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Sylvester’s Rankings – Playing Darts

Sylvester’s Rankings: At this point, is college basketball anything more than playing darts?

Saturday was filled with thrilling finishes, but Sunday turned the college basketball world upside down. Duke, Wisconsin, and Arizona all fell, joining Texas as top-10 teams to fall this week. That also means Today’s Fastbreak’s Upset Alert only needs a Notre Dame loss to Georgia Tech this week to get to 4 out of 4 for the third time this season.

Here’s how the rankings look after a crazy week 10. It’s mostly just darts at the wall at this point, right?

25. Dayton

The Flyers are 13-2 with two quality losses to Connecticut and Arkansas. Could they be a surprise Elite Eight team again this year?

24. Ohio State

Ohio State can’t make up it’s mind on defense and isn’t playing to potential on offense. The loss to Indiana displayed that confusion on both sides.

23. Michigan State

If you hadn’t heard of Travis Trice before this weekend, his 25 points in a comeback win over Iowa is just the beginning of what he can do for this team.

22. Baylor

The Bears are 1-2 in the vaunted Big 12, and it doesn’t get any easier from here. Iowa State and Kansas State await this week.

21. Texas

The Longhorns will be better for it in the long run, but the return of Isaiah Taylor has taken the focus away from Jonathan Holmes down low. That has to change quickly.

 

20. Arkansas

Arkansas is back in the top-15 with seven-straight wins. For the time being, the Razorbacks look like the second-best the SEC has to offer.

19. Northern Iowa

The Panthers are the mid-major that isn’t getting much press this season, but they keep winning and have a dominant defense. Second-weekend Cinderella much?

18. West Virginia

West Virginia fell to Iowa State on Saturday, but it was still an impressive performance. If the Mountaineers can consistently force 18 turnovers like it did against the Cyclones, the Big 12 is in trouble.

17. Wichita State

The Shockers likely won’t earn a one seed in this year’s tournament, but they may be just as dangerous. Fred VanVleet has the game and experience to make noise in March.

16. Virginia Commonwealth

The Rams are trending upward again under Shaka Smart. The scariest part? This offense may be the best he’s had yet.

15. Maryland

A road loss to Illinois bumps the Terrapins down a few spots, but they’re still the second-best team in the Big 10. Michigan State will try to change that when they meet on Saturday.

14. Oklahoma 

What to make of the Sooners? It’s been a season-long question, and this week only furthered the same dialogue with a win over Texas and a loss to Kansas State.

13. Iowa State

It’s show-me week in the Big 12 for the Cyclones. Sweeping Baylor on the road and Kansas at home could define the conference race.

12. North Carolina

It was a heart-stopping week for the Tar Heel faithful. A one-point loss at home to Notre Dame was followed up by a one-point victory over Louisville on a late Marcus Paige layup.

11. Kansas

Amid all the talk of a wide-open Big 12, Kansas remains at the top. The Jayhawks don’t have a low-post scorer, so Bill Self may have to swallow his system for a season and set his trigger-happy guards free.

10. Notre Dame

It was a strong week for the Irish, which beat UNC on the road and took UVA to the wire at home. Now they go to Georgia Tech in what appears to be a classic trap game. You know what Upset Alert thinks.

9. Utah

If Delon Wright isn’t a legitimate Wooden Award candidate now, a win for the Utes over Arizona this weekend would put him and Utah in the center of the national spotlight.

8. Louisville

Louisville narrowly lost to UNC this week but looked much better than it had in close wins over Wake Forest and Clemson heading into the game.

7. Arizona

The Oregon Trail bit the Wildcats just before it could escape as Oregon State got the upset. The Wildcats are far from dead, though, and a win over Utah would put them right back on track.

6. Wisconsin

Is Wisconsin vulnerable without Frank Kaminsky in the lineup? The loss to Rutgers on Sunday answered with a resounding yes.

5. Villanova

The Wildcats are a model of consistency this season. They score from everywhere on the court and have made a daunting Big East look tame so far.

4. Gonzaga

The Zags are well on their way to running through the rest of the regular season unscathed. That would likely mean a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance.

3. Duke

For the first time Sunday, Duke’s freshmen looked like…freshmen. They became one dimensional on offense by focusing only on Okafor, and the defense couldn’t bail them out to get the win.

2. Virginia

Another week, another series of teams unable to crack the Virginia defense. Take a look at the top two teams here. Who says defense doesn’t win games?

1. Kentucky

It wasn’t pretty, but the Wildcats used three overtimes this week to get two wins and stay undefeated. Will it finally be enough to wake Kentucky up?

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