B1G holds on to slim lead, A-10 moves up

The Big Ten is less than one point ahead of the Big East in the latest installment of ESPN Stats and Info’s weekly college basketball rankings, while the Atlantic 10 moved ahead of the Missouri Valley Conference. The rankings include a human element from the Top 25 polls and a computer portion, which is comprised entirely of the BPI.

The BPI is ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index. The BPI team rating takes into account the game score, where the game was played, the pace of the game and whether any of the team’s top five players was missing. For a complete explanation on the College BPI, click here.

The bonus from the Top 25 polls continues to be controlled by the Big Ten, despite its lead being trimmed to 0.7 points over the Big East in the rankings. Indiana stayed in the top spot in the AP Poll this week, and the Big Ten has four teams in the top 15 of the nation, more than any other conference. Minnesota dropped out of both Top 25 polls this week, but the conference was helped by a strong week from Wisconsin. The Badgers used overtime wins over Iowa and Michigan to go from being unranked in last week’s AP poll to No. 20 this week.

The Big East has been able to close the gap on the Big Ten over the last few weeks, largely due to the BPI. The conference has eight teams in the top 40 of the BPI, two more than the next closest conference. The Big East has a season-high 14.4 percent bonus from the Top 25 polls in this week’s rankings. The conference lost Cincinnati from the AP poll but was helped by Syracuse, Georgetown, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame all moving up multiple spots this week.

The only movement in the top 10 this week was the Atlantic 10 going to the No. 8 spot, ahead of the Missouri Valley. Butler is the only team from the Atlantic 10 ranked in either Top 25 poll, but the Bulldogs sit in the 11th spot in the AP poll, giving the conference a 3.2 percent bonus from the human polls. The A-10 also has six teams in the top 60 of the BPI, with VCU leading the way at No. 21. The MVC only has three teams ranked in the BPI top 60.

The ACC had a strong week and continues to close the gap on the Pac-12 for the No. 3 spot in the rankings. The conference has the third-highest bonus from the Top 25 polls, with Duke and Miami holding the second and third spots in this week’s AP poll. The Hurricanes' No. 3 poll ranking is their highest in school history.