Big Ten still tops; Big 12 improves

The Big Ten continues to control the top spot of ESPN Stats & Info’s weekly college basketball rankings, while the Big 12 has the second-highest bonus from the human polls as the final week of conference play begins. 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 complete BPI rankings can be found here.

The Big Ten has been atop the conference rankings throughout the season and continues to use a strong boost from the Top 25 polls. Indiana dropped out of the number one spot in this week’s poll after losing to Minnesota. However, the Big Ten’s three teams in the top 10 of the AP Poll are the most of any conference. Ohio State joins Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State in the top 15, and Wisconsin checks in at number 22 in the AP Poll to give the Big Ten a total of five ranked teams.

The Big East continues to have the highest bonus from the BPI, with eight teams in the top 40 this week. Louisville is currently the highest-rated team from the Big East, sitting in the No. 2 spot of the BPI. The conference’s eight teams in the top 40 of the BPI are more than the SEC and Pac-12 have combined.

Despite only having three teams ranked in the AP Poll, the Big 12 controls the second-highest bonus from the Top 25 polls in this week’s rankings. There are three Big 12 teams in the top 13 of the AP Poll, tied with the Big Ten for the most of any conference. Kansas is the highest-rated Big 12 team at number four in the AP Poll, while Kansas State has continued to rise up the rankings. The Wildcats are ranked ninth in the AP poll this week, their highest ranking in any AP poll this season.

Gonzaga reached the top spot in both Top 25 polls for the first time in school history this week, but it has not necessarily helped the West Coast Conference’s ranking. The conference continues to be in the No. 10 spot in the rankings and controls the fifth-highest bonus from the polls, ahead of the SEC and Pac-12.

The MAAC and Northeast Conference were the two biggest movers in this week’s rankings, and Iona is the highest-rated team in the BPI from either of those conferences, checking in at No. 102.