Strap in faculty basketball followers. Whereas some early-season tournaments kicked off as early as week two, there is a loaded slate forward for the vacation weekend. 4 of the highest 10 groups within the AP Ballot will compete for the Maui championship, together with three of the highest 4. If you wish to know who the actual contenders are for the NCAA event, this can be an vital week to concentrate to.
Sustain with every part that is occurred to date with our newest energy rankings under!
1. Kansas (3-0)
A late comeback was wanted, however the top-ranked Jayhawks prevailed in opposition to a younger Kentucky staff due to a 20-20 efficiency by Hunter Dickinson in opposition to the undersized Wildcats. There is a huge week developing in Maui, the place 4 of the highest ten groups in America will compete for an announcement trophy early within the season.
A matchup between the Boilermakers and Jayhawks within the Maui Invitational Championship could be a dream for faculty basketball followers in week three of the season. It would not simply be the 2 greatest groups, however the two greatest facilities in faculty basketball going head-to-head for a title.
3. Arizona (5-0)
Arizona constructed on their huge win over Duke final week with a dominant 3-0 week at house. Led by a couple of new faces, the Wildcats are averaging almost 100 factors per sport and have one other huge sport developing in opposition to No. 18 Michigan State in Palm Springs.
4. UConn (4-0)
With freshman phenom Stephon Fortress set to overlook a couple of weeks, UConn’s depth can be examined in a giant manner. A 20-point win over Indiana on Sunday is an efficient begin, however the Empire Traditional championship in opposition to No. 19 Texas and early December with No. 1 Kansas and No. 20 North Carolina nonetheless lie forward of the reigning champion.
5. Marquette (2-0)
The Golden Eagles live as much as their excessive preseason rankings to date in 2023. Even with a tricky draw, Marquette might simply come house from Maui with a championship, successful in opposition to UCLA, Kansas and one other ranked foe.
6. Houston (6-0)
There’s quite a bit to like about this 12 months’s Houston staff. The guards are as gifted as ever with the type of expertise that may take you locations in March. Kelvin Sampson has 5 guys who would begin in nearly any backcourt in America, so even when the Cougars face some critical points or accidents, there can be somebody able to step up and ship some long-awaited redemption in Houston to guide.
7. Kentucky (3-1)
The Wildcats rise on this week’s rankings after narrowly falling to the top-ranked staff within the nation with out all three of their huge males. This classic John Calipari roster has expertise that rivals anybody in America and might be the staff that endears him once more to a fan base determined to get again to the mountaintop.
8. Duke (3-1)
The Blue Devils bounced again this week with a Champions Traditional win over Michigan State and a blowout win over Bucknell. If a minimum of one freshman can step up per sport, like Caleb Foster and Jared McCain did this week, Duke can beat anybody. They will get an opportunity to point out it in two weeks after they journey to Bud Walton Area to tackle the Razorbacks.
9. Tennessee (3-0)
The Vols have not scored 80 factors of their first three video games since Bruce Pearl took them to the Elite Eight in 2009-10. Knoxville’s improved offense, headlined by Northern Colorado’s Dalton Knecht, offers Rick Barnes an opportunity to go additional than the varsity ever has: the Ultimate 4. The journey continues this week in Maui.
10. Miami (5-0)
No Isaiah Wong, no downside for Miami. The ‘Canes are flying house with a Bahamas championship after using an unstoppable offense to a 91-83 victory over Kansas State within the championship. Do not be stunned in the event that they make one other run this season in March.
11. Creighton (4-0)
Do not sleep on the Blue Jays. Trey Alexander’s return to Omaha this season seems to be an enormous success for each participant and staff by 4 video games. The junior guard is scoring and taking part in higher than ever earlier than, which ought to result in a giant increase in his rising draft inventory.
12. Gonzaga (2-0)
The Zags have seemed good to date this season, however we’ll be taught quite a bit about them this week on the Maui Invitational. With No. 2 Purdue kicking off what might be a busy schedule for the week, there isn’t any room for error within the opening tip if Mark Few needs to make it a profitable journey to Hawaii with a brand new staff.
13. Colorado (3-0)
Bounce on the Colorado bandwagon now earlier than it is too late. Deion Sanders had a bustling campus for a couple of weeks, however the hype surrounding the Buffaloes’ basketball staff will not dissipate as spectacularly because the soccer staff.
Cody Williams is the extremely touted candidate, however he is not the one one in Boulder. A particularly gifted beginning 5 surrounds him as Tad Boyle seems to develop them into an actual contender in a convention up for grabs outdoors of Arizona.
14. Baylor (4-0)
By no means depend out Scott Drew. He has discovered a option to as soon as once more exchange a trio of nice guards with transfers and freshmen who’re doing nicely in Waco. Probably the most notable is Ja’Kobe Walter, however if you happen to get an opportunity to observe the Bears play, you may shortly notice there’s much more enjoyable to do with this group.
15. Alabama (2-0)
The Tide will play 4 video games in 2023 with 102 factors per sport and a mean margin of victory of 35. The competitors will warmth up, but it surely’s an ideal begin for Nate Oats as he tries to switch a staff that has earned the highest seed within the total standings . final season.
16. Texas A&M (4-0)
Athleticism everywhere in the ground makes scoring on the Aggies one of many hardest issues to do in sports activities. Irritating opponents would be the id of this staff, however do not suppose that Wade Taylor and Tyrece Radford aren’t able to conquering their very own attacking facet.
Subsequent 5: Texas, James Madison, North Carolina, Mississippi State, BYU
Gamers of the week:
Trey Alexander, No. 8 Creighton Blue Jays
We touted Alexander final season as a projected first-round choose earlier than the draft and his play this week has him within the lottery for this summer time. Alexander’s improved court docket imaginative and prescient and playmaking skill, mixed along with his already superior shot creation, might make him a extremely coveted prospect for a staff in search of instant backcourt assist.
Hunter Dickinson, #1 Kansas Jayhawks
If Kentucky had their huge males accessible for the Champions Traditional, there could be a really totally different story popping out of Chicago. However along with his large measurement benefit, Dickinson got here by for the Jayhawks with 27 factors and 21 rebounds. The Wildcats had no reply for an undisputed participant of the week in faculty basketball.
Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats
These freshmen supplied a set off the bench for the Cats in Chicago and almost pulled off the upset with their playmaking and scoring within the second unit. Sheppard continued his breakout efficiency with an absurdly environment friendly 25 factors and 7 assists (9-10 FG, 7-8 3PT, 1 TO) on Friday evening. Dillingham added 20 factors and 7 assists within the win over Stonehill School, additionally off the bench.
Tyler Kolek, No. 4 Marquette Golden Eagles
Kolek’s efficiency was spectacular sufficient with out contemplating that he virtually did not play as a consequence of a nagging ankle damage. The All-American level guard dropped 24 factors on the street in opposition to Illinois with six rebounds and 4 assists and led the Golden Eagles to a powerful seven-point win over the Illini in a gritty area.
Dug McDaniel, Michigan Wolverines
Rick Pitino was again at Madison Sq. Backyard on Monday evening because the Crimson Storm welcomed the Wolverines for a superb non-conference conflict. It ended up being the Dug McDaniel present because the dynamic sophomore guard broke out with a 26-point, seven-assist exhibiting on the Backyard.
Sport of the week:
Talking of the Backyard, Max Abmas launched himself to one of many world’s most well-known arenas with a game-winning shot that lifted No. 19 Texas previous Louisville within the semifinals of the Empire Traditional. Test it out right here!