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: #19 Minnesota, #22 Oklahoma State
DROPPED: #17 Louisville, #18 Saint Louis
1. GONZAGA BULLDOGS 14-0 | LW: 1
The Zags managed to keep their loss column clean, but it was a down week for the Zags by their standards. That’s quite impressive considering a down week for them includes going 2-0 and winning by margins of 25 and 14. Pepperdine managed to stay close to the Bulldogs, before Gonzaga pulled away in the 2nd half. It was the same story with St. Mary’s. The Gaels were constantly in striking distance, but the Bulldogs proved to be too overwhelming. St. Mary’s did manage to pick up some bragging rights, in a manner of speaking – they are the only team to hold Gonzaga to under 80 points this season.
THIS WEEK: 1/23 vs Pacific
2. BAYLOR BEARS (12-0) | LW: 2
After their game against West Virginia was postponed, the Bears turned their focus to #19 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders actually held the lead with under 8 minutes left, but some clutch three-point shooting from Baylor down the stretch allowed them to pull away. This was a big win for Baylor, as their win in Lubbock kept them undefeated on the season, and they are now the only undefeated team in Big 12 play as well.
THIS WEEK: 1/18 vs #9 Kansas, 1/23 at #22 Oklahoma State
3. VILLANOVA WILDCATS (8-1) | LW: 3
This is surely a frustrating time for Nova fans. It’s frustrating for me as well because it’s becoming increasingly difficult to break down their performances, simply because there are no performances to break down. The Wildcats have not been on the court since December 23rd. Hopefully they can get back into action this week against Seton Hall.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 vs Seton Hall, 1/23 vs Providence
4. IOWA HAWKEYES (12-2) | LW: 5
The Hawkeyes were a team firing on all cylinders before their game against Michigan State was postponed. They resumed action against Northwestern on Sunday, and it did not seem as if the postponement disrupted their rhythm. Luka Garza posted another double-double in their 96-73 romp of the Wildcats in Evanston. This was the 8th game of the season where the Hawkeyes posted 90+ points.
THIS WEEK: 1/21 vs Indiana, 1/24 vs Nebraska
5. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (10-1) | LW: 9
Tennessee managed a 20-point victory in their lone game last week against Vanderbilt. They will face a couple tough tests in the next 7 days when they travel to Gainesville to take on the Gators and then to Missouri to take on the #20 Tigers. They will try to avoid adding another loss to their record after falling to Alabama. The Tide are undefeated in conference play and that was the Vols only meeting with them, so they will need Bama to stumble in order to regain first place in the SEC. There are a lot of games to be played, so Tennessee will most likely get that opportunity as long as they handle business on their end.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 at Florida, 1/23 vs #20 Missouri
6. TEXAS LONGHORNS (11-2) | LW: 4
The last couple weeks have been a bit turbulent for the Longhorns. After beating West Virginia on a last second shot two weeks ago, #19 Texas Tech did the same to them last week. It was a game that Texas led nearly from start to finish, but the Longhorns would ultimately fall 79-77. They bounced back with a 15-point victory against Kansas State. They will look to pick up a couple more conference victories this week, as they face two unranked Big 12 opponents. However, they should be wary of any type of trap game since they will be on the road for both contests.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 at Iowa State, 1/23 at TCU
7. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (11-1) | LW: 8
Speaking of turbulent weeks, cue the Wolverines. After a 23-point dismantlement of #10 Wisconsin, a game that Michigan led by as many as 40, the Wolverines would then travel to Minnesota to receive some karma. Michigan would fade away in the 2nd half against the Golden Gophers, eventually losing by 18. This loss knocked them out of the ranks of the unbeaten.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 vs Maryland, 1/22 at Purdue
8. HOUSTON COUGARS (11-1) | LW: 11
In the Cougars lone game last week, they cruised to a 75-58 victory over UCF. Houston came out hot, winning the 1st half 45-19. With no ranked teams on their remaining schedule there is a good chance that Houston will be able to coast to the AAC regular season championship.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 vs Tulsa, 1/23 vs Cincinnati
9. KANSAS JAYHAWKS (10-3) | LW: 6
Is it possible that the Jayhawks got caught looking too far ahead? Their game at Oklahoma State had “trap” written all over it, as the Jayhawks face #2 Baylor this week in a clash of two Big 12 titans. After falling behind against the Cowboys in the 1st half, the Jayhawks would attempt a comeback in the final 20 minutes. They would fall short, however, dropping the game 75-70, adding a 2nd Big 12 loss to their record. This showdown with Baylor has enormous Big 12 title implications for both teams.
