POWER 16: Feb. 11 Edition

Finally, some stability at the top of my ballot for the first time since I started this endeavor.

The bottom, of course, is full of the usual volatility.

  1. Kansas Jayhawks
  2. Syracuse Orange
  3. Kentucky Wildcats (+1)
  4. Villanova Wildcats (-1)
  5. Purdue Boilermakers (+2)
  6. BYU Cougars (-1)
  7. New Mexico Lobos (+2)
  8. Duke Blue Devils (+2)
  9. West Virginia Mountaineers (-3)
  10. Kansas St. Wildcats (+1)
  11. Butler Bulldogs (+5)
  12. Gonzaga Bulldogs (NR)
  13. Georgetown Hoyas (NR)
  14. Texas Longhorns (-6)
  15. Tennessee Volunteers (-1)
  16. Baylor Bears (-1)

The top two remain unchanged, but Nos. 3 and 4 performed a Wildcat flip-flop due to Villanova getting snowed under — literally and figuratively — in Washington, D.C.

Purdue leapfrogged BYU due to the impressive nature of its win at the Breslin Center, while New Mexico inched its way upward after making up for its home loss to UNLV on the Runnin' Rebels' home court. In fact, the Lobos currently have the tiebreaker on the Cougars for the conference championship. Both teams' resumes virtually are identical.

As much as I hope that they lose so we can move up, Duke just keeps winning, so it also keeps advancing. West Virginia suffered an ugly home loss to the aforementioned Villanova Wildcats, and thus slid a little, but will have a chance to avenge that loss later this year. K-State rounded out my Top 10, with the potential for more upward movement in the weeks to come, as other teams continue to lose to better competition.

After that, it got tricky. Although Butler already clinched its conference, the Bulldogs moved up not because of anything they did, but because everyone around them kept losing. That phenomenon also allowed Gonzaga and Georgetown to rejoin our illustrious ranks.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Texas had a really bad week. One more loss and the Longhorns probably are gonzo for good, but they clung to life this week on the strength of a non-conference schedule that seems like a distant, foggy memory.

Tennessee and Baylor rounded out the Power 16, even though both lost road games this week — the former in ugly fashion. I reward overall performance, which is why you don't see any member of the Big Ten six-loss trio — Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin — here this week.

The Spartans and Vanderbilt dropped out. Until Kalin Lucas is 100 percent, I don't know if you'll see the former back in this thing any time soon.

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