The defending champs finally lost, an upstart remained unblemished and Duke kept us entertained.
God bless college basketball.
Below, we'll break down the Associated Press' Week 10 rankings and analyze some of the storylines from the past week.
Source: Associated Press
Villanova suffered its first loss of the season, falling 66-58 at Butler, but the AP voters didn't dock the Wildcats much for a road loss against a Top 25 opponent.
Basketball writer Ken Pomeroy certainly wasn't down on them after the loss:
No team in the country would be expected to win consecutive games at Creighton and Butler.— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) January 5, 2017
Villanova, after all, still boasts impressive wins over Purdue, Notre Dame and the aforementioned Creighton this season. And there's also the small matter of its large group of returning members from last year's national championship team, headlined by Player of the Year candidate Josh Hart.
One loss since last year's Big East tournament certainly isn't the end of the world on the Main Line.
Baylor and Gonzaga, meanwhile, just keep on winning, and they are the last two undefeated teams standing in the Top 25. Baylor's run has been impressive, with wins over Oregon, Michigan State, Louisville and Xavier, though a tough West Virginia squad represents a major challenge this week.
Still, Baylor deserves the top spot in the rankings. And it knows it, as head coach Scott Drew told John Werner of the Waco Tribune:
As I shared with the players, not many people get a chance to be ranked No. 1 and that’s a great honor. Baylor Nation deserves it because they helped us get here. We’re glad to make them proud and happy and it gave them something to be excited about. But big picture, we know no one is going to remember who is ranked No. 1 the first week of January.
Meanwhile, UCLA remains the most entertaining and prolific offense in college basketball, led by Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf. And Kansas, Kentucky and Duke—perhaps the three most talented rosters in the country, at least on paper—keep on winning.
Those three, along with UCLA, all have the talent to win a national championship.
Villanova's experience has it firmly in that conversation as well. Baylor's resume, to this point, makes the Bears serious contenders as conference play heats up. North Carolina has been a bit of an enigma to start the year, though a 107-56 thrashing of Dennis Smith Jr. and NC State on Sunday is a reminder of how dangerous the Tar Heels can be. Arizona's and Indiana's best basketball is in front of them.
More will be unveiled this week in that regard. Tuesday will feature huge matchups as Baylor faces West Virginia, Villanova takes on Xavier and Duke visits a dangerous Florida State team. Butler vs. Creighton highlights Wednesday's matchups, while Duke vs. Louisville, Florida State vs. North Carolina, Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech and Xavier vs. Butler cap off a wild Saturday.
In other words, it should be another great week in college basketball.
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