Week 8 NCAA basketball rankings for the 2015-16 season. Michigan State is no longer atop the Power 32, and the Xavier Musketeers have made significant strides.
The holiday season was kind to a few teams, with just a touch of basketball action going down, but someone never relayed that message to Oklahoma. The Sooners stood up three more opponents and knocked them all down for three more wins to stay unbeaten.
Kentucky flexed its muscles by taking down Louisville in another fiery chapter of the rivalry — in spite of a late surge from the Cardinals.
Without Denzel Valentine, Michigan State nearly lost its perfect record against Oakland, but the Spartans found a way to pull out yet another win in overtime, 99-93.
Power 32 NCAA Basketball Rankings
1. Oklahoma (11-0), RPI: .6532
You probably didn’t think you’d see a new No. 1, but the Sooners have been rolling behind Buddy Hield. He’s a scoring machine. Hield averaged 28.7 points per game in Oklahoma’s three wins this past week against Washington State, Hawaii and Harvard.
2. Michigan State (13-0), RPI: .6729
As long as Denzel Valentine is hurt, it’s hard to imagine the Spartans being the same team. They were given a run for their money by Oakland. Had it not been for 59 points combined between Bryn Forbes and Eron Harris, Michigan State might have taken its first loss.
3. Kansas (10-1), RPI: .6152
In their first road game of the season, the Jayhawks went to visit San Diego State and were led by Perry Ellis’ 20 points. Kansas beat the Aztecs, 70-57. Wayne Selden Jr, Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham also pitched in with double figures.
4. Maryland (11-1), RPI: .6146
The Terps had a nice break this past week, but they got back into action on Sunday going up against Marshall. Maryland took care of business at home with an 87-67 win. Robert Carter put up 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the way.
5. Xavier (12-0), RPI: .7166
The Musketeers are still finding a way to keep it going. In its first road game since beating Michigan a month ago, Xavier went up against Wake Forest and beat the Demon Deacons, 78-70, thanks to 21 points and nine rebounds from Edmond Sumner.
6. North Carolina (10-2), RPI: .6744
Brice Johnson was back at it again for the Tar Heels, putting up 22 points and nine rebounds against Appalachian State. UNC took its only game of the week, 94-70. Justin Jackson pitched in 12 points and 10 rebounds, too.
7. Arizona (12-1), RPI: .5872
Long Beach State gave up at least 40 points in both halves against Arizona, as the Wildcats took the 85-70 win in their only game of the week. Allonzo Trier went 3-of-5 from behind the arc and led the way with 20 points.
8. Virginia (10-1), RPI: .6445
The Cavaliers took a tiny step backward again. They were in a fight against California but still managed to pull out the 63-62 win at home in overtime. Anthony Gill led the way with 17 points as one of four Cavaliers who scored in double figures.
9. Butler (10-1), RPI: .6257
Taking on Southern Utah at home? No problem for the Bulldogs. Butler picked up its 10th win of the season, beating the Thunderbirds, 88-52. Kellen Dunham went dry from the field, netting just five points and going 0-of-7 from three, but a win’s a win. Roosevelt Jones’s double double made sure of that.
10. Providence (12-1), RPI: .6440
The Friars keep finding ways to win, but they probably weren’t worried about it going up against Massachusetts. Providence picked up its 12th win, 90-66. Ben Bentil absolutely went off with 32 points and 12 rebounds.
11. Kentucky (10-2), RPI: .6523
12. Iowa State (10-1), RPI: .6663
13. Miami (FL) (10-1), RPI: .6349
14. Villanova (9-2), RPI: .6745
15. Duke (9-2), RPI: .6226
16. Purdue (12-1), RPI: .6164
17. SMU (11-0), RPI: .6542
18. Louisville (11-2), RPI: .6223
19. West Virginia (10-1), RPI: .5886
20. Texas A&M (9-2), RPI: .6447
21. South Carolina (11-0), RPI: .6144
22. Utah (10-2), RPI: .6142
23. Baylor (9-2), RPI: .5342
24. George Washington (10-2), RPI: .6493
25. Oregon (10-2), RPI: .6319
26. Cincinnati (10-3), RPI: .5634
27. Dayton (9-2), RPI: .6489
28. USC (11-2), RPI: .6011
29. Pittsburgh (9-1), RPI: .6265
30. Kansas State (9-2), RPI: .5809
31. Syracuse (10-3), RPI: .5629
32. UCLA (9-4), RPI: .5728