As always, contact the Rahl Reviews sports staff on Twitter (@RahlBets) to give us any feedback or suggestions that you may have regarding our Top 25! We look forward to hearing your remarks! Enjoy!
-Rankings mentioned in the article are in reference to the Rahl Review rankings, they are not the official AP Rankings unless stated otherwise.
-Scheduled games are subject to change due to COVID-19.
ADDED: #21 Clemson, #22 Oklahoma, #23 Saint Louis, #24 Florida, #25 Oklahoma State
DROPPED: #18 Michigan State, #22 Northwestern, #23 Texas Tech, #24 Ohio State, #25 Florida State
1. GONZAGA BULLDOGS (10-0) | LW: 1
They are 10 games into the season and the Gonzaga Bulldogs are yet to falter. They played three games this past week and won them by an average of 32 points. The Zags’ daunting non-conference schedule is now out of the way, leaving only conference games to be played. The WCC is not as strong as it usually is. They have 14 games remaining, but with the conference being weaker than usual, the Zags have a legitimate chance to run the table and go undefeated in the regular season.
THIS WEEK: 1/7 vs Santa Clara, 1/9 at Portland
2. BAYLOR BEARS (9-0) | LW: 2
The Bears also had three games last week and they too won all three convincingly. Their toughest test came on Saturday against Big 12 opponent Iowa State. Even a trip to Ames did not stop Baylor from securing an 11-point victory, which obviously kept their streak of double-digit wins alive. The Bears have won all 9 games by 11 points or more. Their 76-65 victory over Iowa State was their closest game played to date. We will see if they can keep that up when their Big 12 schedule becomes tougher this week.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 vs #22 Oklahoma, 1/9 at TCU
3. VILLANOVA WILDCATS (8-1) | LW: 4
The Wildcats move up to the #3 spot in the rankings by default. After #7 Texas throttled #3 Kansas, you would have thought Texas may jump up to 3rd considering Villanova has been off since December 23rd after their scheduled games this week were postponed. However, seeing as Texas’ lone loss was to the Wildcats, it feels appropriate to award Villanova the spot. Hopefully, they can get back on the court this week to prove that they deserve it.
THIS WEEK: 1/5 at DePaul, 1/8 vs Marquette
4. TEXAS LONGHORNS (8-1) | LW: 7
This past week the Longhorns made a statement. A huge one. Their message? That they are the team to beat in the Big 12. There is no better way to spread that message than to waltz into Allen Fieldhouse and dismantle the perennial Big 12 alpha dog, the #3 Kansas Jayhawks. Texas dominated on both sides of the ball on their way to an 84-59 victory. In this 25-point victory, Texas hung 84 points on a team that boasts having the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. They spread the ball around which allowed 5 players to score double-digits, with F Jericho Sims posting an 11 point & 12 rebound double-double. They got it done on defense as well, limiting the Jayhawks to an FG% of 30.8%. They will have another test this week when they travel to Morgantown. Let’s see if they can pass this one with flying colors as well.
THIS WEEK: 1/5 vs Iowa State, 1/9 at #13 West Virginia
5. IOWA HAWKEYES (9-2) | LW: 10
The Hawkeyes got back into their winning ways this past week. After posting an 87-72 victory over #22 Northwestern, they traveled to Rutgers to defeat the #16 Scarlet Knights in the waning seconds by a score of 77-75. In the game against Rutgers, Iowa found themselves trailing with under 20 seconds left. They would hit 3 free throws in the final 16 seconds to take the lead. The victory was secured when Rutgers missed the would-be game-winning three at the buzzer. These wins now give the Hawkeyes a record of 3-1 against ranked opponents this season.
THIS WEEK: 1/7 at Maryland, 1/10 vs #17 Minnesota
6. KANSAS JAYHAWKS (8-2) | LW: 3
The Jayhawks suffered a devastating loss this past week. It was not devastating in terms of the quality of opponent they lost to, it was devastating in terms of the manner in which they lost. Kansas fell to #7 Texas by a score of 84-59. At home. That is a 25-point defeat at The Phog. You do not see that too often. It is hard to pinpoint the reason for that type of beating. They were coming off two wins against ranked Big 12 opponents and they looked to be in great form. However, they last played on December 22nd. So maybe the long lay-off disrupted that rhythm. Nevertheless, they are back at it this week against two quality opponents, so let’s hope that they are not about to enter some kind of funk.
