Top 10 College Basketball Rankings - January 2022
Ranking the best NCAA Men’s college basketball teams of January 2022 as the Baylor Bears lead by James Akinjo, Adam Flagler, and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua take the #1 spot
The New Year has kicked off with a bang for many of the Top NCAA Men’s Basketball teams as the hunt for March Madness has begun. As teams begin to enter their Conference Basketball schedules, the excitement level has increased for the NCAA basketball programs as well as their fans, college basketball experts and analysts. As play begins during the second week of January 2022, the 2021-22 NCAA Basketball schedule has delivered a roller coaster ride start to the season.
From a rotation of top teams landing at number one to seeing some of the top teams fall out of the Top 10 even the Top 25. Nonetheless the 2021-22 NCAA season has produced a ton of excitement as the Top 10 NCAA BB Men’s Teams continue to solidify themselves among the rest of the top teams. A list that now includes the likes of Baylor, Gonzaga, UCLA, Auburn and USC all within the Top 5on the latest AP Men's Top 25 College Basketball Rankings.
With that said, here is our list of the Top 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball Rankings:
Michigan State Spartans
One thing is for certain and that is the Michigan State Spartans are a team to watch year in and year out as long as head coach Tom Izzo is running the program. The same can be said for the Spartans this year as the team has gotten off to a 13-2 start including picking up back to back wins within the Big Ten against Northwestern Wildcats and the Nebraska Cornhuskers before having their January 8th, 2022 showdown against the Michigan Wolverines postponed due to COVID-19.
Currently the Spartans are 4-0 to start the year within the Big Ten while winning eight straight games. In that year the team’s only two losses came against the Baylor Bears and Kansas Jayhawks who were both ranked in the Top 10 at the time of their loss.
A dark horse candidate to make the Top 10 is the Houston Cougars from the American Athletic Conference (AAC). The Cougars who have won six straight games have pushed their season record to 14-2 overall record. Their recent success has also helped the Cougars to win their first three contests within the AAC while taking home the top spot.
In addition to those wins, the Cougars have picked up key wins against Virginia, Butler, Oregon and Oklahoma State while their only two losses came against ranked teams in the Alabama Crimson Tide and Wisconsin Badgers. The big question moving forward for the Cougars is whether or not they can succeed with Marcus Sasser not on the floor. Sasser, who was leading the team averaging 17.7 per game, is out for the season.
Top 10 Men’s Basketball Rankings
10. Duke Blue Devils
The end is nearing for one of the greatest coaches in the history of College Basketball as Mike Kryzewski last year with the Duke Blue Devils is upon us. With that said, the Blue Devils are one team to watch this season and one that is loaded with a ton of talent built around the likes of Paolo Banchero and Wendell Moore Jr. The combination of Banchero and Moore has averaged 33.3 points a game to go with 13.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game.
After falling to Ohio State back on November 30th, 2021 the Blue Devils got hot winning five straight games including back to back wins within the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) before dropping a 76-74 contest to the Miami Hurricanes. The loss dropped the Blue Devils nearly out of the Top 10 leading into a tough stretch of games against Wake Forest and North Carolina State.
9. Kansas Jayhawks
Much like the Duke Blue Devils, the Kansas Jayhawks nearly fell out of the Top 10 Men’s BB Teams rankings after a disappointing 75-67 loss to 25th ranked Texas Tech on Saturday. The loss broke an eight game winning streak for the Jayhawks who responded well after losing to the Dayton Flyers back in November.
Nonetheless, this Jayhawks team is loaded with talent including senior guard Ochai Agbaji who is averaging 20.5 points a game to go with 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. Up next for the Jayhawks include a key Top 25 showdown with the Iowa State Cyclones before a weekend contest against West Virginia.
8. Purdue Boilermakers
After landing as the number one Men’s College Basketball team in the country, the Boilermakers fell to Rutgers in Early December before a tough 74-69 loss to a Wisconsin Badgers team that was ranked 23rd in the AP College Basketball rankings. On the year this Boilermakers team has key wins over top 25 programs including North Carolina and Villanova as well as key wins over programs such as North Carolina State, Florida State and Butler.
The Boilermakers depth is deep with four different players averaging at least 11 points per game on the year. The Boilermakers will have to wait till Friday to take on Nebraska after their January 11th contest against Michigan is postponed due to COVID-19.