THIS WEEK: 1/18 at #2 Baylor, 1/24 at Oklahoma
10. VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (9-2) | LW: 13
Now this is the Virginia team that we have all been waiting to emerge. The Cavs defeated Notre Dame by 12 on Wednesday and followed that game up with a trip south to take on #15 Clemson. Virginia put on a clinic in this matchup of ranked ACC teams. Virginia opened the game on a 20-3 run and would go on to win the game by 35. The Cavaliers had 5 players post double digits en route to their 85-50 thrashing of the Tigers.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 vs NC State, 1/23 vs Georgia Tech
11. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS (10-3) | LW: 7
Creighton went into Indianapolis for what should have been a routine victory against 3-7 Butler, despite missing 2nd leading scorer Marcus Zegarowski. That victory would not come to fruition. Creighton held a 13-point lead with under 8 minutes to play, but the Bulldogs would come thundering back, holding Creighton to only 4 points in the remainder of regulation play. They would also be held to only 4 in OT, allowing Butler to take the edge in the final 5 minutes and win the game 70-66.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 vs Providence, 1/23 vs Connecticut
12. WISCONSIN BADGERS (11-3) | LW: 10
The Badgers suffered a rough loss to #8 Michigan last week in Ann Arbor when the Wolverines rolled to a 77-54 victory. Wisconsin would bounce back however, when they traveled to the RAC to take on Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have fallen off as of late, but they are a team with a great defense and their home court has a reputation for being a tough floor for visiting teams to win on. Wisconsin would win the game 60-54. While it was only a 6-point victory, the Badgers felt in control throughout the game.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 vs Northwestern, 1/23 vs #14 Ohio State
13. TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (11-4) | LW: 19
Mac McClung was the big man on campus in Lubbock this week after hitting a last-second jumper to take down #4 Texas in Austin. Well, he was the big man for a few days at least until the Red Raiders fell 68-60 to the #2 Baylor Bears at home. Texas Tech held the lead briefly down the stretch, but a failure to contain Baylor’s three-point shooters allowed the Bears to pull away. Still, this was a big week for Texas Tech as the victory over Texas kept them in the mix for the Big 12 title. They will need some outside help to win the regular season title, but this is a brutal conference with a lot of basketball left to play, so odds are they will get it. This will most likely require Chris Beard’s team to beat Baylor in Waco, however, which is asking a lot.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 at TCU, 1/23 vs Iowa State
14. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (11-3) | LW: 20
After getting rolled over by Minnesota, the Buckeyes have looked like a team on a mission. They added a 10-point win over Northwestern to their resumé this week. More impressively, they added a 6-point win over #14 Illinois in Champaign to their record as well. They will get another tough test this week when they travel to Madison to take on the Badgers.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 vs Purdue, 1/23 at #12 Wisconsin
15. VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (11-2) | LW: 23
This was a big week for the Hokies. Prior to earning a 64-60 win at Wake Forest, the Hokies hosted #12 Duke in one of their biggest tests of the year up to this point. They passed that test with flying colors. They jumped out to a 12-point lead at halftime over the Blue Devils. That lead would shrink to 1 in the 2nd half, but ultimately Virginia Tech never relinquished that lead. They showed poise down the stretch, holding Duke to only 8 points in the final 7 minutes and converting their free throw attempts to maintain their lead. The ACC standings are currently congested, with 7 teams having 1-loss or less, but the Hokies are very much in the mix as they are one of the single loss teams.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 vs Boston College, 1/23 at Syracuse
16. WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS (9-4) | LW: 16
The Mountaineers were forced to have their gut-wrenching loss to Texas linger over them this week after both of their scheduled contests were postponed due to the Coronavirus. They will look to get back on the floor Tuesday when they host #22 Oklahoma State and the explosive Cade Cunningham.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 vs #22 Oklahoma State, 1/23 at Kansas State
17. UCLA BRUINS (11-2) | LW: 21
The Bruins are a team, who I feel, are currently extremely underrated. Mick Cronin’s plan to bring this team back into the national spotlight seems to be going as planned, as UCLA is 11-2 and undefeated in PAC-12 play. They bolstered their resumé this week with a 30-point victory over Washington State and a 5-point win over Washington. The Bruins are in 1st place in the conference standings, but their toughest tests will be coming in the next month.
