Badger Nation's Power 12

What college basketball teams are rising and which ones are falling? Who's destined for a top seed and which teams are dropping off the radar? Badger Nation brings in the local experts to offer their opinions in a weekly series.

With conference basketball season starting to heat up, Badger Nation brings back its weekly edition of bringing in Madison's college basketball beat writers to debate who are the best 12 teams in college basketball.

This week's edition features WSUM Sports Director Adam Hoge, Janesville Gazette hoops beat writer Aaron Brenner, Badger Nation Hoops Reporter Eric C. Krueger, Publisher Benjamin Worgull and Badgermaniac.

Badger Nation's Power 12

1. Memphis (57 points)

2. Duke (56)

3. Tennessee (52)

4. Kansas (43)

5. North Carolina (38)

6. UCLA (35)

7. Texas (30)

8. Georgetown (24)

9. Purdue (15)

10. Connecticut (9)

T-11 Stanford, Wisconsin

Also Receiving Votes: Butler (6), Xavier (6), Louisville (2), Vanderbilt (2) and Drake (1).

View Last Week's Poll

Adam Hoge, WSUM

1. Duke

2. Memphis

3. Tennessee

4. North Carolina

5. Kansas

6. UCLA

7. Georgetown

8. Texas

9. Wisconsin

10. Butler

11. Stanford

12. Purdue

After the top three teams, every team in these rankings either suffered a loss or were pushed to the brink of a loss since we did the Power 12 last week.

Kansas, UCLA, Georgetown, Wisconsin and Stanford all lost, while North Carolina nearly lost twice (winning both games by slim margins) and Butler nearly lost to UW-Milwaukee. That leaves a confusing scenario in the middle.

Tennessee had a very solid week and jumps past North Carolina, while Texas is also a big mover after holding off Kansas earlier this week. Wisconsin hangs around at No. 9 after its big win at Indiana, while Stanford falls to No. 11 after losing to Arizona State.

And I will be the first to say, "Your welcome" to Matt Painter's Boilermakers who still remain vastly overrated even after topping Wisconsin twice and holding serve at home against Michigan State. They are good enough to be in these rankings. Can they steal at win at Indiana Tuesday? With all the distractions in Hoosier Country, it will be an opportunity to possibly seal up their Big Ten title.

Aaron Brenner, Janesville Gazette

1. Memphis

2. Duke

3. Tennessee

4. Kansas

5. North Carolina

6. UCLA

7. Purdue

8. Texas

9. Georgetown

10. Butler

11. Xavier

12. Stanford

With all the "upsets" - if they can be called that - going on in college basketball, Memphis no longer has my doubts. Conference USA or no Conference USA, it's amazing that the Tigers are still undefeated, with the increasing parity in college basketball. Duke still looks very good too, though, and the Vols have entered the upper echelon.

Kansas doesn't get punished too much for a loss at rival Texas, who is becoming one of my favorite teams that nobody wants to play in the NCAA tourney - even if they're just a three seed. You'll notice the Boilermakers have come out of nowhere to take the seventh spot ... any Badger fans out there dare to disagree?

Georgetown moves down a notch after losing at Louisville and simply getting handed that win against Villanova (let 'em play, ref!). The twins that nobody's heard of - Butler and Xavier - saddle up together at 10 and 11, and I reluctantly place the Cardinal in my final spot. I watched Stanford choke away that game last night at Arizona State - can anybody in the Pac-10 shoot free throws? It's called arc, people - but I'd really feel better about the Badgers if they never had to play Purdue ever again.

Eric C. Krueger, Badger Nation

1. Memphis

2. Duke

3. Tennessee

4. Texas

5. Kansas

6. UCLA

7. Georgetown

8. North Carolina

9. Purdue

10. Stanford

11. Louisville

12. Wisconsin

UNC's guards are dropping like flies and Ty Lawson can't come back soon enough for the Tarheels. In the three games he has missed, they have lost to archrival Duke, needed two overtimes to beat Clemson, and barely squeaked out a win against sub-500 Virginia.

Purdue just keeps raising the bar higher and higher. After finishing off a season sweep of Wisconsin, Robbie Hummel and company avenged an earlier loss to Michigan State in a game that wasn't really as close as the score indicated. The Big Ten regular season crown is now theirs to lose; let's see how the youngsters can finish.

Louisville is finally playing the caliber of ball many expected them to be playing before the season started. In their past four games, they are 4-0 with an average margin of victory of nearly 20 points.

Benjamin Worgull, Badger Nation

1. Duke

2. Tennessee

3. Memphis

4. Kansas

5. North Carolina

6. UCLA

7. Connecticut

8. Texas

9. Purdue

10. Georgetown

11. Wisconsin

12. Drake

Who is going to stop Krzyzewski and Sons? Duke is running rampant through the ACC, much like Tennessee is through the SEC and Memphis through Conference USA. All three teams are playing solid basketball - Duke winning 12 in a row, Tennessee 17 of 18 and Memphis still undefeated through a week conference schedule, which is why the February 23 between the Volunteers and Tigers is going to show a lot about both clubs.

Kansas losing a tough road games at Texas isn't as bad as UCLA bad loss at Washington in terms of the RPI and seeding, but both teams need to figure out a way to win on the road. Perhaps they should contact the Boilermakers, who put a dent into the invincibility of the Kohl Center and control their own Big Ten destiny.

UCONN has won eight straight and as well as anybody, especially with a real young team, Wisconsin stole a big road win at Indiana and my last spot (gulp) will go to mid-major Drake. At 22-2 and 13-1 in the Missouri Valley, its only conference loss was at Southern Illinois, where SIU in 87-5 over the last seven years (the absolute best home winning percentage in the country over that time frame).

BadgerManiac

1. Memphis

2. Tennessee

3. Duke

4. Kansas

5. North Carolina

6. UCLA

7. Texas

8. Georgetown

9. Xavier

10. UConn

11. Vanderbilt

12. Stanford

Memphis stays in the top spot with Vols jumping into the two spot. Duke continues their strong play and also moves up to replace Kansas in the top three.

Georgetown won twice but still dropped thanks to Texas knocking off KU and also thanks to the disputed GT win due to the shaky call at the end of the game.

Xaver had a couple of scares, but wins are still wins and they hold firm at #9.

UConn continued their hot streak with a pair of wins over Notre Dame and GT.

Vandy makes their first appearance in my top 12 after destroying a decent Kentucky team.

For the final spot in the top 12, it comes down to MSU, Wisconsin, Stanford, and Drake. All four lost this week so we defer to overall strength of resume, and that falls to Stanford despite their loss on Valentine's Day.

And what about Purdue which knocked off both MSU and Wisconsin? Well, they are certainly on the rise, but their SOS is still lacking and they have two really bad losses on their resume (Iowa State and Wofford).


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