THIS WEEK: 1/5 at TCU, 1/9 vs #22 Oklahoma
7. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS (8-2) | LW: 11
After their game with Georgetown was postponed, Creighton’s lone game last week was in Rhode Island against the Providence Friars. The Jays nearly got more than they could handle. The difference in this game was a Christian Bishop dunk with 0.8 seconds left. Providence was able to get off a shot before the buzzer, but it was off the mark. Creighton now comes home for a couple of games, including one against Seton Hall which will determine the lone holder of 2nd place in the Big East.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 vs Seton Hall, 1/9 vs St. John’s
8. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (9-0) | LW: 15
This was a big week for Michigan. They managed to remain undefeated after strolling into College Park and disposing of Maryland by 11. Then on Sunday, they played their first ranked opponent of the season when they hosted #22 Northwestern. This was a statement game for Michigan who feels they may be ranked a little too low in the AP polls for an undefeated team. They made the statement they wanted to make, defeating their first ranked foe of the year 85-66, a 19-point margin. The performance of freshman C Hunter Dickinson has been game-changing, to say the least. Dickinson is the leading scorer in Ann Arbor, averaging 16.9 points per game while averaging only 25.8 minutes. He also leads the team in rebounding, pulling down 8.1 boards per game.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 vs #17 Minnesota, 1/9 at Penn State
9. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (8-3) | LW: 14
Illinois won their lone game this week for their 3rd straight victory since losing at “The RAC”. It was a low-scoring affair as Illinois defeated unranked Purdue 66-58. Illini C Kofi Cockburn chipped in a double-double, which was his 7th of the year. They should have a tough test this week when they travel to Evanston to take on Northwestern.
THIS WEEK: 1/7 at Northwestern, 1/10 vs Maryland
10. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (7-1) | LW: 8
The Vols fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week when they fell to unranked Alabama at home. This was a bit of a shocker considering they had just walloped #13 Missouri on the road by a score of 73-53. These were two vastly different performances. The Vols went from shooting 50% against Missouri to only 32% against Alabama. On defense, they limited Missouri to only 53 points and then proceeded to give up 71 to Alabama. This was the first time Tennessee surrendered 70 points this season.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 vs Arkansas, 1/9 at Texas A&M
11. WISCONSIN BADGERS (9-2) | LW: 5
The parity in the Big Ten this season is something to behold. Wisconsin’s week is evidence of that. After suffering a 6-point loss at home to unranked Maryland, the Badgers went on to defeat #19 Minnesota 71-59. The Badgers will try to string together a couple of wins this week before they enter a grueling stretch of their conference schedule.
THIS WEEK: 1/3 at Penn State, 1/7 vs Indiana
12. HOUSTON COUGARS (8-1) | LW: 6
The Cougars suffered their first loss when they traveled to Tulsa last week. It was a devastating loss. The Cougars led by 1 after hitting a shot with 6 seconds left. They would then foul Tulsa right before time expired, and the Golden Hurricane would hit both free throws to win by 1. Houston then bounced back against SMU, winning by a score of 74-60. They will now return home to continue conference play.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 vs Wichita State, 1/9 vs Tulane
13. WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS (8-3) | LW: 9
West Virginia suffered a 2nd conference loss this past week when they fell at Oklahoma. The Mountaineers were slow out of the gate, going into the half down 38-20. They tried to make a furious 2nd half comeback, scoring 51 points, however, it was not enough as they fell 4 points shy of forcing overtime. They will once again be playing in the “Panhandle State” this week when they take on #25 Oklahoma State before traveling home for a showdown against #4 Texas.
THIS WEEK: 1/4 at #25 Oklahoma State, 1/9 vs #4 Texas
14. DUKE BLUE DEVILS (3-2) | LW: 12
Duke hasn’t been on the court since December 16th, and it is not exactly helping their cause. They lost to the only ranked teams they have played. Their best win is a 10-point victory at Notre Dame, which looks less impressive with each passing day considering that Notre Dame is 1-3 since then and has yet to win an ACC matchup. Hopefully, Coach K’s team can get back on the floor this week.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 vs Boston College, 1/9 vs Wake Forest
15. VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (5-2) | LW: 17
The Cavs just can’t seem to get traction this season. They bounced back from their loss to #1 Gonzaga by defeating Notre Dame 66-57 in South Bend. Their scheduled game against #20 Virginia Tech on Saturday would not happen, however, after a Virginia staffer tested positive for COVID.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 vs Wake Forest, 1/9 at Boston College
16. MISSOURI TIGERS (7-1) | LW: 13
Missouri fell for the first time this season when they hosted #8 Tennessee. The Tigers were stymied by the Vols defense and just could not keep up with them on offense. This was a discouraging loss for a team that was entering a lot of SEC Champion conversations. The Tigers bounced back, however. On Saturday they traveled to Arkansas and handed the Razorbacks an 81-68 defeat in a game where Missouri was a 6.5-point underdog. That’s the type of thing that good teams do, right?
