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ESPN updates college power rankings with new No. 1 and No. 2

Sam Gillenwater01/24/23
Article written by:On3 imageSam Gillenwater


Alabama F Brandon Miller, Purdue C Zach Edey
Brandon Sumrall & Justin Casterline | Getty Images

As we come down the stretch of January, college basketball just wrapped up another jam-packed week. Now, ESPN’s updated power rankings reflect what went down with a new pair of teams atop their list.

In Jeff Borzello’s ranking, he had to choose between Alabama and Purdue as his new No. 1 team following Houston’s upset loss at home to Temple. With them having won eight straight by an average of 20.9 points per game, he leaned with the Tide as they jumped from No. 4 to the top spot.

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (+3)
  2. Purdue Boilermakers (+1)
  3. Houston Cougars (-2)
  4. Tennessee Volunteers (+4)
  5. Kansas State Wildcats (+10)
  6. Kansas Jayhawks (-4)
  7. Arizona Wildcats (+5)
  8. UCLA Bruins (-3)
  9. Virginia Cavaliers (+5)
  10. Iowa State Cyclones (+1)
  11. TCU Horned Frogs (+2)
  12. Texas Longhorns (-2)
  13. Xavier Musketeers (-7)
  14. Marquette Golden Eagles (+2)
  15. Gonzaga Bulldogs (-8)
  16. Baylor Bears (Up from Unranked)

Borzello had a lot to break down at ESPN between the Tide and the Boilermakers. While Alabama led the debate in metrics and Purdue made its case with their schedule, he ultimately went with the dominance that Alabama has put on display since their last loss to Gonzaga.

Several other teams had big weeks too. Kansas State would be at the forefront of that conversation after jumping 10 spots in Borzello’s rankings and to fifth in the AP Poll after a pair of wins over Kansas and Texas Tech. Tennessee, Arizona, and Virginia were the other biggest jumpers with a trio of impressive 2-0 weeks.

If teams come in, that also means other teams are falling off. As for the biggest drop for ESPN, that belongs to ‘Zags as they fell from No. 7 to No. 15 after losing at home to Loyola Marymount. Xavier, Kansas, and Texas weren’t far behind the Bulldogs, though, with a loss to DePaul for the Musketeers, a loss to Iowa State for the Longhorns, and an 0-3 skid for the Jayhawks.

Connecticut, Auburn, and Saint Mary’s just missed the cut on this edition of ESPN’s power rankings. However, these standings will very likely look different again next week with how this season is playing out.