7. LSU Tigers
Surprises are one of the biggest reasons fans love college basketball and that can be said about the LSU Tigers this season after starting the season winning 14 of their first 15 contests. After losing to number 11 Auburn on December 29th, 2021 the Tigers responded by knocking off back to back Top 25 programs.
Those wins came against the 16th ranked Kentucky Wildcats on January 4th, 2022 and the 18th ranked Tennessee Volunteers on January 8th, 2022. These two wins helped push the Tigers into our Top 10 Men’s BB teams list as well as within the AP Top 25. Up next for the Tigers include matchups against the Florida Gators and Arkansas Razorbacks.
6. Arizona Wildcats
It is hard to get an exact feel on how good this Arizona Wildcats team is this year after the team has had three contests postponed due to COVID-19 including two games against Top 10 ranked programs. Nonetheless the Wildcats have only one loss this season at the hands of the 19th ranked Tennessee Volunteers while picking up key wins against 4th ranked Michigan as well as wins over Illinois and Oregon State.
The Wildcats are led by sophomore guard Benedict Mathurin who is averaging 18.9 points a game to go along with 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest. Up next include for the Wildcats are matchups against Colorado on Thursday and Utah on Saturday.
5. UCLA Bruins
One team that might have been impacted the most by COVID-19 this season is the UCLA Bruins who have had four conference matchups postponed including one against Arizona as well as two games canceled. Despite the stretch of missed games, the Bruins rebounded last week picking up two wins including a 60-52 win on Saturday against California.
On the year the Bruins have picked up just one loss against the number one team in the country during the meeting while also having a key win against Villanova. Up next for the Bruins include matchups against Oregon and Oregon State to round out the second week of January.
4. Auburn Tigers
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has been one of the most exciting conferences to watch this season as we enter the second week of 2022. The SEC currently has four teams inside the Top 25 including the conference’s top team the Auburn Tigers.
The Tigers have gotten off to a hot start winning 14 of their first 15 games this season while climbing to number four on the AP Top 25 list. This program is built around freshman Jabari Smith who is leading the team averaging 15.5 points a game while adding 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists. In addition to Smith, the Tigers are a deep team that is built around defense.
After losing back in November against a top 25 ranked UConn Huskies team, the Tigers have won 11 straight games including a key 70-55 win over a Top 25 ranked LSU Tigers team. Up next for the Tigers is a key Top 25 showdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide before a weekend matchup against Ole Miss.
3. USC Trojans
While all eyes were on the UCLA Bruins to start the season, the USC Trojans quietly put together a solid start to the season including winning all 13 of their contests to start the season including winning each of their first three games within the Pac-12 conference. Despite their early season success, the Trojans lack of quality wins have held them back from running to number one in the country.
That said, it is hard to look past the Trojans this season as they continue to put wins up night in and night out. Up next for the Trojans includes a busy three game stretch this week against Stanford, Oregon State and Oregon.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
If you are looking at the records you might look right past the Gonzaga Bulldogs after the team picked up two losses to start the season. That said, the Bulldogs started the season with one of the toughest schedules in the country with five Top 25 showdowns before 2021 ended.
Over that stretch the Bulldogs went 3-2 with wins over Texas (5th ranked at matchup), UCLA (2nd ranked at matchup) and Texas Tech (25th ranked at matchup) while their two losses came against Duke (5th ranked at matchup) and Alabama (16th ranked at matchup).
Since their loss to Alabama on December 4th, 2021 the Bulldogs have won five straight while having three games canceled or postponed. Up next for the Bulldogs include matchups against BYU and Santa Clara.
1. Baylor Bears
It is not hard to figure out that Baylor Bears are the best team in the country after starting the season with 15 straight wins. The Bears who are looking to repeat as National Champions have one of the most talented teams in the country.
The Bears have four different players averaging at least 11 points a game while the team is allowing the ninth fewest points in the country while outscoring their opponents by 23 points to start the season.
The Bears have picked up key wins over the 6th ranked Villanova Wildcats and 8th ranked Iowa State Cyclones as well as a 75-58 win over Michigan State. Up next for the Bears includes a Top 20 showdown with Texas Tech as well as a home matchup against Oklahoma State.
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