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Power Rankings: Purdue in command, Illinois quietly heating up

On this Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, it is time to make a proclamation: The Purdue Boilermakers give the Big Ten its strongest alternative in a while to win the league’s first nationwide championship since Michigan State in 2000.

Why is that this the case?

The Boilers have a generational huge man in Zach Edey — the clear-cut front-runner for nationwide participant of the 12 months — a core of perimeter shooters that opens up a special dimension, and a top-20 protection.

At 21-1 total after Sunday’s 77-61 win over the Spartans, Purdue deserves the utmost respect for its document in a convention that would ship 9 groups to the NCAA Tournament, and a sport that offered absolute chaos once more this previous weekend. 

Seriously, I’m asking the query: Who’s actually nice in this sport this season?

I nonetheless imagine in Alabama, however seeing the Tide lose by 24 at Oklahoma on Saturday placed on show that parity guidelines nationally.

That’s why what Purdue has achieved is so extremely spectacular, and let’s make it clear: We are watching historical past from Edey.

Zach Edey is a powerhouse

Purdue Zach Edey went beast mode in main a 75-70 victory over Michigan final week.

The following info comes courtesy of Purdue athletics: Based on a 35-game season, Edey is on tempo for 775 factors, 453 rebounds and 77 blocked pictures. The solely participant we are able to discover in the sports-reference database to have at the very least 750 factors, 450 rebounds and 75 blocked pictures in a season is Navy’s David Robinson in 1986 (796-455-207).

If you requested 10 totally different coaches the best way to defend Edey, they’d give 10 totally different solutions. It’s fairly hysterical that the 7-foot-4 tower from Ontario was only a three-star recruit out of highschool. Every time he is in motion, it is appointment viewing. It will probably be fascinating to see simply how far Edey can take the Boilers on the dance ground. If Fletcher Loyer, Braden Smith & Co. are drilling 3s, the Boilermakers may discover themselves reducing down the nets in Houston.

With that, this is an up to date prime 15. 

1. Purdue (21-1)

The Boilermakers accomplished the season sweep over Michigan State on Sunday with a commanding 16-point win at Mackey Arena. Not solely does Purdue have the perfect participant in the game, however the Boilers have held 23 consecutive opponents underneath 70 factors. Purdue was 93rd in KenPom adjusted defensive effectivity a 12 months in the past. This 12 months? The Boilers rank seventeenth.

2. Houston (20-2) 

The Cougars responded to the loss to Temple with a 2-0 week behind Jarace Walker. The five-star freshman ahead adopted up a 17-point efficiency in opposition to UCF on Wednesday with a career-high 25 in Saturday’s win over Cincinnati. The Cougars are the one workforce in the nation to rank in the highest eight in offensive and defensive effectivity, and Walker opens up an entire totally different dimension that takes stress off Marcus Sasser to must always lead.

3. Virginia (16-3)

Amid chaos throughout the nation, the Cavaliers have misplaced only one time in the final 40 days. Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin every had 18 factors in Saturday’s 19-point win over Boston College.

4. Alabama (18-3)

I nonetheless love this Alabama workforce, and generally it simply is not your day. After successful 9 straight, nothing went proper for the Crimson Tide in Saturday’s 93-69 nightmare efficiency at Oklahoma. Credit to Porter Moser and the Sooners, who held Brandon Miller to simply 4-of-14 from the ground. One big-picture concern for Alabama is its over-reliance on tempo and 3-point capturing. 

5. Arizona (19-3)

The Wildcats have righted the ship with 4 consecutive wins, two of which have come over UCLA, and a USC workforce that simply beat the Bruins this previous week. Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo mixed for 46 factors and 22 rebounds in a 23-point drubbing of Washington on Saturday.

Azuolas Tubelis drops 25 factors on Washington

Arizona ahead Azuolas Tubelis carried the Wildcats to a commanding 95-72 victory over Washington on Saturday.

