Indiana takes a big leap up as big names drop down

Big Blue Nation isn't going to be happy, but the Indiana Hoosiers are more deserving of the top spot. Remember, the preseason power rankings were based on paper. Now, the rankings change dramatically due to on-court results.

Indiana's victory in Hawaii over a top-5 Kansas team is far more impressive than Kentucky's easy win over a Michigan State club that lost to Arizona and nearly dropped one at home Sunday night to Florida Gulf Coast.

The defending national champion Villanova Wildcats, Kansas and an injury-depleted Duke team round out the top 5 -- with Creighton earning the biggest riser award after wins over Wisconsin and NC State. I owe Bluejays fans and Greg McDermott an apology after calling them "overrated" in the preseason. The addition of Marcus Foster has been huge, as has the play of talented big man Justin Patton.

Say goodbye to a pair of proud programs: Michigan State and UConn. The Spartans, at least, have lost to a couple of big boys: Arizona and Kentucky. But the Huskies have looked abysmal, losing at home to Wagner and Northeastern.

1. Indiana Hoosiers
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 14

The Hoosiers are shooting 44 percent from 3. James Blackmon Jr. is shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc thus far, and he's averaging 23 points and 7.3 boards. Indiana has the neutral-site win against Kansas on its résumé, which is arguably the most impressive win of the early season.

2. Kentucky Wildcats
Record: 4-0
Last week's ranking: 3

The Cats had no trouble with Michigan State at Madison Square Garden at the Champions Classic, largely due to the play of freshman Malik Monk and fellow guard Isaiah Briscoe. Monk scored 23 points and was 7-of-11 from deep in the 21-point win.

3. Villanova Wildcats
Record: 5-0
Last week's ranking: 4

The defending national champs have started strong with a close win at Purdue before winning the Charleston Classic on Sunday. Josh Hart, who nearly left for the NBA Draft after last season, made six of eight 3s against Wake Forest and finished with 30 points.

4. Kansas Jayhawks
Record: 2-1
Last week's rankings: 2

The Jayhawks dropped their season opener to Indiana in Hawaii, but Frank Mason's game winner against Duke keeps KU in the top five. Mason has been sensational thus far, averaging 23 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 boards. Bill Self became the winningest coach in Allen Fieldhouse history with the victory over Siena, and he now has a 207-6 career mark in the building.

5. Duke Blue Devils
Record: 4-1
Last week's ranking: 1

The Blue Devils have few healthy bodies but nearly knocked off Kansas in New York, and Duke had little problem beating a tough Rhode Island team. Heralded freshmen Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden haven't played yet, and Grayson Allen has no lift or acceleration due to foot injuries. The duo of Luke Kennard and Amile Jefferson have led the way for Coach K.

6. Louisville Cardinals
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 5

OK, who would have guessed that the Cards' leading scorer and rebounder through the first three games would be junior forward Jaylen Johnson, who averaged 5.0 points and 3.5 boards last season? Johnson is putting up 15.3 points and 11.3 rebounds thus far, but the concern is that Rick Pitino's team has struggled from deep (20-for-63) and also from the line (61 percent).

7. North Carolina Tar Heels
Record: 4-0
Last week's ranking: 6

The Tar Heels haven't played a big boy yet, but they pounded a couple of quality mid-majors: Chattanooga by 40 and Long Beach State by 36. Remember, the Tar Heels are without athletic wing Theo Pinson. The surprise has been the early play of freshman big man Tony Bradley, who is averaging 10.5 points and 7.8 boards in 17.5 minutes per game.

8. Xavier Musketeers
Record: 5-0
Last week's ranking: 8
Without Myles Davis, the Musketeers looked vulnerable. The hope is that Davis, the senior who gives Chris Mack a much-needed shooter, will return at the semester break. Xavier will also get Kaiser Gates back soon, and that will help the depth, which has been lacking.

9. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 17

Here's the thing with the Zags: We didn't realize their quality frontcourt depth. Przemek Karnowski is back healthy and leads the team in scoring (14.7) and rebounding (7.0). However, it's the immediate impact of freshmen Zach Collins (14.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG) and Killian Tillie -- who had eight points and 10 boards in a win over San Diego State -- that make this team a legitimate top-10 club.

10. Creighton Bluejays
Record: 4-0
Last week's ranking: NR

I should have ranked the Bluejays in the preseason poll -- especially after watching Greg McDermott's team beat Wisconsin and then put up 112 points against NC State. This team is balanced with Maurice Watson Jr., Cole Huff, Marcus Foster and redshirt freshman big man Justin Patton.

11. Saint Mary's Gaels
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 19

Australian big man Jock Landale averaged 7.9 points and 3.9 boards last season; he had 33 points in the opener against Nevada and then went for 15 points and 14 rebounds in a road win over a depleted Dayton club. Randy Bennett's team brought just about everyone back from last season's team that barely missed the NCAA tournament.

