves for this year. But the Bears had a great showing this week, winning all three of their games convincingly to win the Atlantis midseason tournament. Sophomore LJ Cryer has been one of the best surprises in all of college basketball this season, and Kendall Brown has been one of the best immediate impact freshmen in the country.


#6 - Villanova (8)

Having a two loss team this high over many undefeated teams is very difficult. But both losses have been against top 4 teams and they have looked very convincing otherwise. Justin Moore is having an All-American caliber season so far to go along with Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, and Brandon Slater.


#7 - Kentucky (9)

Other than Ohio, Kentucky really hasn't played anyone too respectable since their loss to Duke. But the Cats are performing too well to not keep moving them. Sahvir Wheeler and Oscar Tshiebwe are playing like 2 of the best players in all of college basketball. TyTy Washington is starting to find his groove, while fellow freshmen Daimion Collins and Bryce Hopkins are starting to show great flashes as well. Kentucky has one each of their last 5 games by an average of over 28 points, while missing multiple key players such as Davion Mintz, Keion Brooks, Jacob Toppin, and Lance Ware. If the TyTy continues to develop to a star and the Cats regain full strength, a top ranking can very well be in order.

#8 - Texas (11)

After a tough first week loss to Gonzaga, Texas is starting to figure themselves out as a team. They are starting to hit stride and play up their level of talent. However, not playing a legitimate challenge since Gonzaga is keeping them from returning to the top 5, where I initially had them ranked.


#9 - Kansas (7)

I was never sold on Kansas being a top team to begin with. Their buzzer beater loss to a mediocre Dayton team exposed a lot of the flaws that I was worried about for them going into the season. They are still a good team, but a tier below the top 8 teams I have listed above them.


#10 - Memphis (5)

Dealing with a team centered around 2 freshmen, you are inevitably going to have games where you look absolutely lost as a team. That happened as the Tigers got dominated by an unranked Iowa State team in a neutral court game, where the whole team really struggled in all facets of the game. However, I will not take them out of the top 10 yet because, like I said, games like that happen when your team is centered around freshmen. This team is better than they showed this past week and still has a lot of potential.


#11 - Arkansas (17)

#12 - Tennessee (18)

#13 - BYU (10)

#14 - Texas Tech (19)

#15 - Arizona (23)

#16 - Alabama (13)

#17 - Iowa State (Unranked)

#18 - Florida (25)

#19 - Illinois (6)

#20 - Seton Hall (14)

#21 - Michigan (16)

#22 - Houston (21)

#23 - St Bonaventure (15)

#24 - Auburn (20)

#25 - UConn (24)

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