6. Tennessee (18-3)

Olivier Nkamhoua is likely one of the hardest gamers in the nation and embodies what Tennessee basketball is all about. He had a career-high 27 factors on 12-of-15 from the sector, to associate with eight rebounds and three assists, because the Volunteers took down Texas on Saturday, 82-71.

7. Kansas State (18-3)

Markquis Nowell is correct up there with the perfect guards in America. His line in Saturday’s 64-50 win over Florida: 13 factors, 9 rebounds, eight assists. The Wildcats’ rematch with Kansas comes on Tuesday evening at Allen Fieldhouse.

8. Texas (17-4)

There’s no disgrace in dropping in Knoxville this season, though the Longhorns obtained uncovered inside in the defeat. I believe they’re going to bounce again on Monday evening after they host Baylor. Marcus Carr and Tyrese Hunter can negate the Bears backcourt. 

9. Marquette (17-5)

The Golden Eagles have essentially the most environment friendly offense in faculty basketball and are 8-1 in their final 9 video games, with the one loss coming by simply 4 factors at Xavier. The cause for his or her success? It begins with excellent level guard play. Tyler Kolek is second in the nation with 175 assists and has turned it over simply 52 occasions. Marquette can completely win the Big East regular-season title.

Tyler Kolek dominates DePaul

Marquette’s Tyler Kolek scored 24 factors in a straightforward win over DePaul.

10. UCLA (17-4)

The Bruins received 14 consecutive video games earlier than dropping back-to-back matchups. That certain sums up faculty hoops. The Bruins dropped a 77-64 determination to USC this previous Thursday. Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson are one of many Pac-12’s greatest duos and performed prefer it in the win, with Ellis going off for 31 factors and 6 assists whereas Pederson had 16. It marked an enormous win for the Trojans, who’re proper on the bubble.

11. Baylor (16-5)

The Bears have figured issues out, successful six straight. Keyonte George and LJ Cryer mixed for 44 factors in Saturday’s 67-64 win over Arkansas. A victory over Kansas is what catapults the Bears into the highest 10 in the intervening time. 

12. Kansas (17-4)

History stayed intact for the Jayhawks, who nonetheless have by no means misplaced 4 consecutive video games underneath Bill Self after a 77-68 win at Kentucky on Saturday evening. Jalen Wilson led the way in which with 22 factors and eight rebounds, whereas X-factor KJ Adams Jr. went for 17 factors and Kevin McCullar had a double-double. 

13. Iowa State (15-5)

The flaws got here out for the Cyclones on Saturday. TJ Otzelberger’s workforce was off its A-game, turning the ball over 19 occasions and going 3-for-8 from the free-throw line in a 78-61 loss to Missouri. To beat an elite protection like Iowa State’s, you want perimeter capturing, and Dennis Gates’ Tigers shot 14-for-30 from downtown. 

14. Xavier (17-5)

As nice as Souley Boum was in the Musketeers’ win at UConn on Wednesday with 21 factors, he was noticeably quiet in Saturday’s 84-67 loss to Creighton. Boum scored two factors, going 1-for-5 from the ground. The Musketeers are nonetheless tied for first in the Big East at 9-2 and host Providence on Wednesday (6:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app). 

Souley Boum reveals his may vs. UConn

Xavier’s Souley Boum scored 21 factors in a victory over UConn final week.

15. Illinois (15-6)

This could shock some people, however this is why the Illini return to my prime 15 for the primary time in a number of weeks: Illinois has received six of its final seven video games, successful these six contests by at the very least 9 factors every and struggling the one loss to an Indiana workforce that is itself on a five-game successful streak.

The Illini are one in all simply six groups in the nation with a number of wins over KenPom top-10 groups, having crushed UCLA and Texas this season. Matthew Mayer went off in the second half of Saturday’s 61-51 win at Wisconsin, scoring 18 of his career-best 26 factors in the ultimate body.

John Fanta is a nationwide faculty basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports. He covers the game in quite a lot of capacities, from calling video games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to offering commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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