This week the rest of the early season tournaments got started and all wrapped up. Feast Week definitely didn’t disappoint. North Carolina proved they shouldn’t be overlooked as they stormed to a Maui Invitational title and Baylor proved they’re a force to be reckoned with and could challenge Kansas at the top of the Big 12.

In my opinion the conferences that proved the most this week were the Big East and the SEC. The Big East seems to have 5 teams at the top that could be serious top 25 candidates all season long. The SEC, while still a ways away, showed that it has some contenders other than Kentucky. South Carolina got big wins over Michigan and Syracuse, Florida and Texas A&M had good performances in the Advocare Invitational and Wooden Legacy, while Auburn got an upset win over Texas Tech in the Cancun Challenge early in the week.

1. Kentucky Wildcats

Speaking of the SEC, the kings of the conference, the Kentucky Wildcats are still my top team in the country. The Wildcats didn’t have any big games this week, but Malik Monk and crew continued to put on a show to remain unbeaten.

2. Villanova Wildcats

After winning the Charleston Classic last week, Villanova only had a single game this week. In their only game the Wildcats held College of Charleston to just 47 points to remain undefeated and atop my rankings with their fellow wildcats.

3. North Carolina Tarheels

Honestly, this week it was practically a tie for the top spot in my rankings. North Carolina proved their dominance on the way to a Maui Invitational championship with wins over Oklahoma State and Wisconsin. The Tarheels can clearly challenge Duke in the ACC and will get their shot at Kentucky in just a few weeks.

4. Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks didn’t want to miss out on the fun of winning early season tournaments, so Frank Mason led Kansas to wins over UAB and Georgia to capture the CBE Hall of Fame classic in the Jayhawks own backyard.

5. Duke Blue Devils

There’s still no set return for the three freshmen stars for the Blue Devils, but they still hang on to just their one loss to Kansas and it’s clear that even a shorthanded Duke is better than almost every other team in the country.

6. Xavier Musketeers

The second of four undefeated Big East teams, the Musketeers just had to get by a rematch with Northern Iowa. This time Xavier didn’t struggle and it wasn’t close as they handled business on their home court.

7. Virginia Cavaliers

Last week I dropped Virginia slightly with the news of Austin Nichols being dismissed from the program. It was my mistake, as clearly Nichols didn’t affect the defensive dominance of Tony Bennett’s squad. The Cavaliers gave up just an average of 42 points in their three wins this week and continue to enforce their style of play on any team they face.

8. Baylor Bears

Frankly the Bears should have been on the verge of my top 25 last week, but after an incredible showing by Johnathan Motley and the rest of the team in the Battle 4 Atlantis, Baylor jumps all the way into the top 10. Wins over VCU, Michigan State, and an impressive comeback over Louisville were good enough to warrant the big jump.

9. Saint Mary’s Gaels

It’s a shame the Gaels don’t get to play on major networks more often, but their extremely efficient offense continued to get the job done. Saint Mary’s has a big test this week as they travel to play Stanford on the road. If the Gaels can stay undefeated, you’ll probably start to see other people add them to their top 10 teams.

10. UCLA Bruins

Finally, after a long wait, I got the chance to witness Lonzo Ball and UCLA play for a few full games. The Bruins once again have one of the most explosive offenses in the country and the defense isn’t as bad as years past (yet). Texas A&M and Nebraska both forced UCLA to play a slower style of play but the Bruins still managed to pull out two impressive wins on their way to the Wooden Legacy title.

11. Gonzaga Bulldogs

12. Creighton Bluejays

13. Purdue Boilermakers

14. Louisville Cardinals

15. Iowa State Cyclones

16. Wisconsin Badgers

17. Butler Bulldogs

18. Arizona Wildcats

19. South Carolina Gamecocks

20. Indiana Hoosiers

21. Oregon Ducks

22. Syracuse Orange

23. USC Trojans

24. Florida Gators

25. Maryland Terrapins

Next Five:
  • Rhode Island Rams
  • Michigan State Spartans
  • West Virginia Mountaineers
  • Ohio State Buckeyes
  • Michigan Wolverines

While the top has shuffled slightly, the real challenge this week was filling in the final 10 spots with 20-30 teams that could fill them. As teams start to get their first losses, the resumes really start to matter more. This week we’ll see the Big 10 and ACC face off which should paint a good picture of how dominant the ACC could be this season.