Every Monday, we will be releasing our updated college basketball rankings, with headlines from power conference teams.
- Two ranked teams received some serious tests at home to begin Week 12 against other ranked teams. Michigan State held down the Breslin Center, easily handling Maryland, and North Carolina defended the Dean Smith Center with a blow-out win over Virginia Tech, scoring 103 points on the night.
- Kansas got revenge at home over Iowa State, who embarrassed the Jayhawks in Ames earlier this season.
- Kentucky had no problem beating and sending Mississippi State out of the rankings with a 21-point victory.
- Michigan did not do a good job bouncing back from their first loss of the year, but they were able to beat Minnesota with a Charles Matthews buzzer-beating jumper. The Golden Gophers played really well in the loss and they look like an NCAA Tournament team to me.
- #1 Tennessee received a major scare at Vandy, when they went to overtime with the Commodores. The reason the Vols pulled it off was a career game from Grant Williams, who scored 43 points and had the best free throw shooting performance (23-23) by a college player in six decades, according to CBS Sports.
- Louisville kept rolling and they held down the KFC Yum Center, sending NC State out of the top 25. NC State bounced back, and they used a deep three at the buzzer from Braxton Beverley to beat Clemson.
- Maryland, following their loss to Michigan State, was shockingly upset at home by Illinois, who is one of the worst teams in the Big Ten.
- Virginia Tech put on a show at home, ending Syracuse’s win streak with a 78-56 win.
- In a crucial SEC game, Mississippi State defeated Auburn, which may send the Tigers out of the rankings.
- Purdue exposed Michigan State in the first half of their game Sunday. The Spartans erased a 22-point deficit in an incredible effort, but still suffered a 10-point loss to the Boilermakers.
- Lastly to end Week 12, I get that Villanova lost to Furman and Penn and got ran out of their own gym by Michigan, but the Wildcats are now on an eight-game win streak, they are undefeated in Big East play, and I believe they are a top-10 team once again after watching them pick apart Seton Hall in a massive blow-out win.
- Nebraska suffered a loss that will hurt, as they lost to Rutgers on the road just like Ohio State did earlier in the year. In Nebraska’s next game, Ohio State finally snapped their losing streak, winning in Lincoln and sending the Cornhuskers to the bubble.
- Notre Dame’s NCAA Tournament chances keep diminishing, as they were not able to win a much-needed game over Georgia Tech.
- Wednesday Night of Week 12 may turn out to be the night that confirmed that only one A10 team would be going to the NCAA Tournament. The top of the conference is now even more neck and neck than before, as middle of the pack teams beat the top three. George Mason beat Dayton, Rhode Island beat VCU and Duquesne beat St. Louis, leaving a four-way tie for first place. In the A10 on Saturday, VCU beat Duquesne and Davidson beat St. Louis, both away from home, which shakes up the conference even more.
- Temple stays alive on the bubble by beating Memphis. They basically set in stone that only four teams out of the AAC will be considered for the NCAA Tournament: Houston, Cincy, UCF, and the Owls. However, Memphis may still be alive by beating UCF soundly at home, leaving Houston and Cincy on top of the conference alone.
- Arizona made it even harder for them to be considered for the Big Dance, by putting up an awful effort on the road, losing to USC 80-57 and UCLA 90-69.
- In the PAC 12 on Saturday, Washington now has a two-game lead in the conference because of Arizona State’s loss to USC. Washington looks like the only team that should be in the NCAA Tourney right now out of the conference.
- St. Johns suffered a tough loss at home to Georgetown, which hurts the Red Storm and the Big East in terms of the NCAA Tournament.
Big 12/SEC Challenge
On Saturday, the Big 12 and SEC took a break from conference play for a fantastic competition between the two conferences.
- In a massive bubble game to start it off, Baylor won at home over Alabama in a great game.
- Iowa State looked impressive and Ole Miss is starting to come back down to earth after their hot streak, as the Cyclones beat the Rebels 87-73.
- TCU played a very intriguing game with the Florida Gators and were able to defend their home court, winning 55-50.
- Texas is in serious trouble right now, and it got even worse as they fell to Georgia.
- Kansas State may have been the hottest team in the Big 12 coming into this challenge, but when they met Texas A&M in College Station, the momentum was crushed as they lost by 12.
- Oklahoma State won at home, defeating South Carolina, who has been surprisingly good in the SEC.
- Oklahoma absolutely dismantles Vandy, who nearly upset #1 Tennessee this week, Sooners 86 Commodores 55.
- Texas Tech got back on track with a nice win over Arkansas at home.
- Tennessee took care of business and had no trouble with West Virginia.
- In the game of the week and the game of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Kentucky looked fantastic at home in a win over Kansas, which gets Big Blue Nation back into national championship contender talk and leaves the Jayhawks with questions.
- Big 12 wins the challenge 6-4.
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