THIS WEEK: 1/21 at California, 1/23 at Stanford
18. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (9-5) | LW: 14
Illinois just can’t seem to get things rolling in Big Ten play. They suffered back-to-back losses in their most recent two games. The latter of the two came on Saturday when the Illini hosted #20 Ohio State. Illinois failed to keep pace with the Buckeyes in the final 10 minutes of the 1st half, eventually going into the locker room down by a score of 43-28. They attempted a comeback in the final 20 minutes, but could not manage to get within striking distance, as Ohio State would pull away time after time when Illinois would begin to close the gap. They face two unranked foes this week, making this a prime opportunity to try and get some traction.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 vs Penn State, 1/23 at Michigan State
19. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (11-4) LW: N/R
The Golden Gophers blew out the #8 Wolverines last week, handing them their first loss of the season. This came 10 days after Michigan trounced the Gophers 82-57. This win allowed Minnesota to finish what may have been the most difficult 9-game stretch of any team in the country with a winning record of 5-4. This is very impressive for a team who entered the season unranked and not particularly on many radars.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 at Nebraska, 1/23 vs Maryland
20. MISSOURI TIGERS (8-2) | LW: 22
The Tigers finally got back on the court on Saturday after an 11-day hiatus that followed their upset loss at Mississippi State. The Tigers traveled to College Station to take on Texas A&M and they were able to handle business. After going into the locker rooms at the half up by only 3, they would pull away in the 2nd half to win the game by a score of 68-52. They will have revenge on their minds this week, as they face Tennessee, the team who handed them their first loss. They will look to return the favor in Knoxville in a clash between the only ranked SEC teams.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 vs South Carolina, 1/23 at #5 Tennessee
21. COLORADO BUFFALOES (11-3) | LW: 24
Colorado has been quietly racking up quality wins in the PAC-12. They picked up 3 wins this week, defeating Utah, California and Stanford. They look to be getting hot at a good time, as they have many more quality opponents down the stretch.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 at Washington, 1/23 at Washington State
22. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (9-3) | LW: N/R
The Cowboys got their biggest win of the year when they took down #6 Kansas this past week. Cade Cunningham led the way in scoring with 18 points. Oklahoma State will look to stay hot as they have not one, but two big tests this week in Big 12 play.
THIS WEEK: 1/16 vs Oklahoma, 1/19 at #16 West Virginia, 1/23 vs #2 Baylor
23. CLEMSON TIGERS (9-2) | LW: 15
Clemson suffered their 2nd loss last week in embarrassing fashion. The #13 Cavaliers strolled into Clemson’s house and promptly torched the place. Clemson was completely and utterly smothered by the Cavs, who limited them to only 50 points, Clemson’s lowest total of the season. They will now hit the road and try to put this thrashing behind them.
THIS WEEK: 1/20 at Georgia Tech, 1/23 at Florida State
24. DUKE BLUE DEVILS (5-3) | LW: 12
This is proving to be a difficult year for Duke. Their schedule has been littered with postponements and 3 defeats, while not featuring any quality wins. Maybe it’s the substantial loss of talent from last year’s team that is plaguing them. Maybe they can’t get into rhythm because of the postponements. Either way, this is not what Duke fans are used to seeing. After falling to #23 Virginia Tech, Duke will have another week off before getting back into action. It’s hard to say if this is a bad thing or a good one. On one hand it gives them time to reset and gather their composure, but on the other hand maybe the long hiatuses are to blame for their lack of rhythm.
THIS WEEK: 1/19 at Pittsburgh, 1/23 at Louisville
25. OREGON DUCKS (9-2) | LW: 25
The Ducks faced more postponements this week. It just so happens that these postponements coincide with the Ducks “bye week”, meaning they won’t be back in action until Saturday at the earliest.