THIS WEEK: 1/5 at Mississippi State, 1/9 vs LSU
17. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (10-2) | LW: 19
The Golden Gophers are in the midst of a grueling portion of their schedule, and they are handling it quite well. They are in a stretch where they play 8 ranked opponents in a span of 9 games. The unranked team is Saint Louis, who only has 1 loss. The Gophers are 4-2 so far in this stretch. They are 3-2 against those ranked opponents. The most recent victory came on Sunday against #24 Ohio State, when they defeated the Buckeyes 77-60.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 at #8 Michigan, 1/10 at #5 Iowa
18. OREGON DUCKS (8-1) | LW: 21
The Ducks are still undefeated after dropping their first game of the season to Missouri. They added two PAC-12 victories to their resumé last week when they defeated California 82-69 and Stanford 73-56. Their conference schedule will get a little tougher this week when Dana Altman’s Ducks hit the road to take on Colorado and Utah.
THIS WEEK: 1/7 at Colorado, 1/10 at Utah
19. VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (8-1) | LW: 20
The Hokies’ lone game this week was an 80-78 win against Miami. Their showdown against in-state rival #17 Virginia was postponed when a Virginia staff member tested positive. The Hokies will be tested this week when they travel to Kentucky to take on Louisville. Virginia Tech will look to remain unbeaten in ACC play.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 at Louisville, 1/10 vs Notre Dame
20. RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (7-2) | LW: 16
Rutgers suffered their 2nd loss of the season last week when they hosted #10 Iowa. They held the lead with under 20 seconds remaining, but it would slip away when they put Iowa at the foul line. Though they lost the game, it was a valiant effort against a team that is a frequent Final Four pick this year among the experts. Not to mention they faced the Player of the Year favorite in Luka Garza. So, there is no reason for Scarlet Knights fans to hang their heads, especially since they will have a chance to bounce back this week in a big way, as they take on another ranked Big Ten foe.
THIS WEEK: 1/5 at Michigan State, 1/9 vs Ohio State
21. CLEMSON TIGERS (8-1) | LW: N/R
The Clemson Tigers are quietly having a very good season. Clemson has 8 wins, 6 of which have come against opponents from major conferences. They added 2 wins to that record last week with a victory over #25 Florida State and a 66-65 victory over Miami. The win against Florida State was their 1st win against a ranked opponent. They have a little catch-up to do, however, as their only loss was to Virginia Tech, so the Tigers trail them in the ACC standings.
THIS WEEK: 1/5 vs NC State, 1/9 at North Carolina
22. OKLAHOMA SOONERS (6-2) | LW: N/R
The Sooners had a big week when they upset #9 West Virginia. This was a big win against a top-10 opponent, after a heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech. This was enough to vault Oklahoma up into the rankings. Now they may vault up even further next week, as they take on two more top-10 Big 12 opponents on the road.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 at #2 Baylor, 1/9 at #6 Kansas
23. SAINT LOUIS BILLIKENS (7-1) | LW: N/R
Although the Billikens have had some games postponed, their loss to Minnesota no longer looks bad, which got them back into my rankings. Saint Louis will try to get back on the court this week when they travel to take on two conference opponents.
THIS WEEK: 1/6 at La Salle, 1/9 at St. Joseph’s
24. FLORIDA GATORS (5-1) | LW: N/R
The Gators suffered two heartbreaking losses a few weeks ago when they traveled to Tallahassee. One was the game. The 2nd was the loss of star F Keyontae Johnson. During the 1st half, Johnson collapsed and rushed to the hospital, where he was placed in a coma. He is now out of the coma and focusing on recovery from a heart problem. This was a huge blow to the team, but they have managed. Last week they defeated Vanderbilt and LSU. We will see if they can continue to win without their leader.
THIS WEEK: 1/5 at Alabama, 1/9 vs Kentucky
25. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (7-2) | LW: N/R
Phenom freshman G Cade Cunningham is looking as advertised. The Cowboys star is leading the team in scoring with 18.7 points per game. The Cowboys’ stock appears to be on the rise, as the Cowboys took down #23 Texas Tech on Saturday. They will have another test this week when they take on the #13 Mountaineers.