Men’s College Basketball Power Rankings: Week 15 (2021-22)

Feb 16, 2022 - 12:52 AM

With college basketball in full swing, I will be writing a weekly power rankings article to get you up to speed on the risers and fallers of the week, along with any other important storylines to be aware of. 

What an eventful week it was in the college basketball landscape. You had seemingly every top-25 team suffer a loss this week, making rankings challenging to determine. With Selection Sunday less than a month away, we are seeing most teams take their final form. While some teams can obviously make adjustments still, if they haven’t been able to since the season started in November, I do not know if they will be able to with fewer than 10 games remaining. Right now, Gonzaga and Kentucky are in my sole Tier 1 for tournament champion-worthy teams. Beyond that, there are about 20 teams in tier Tier 2. We have the top-16 seed release this weekend which will determine how accurate bracketologists are. This reminds me to check out my bracketology articles that will be coming out more frequently as we inch closer and closer to the tournament. 

When I write these college basketball rankings, I write them based on how teams are in the moment, rather than based on where I expect them to be come March. I will mention my anticipation of future positive or negative regression, but the rankings themselves simply express teams’ rankings to date. Let’s take a look at rankings. 

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College Basketball Power Rankings: Week 15

Dropped from Rankings: Saint Mary’s

Next Up: Alabama

Movers & Shakers

With Auburn finally taking their second loss, Gonzaga finds itself number one overall. I would be shocked to see Gonzaga fall from that spot for the remainder of the season, and I have to imagine they are the favorite to earn number one overall seed for the tournament. Not only did Houston lose back-to-back games but it’s the first time they’ve lost back-to-back games since 2017. The loss of Marcus Sasser is finally showing itself on this team, and I can’t see them reaching anything better than a four-seed in March.

Tennessee continues to move up the totem pole after winning four straight. They face an elite Kentucky squad tonight in Thompson Boling Arena and it's a projected toss-up from most metrics. A win over the Wildcats would cement Tennessee into some pretty serious Final Four discussion, a place they were not at less than a month ago. Michigan State to me is the fakest top-25 team out there, and I see them as a prime early-upset pick depending on who they play the first round.             


Alabama is in a fascinating spot with some impressive wins and some ridiculous losses. They are next-up for me but I have to see them playing consistently before ranking them in the top-25. They face a formidable bubble foe in Mississippi State, who this Bama squad has already fallen to earlier.

And-One Focus

I figured to give a focus on a team each week outside of the top-25 that still could very well hold an argument to not only be ranked but to be on everyone’s radar come tourney time. This week’s focus: Memphis.

I usually like to focus on teams that are more-or-less locks to be in the tournament, but Memphis is far from it. Despite ranking 39th in KenPom, they are ranked second for games played in the month of February. Albeit a small sample size, that speaks to how this Tigers team has turned it around after facing issues and injuries to their squad throughout the season so far. A five-game win streak was recently highlighted by a road victory over a top-10 Houston. Landers Nolley and Jalen Duren have been playing well recently, and this team runs deep, playing up to 10 players with consistent minutes in any given game. It will be interesting to see if Penny Hardaway and Co. can ride this wave to more wins and a tournament bid. If they do, watch out, because they could be the hottest team in the tournament when the bracket is released.

COVID-19 and Injuries

While there is absolutely light at the end of the tunnel with fewer teams needing to go on pause due to covid, it is still imperative to remember the impact the pandemic and injuries had on teams during the season. I am going to include this reminder in each one of my power rankings from here out, as a reminder that some teams' losses in December do not equate to how they will perform in March, for countless reasons. 

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