12. Baylor Bears
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 25

Get to know the name Jo Lual-Acuil. The 7-footer was born in South Sudan, grew up in Australia and spent a couple of years in the junior college ranks before arriving in Waco. He is averaging 10.7 points, 10 boards and has 16 blocks in three games. Miami transfer Manu Lecomte has also been tremendous, leading the team in scoring (16.7 PPG) and assists (7.3).

13. Syracuse Orange
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 18

The question entering the season was point guard play, but Jim Boeheim's duo of Colorado State transfer John Gillon and Frank Howard have combined for 27 assists and just five turnovers. There's also the matter of that 2-3 zone, which has stifled opposing teams. They've shot a putrid 19 percent (19-of-98) from beyond the arc through the first three games.

14. Purdue Boilermakers
Record: 2-1
Last week's ranking: 21

The loss came against defending national champion Villanova, but Matt Painter's team needed a 20-0 run at the end of the game against Georgia State to pull out a 64-56 victory. The Boilermakers' minus-9 rebound margin was its lowest against a nonconference opponent since 2012. Sophomore big man Caleb Swanigan has looked the part of an All-American, averaging 20.7 points, 13 boards and 4.3 assists per game.

15. Virginia Cavaliers
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 7

Tony Bennett's Cavaliers made more news off the court than on it over the first week this season. Bennett tossed Memphis transfer Austin Nichols off the team prior to the win over Yale. Nichols was suspended for the opener, and he was slated to be one of Virginia's top offensive options. This will be a significant hit for the Cavs.

16. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 9

With Allonzo Trier out of the lineup, Finnish skilled big man Lauri Markkanen has shined. He has quickly become the focal point of the Wildcats' offense and is averaging 20.3 points and 6.7 boards thus far. He's shooting 59 percent from the field, 46 percent from 3 and 95 percent from the line.

17. UCLA Bruins
Record: 4-0
Last week's ranking: 24

There hasn't been a better freshman duo thus far than point guard Lonzo Ball and skilled forward T.J. Leaf. Ball just makes everyone better, and Leaf can really score. Steve Alford has a talented, deep group. It should be tested this week at the Wooden Legacy.

18. Oregon Ducks
Record: 2-1
Last week's ranking: 10

It's difficult to evaluate the Ducks because they've been without their most important player, Dillon Brooks, who is set to return Monday after rehabbing from offseason foot surgery. Oregon got blasted by Baylor in Waco, but the Ducks rebounded with a win over Valparaiso. When Brooks returns, it's time to reevaluate this group.

19. Florida Gators
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 20

The Gators have beaten Florida Gulf Coast, Mercer and St. Bonaventure. So they are still fairly unproven. Canyon Barry, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry and a graduate student majoring in nuclear engineering, had 16 points off the bench for Florida. The key, though, is point guard play. Starter Kasey Hill has struggled thus far with just 10 assists and eight turnovers.

20. Michigan Wolverines
Record: 4-0
Last week's ranking: NR

The Wolverines won the 2K Classic after pounding both Marquette and SMU. John Beilein admitted his defense was subpar (and that's putting it nicely) last season, but Michigan is holding opponents to 41 percent shooting and 59.5 points per game through the first four games this season. Junior D.J. Wilson barely played last season; he's logging 30 minutes per game, grabbing 9.5 boards and has been a huge factor in the improved defense this season.

21. Wisconsin Badgers
Record: 2-1
Last week's ranking: 12

The Badgers lost to Creighton in Omaha but are still worthy of a top-25 ranking. Bronson Koenig has just three assists in three games. Nigel Hayes is struggling, averaging 11.0 points and 4.3 rebounds thus far. The Badgers are shooting just 31 percent from beyond the arc.

22. West Virginia Mountaineers
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: 23

Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers have beaten up on low-majors: Mount St. Mary's, Mississippi Valley State and New Hampshire. Huggins has 11 guys who are averaging more than 10 minutes per game. Three of them -- Nathan Adrian, Jevon Carter and Teyvon Myers -- are averaging double figures in scoring.

23. Rhode Island Rams
Record: 4-1
Last week's ranking: NR

The Rams got a big win against Cincinnati but couldn't take advantage of an injury-depleted Duke team in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off title game. E.C. Matthews is still working his way back from an ACL injury that cost him all but one game last season.

24. Seton Hall Pirates
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: NR

Kevin Willard lost Isaiah Whitehead but returns the other four starters. The coach also added freshman Myles Powell (15.3 PPG). Khadeen Carrington is leading the team at 21.7 points per game, but he has had plenty of help from Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado and Powell. Seton Hall is one of the few power league teams that has a true road win -- at Iowa.

25. USC Trojans
Record: 3-0
Last week's ranking: NR

The Trojans deserve a spot after a road win against Texas A&M. Andy Enfield's team isn't overly deep -- especially up front -- but he has a couple of talented bigs with Chimezie Metu and Bennie Boatwright, in addition to guard Jordan McLaughlin and wing Elijah Stewart. However, it was freshman De'Anthony Melton who came up with the two biggest plays of the game -- a 3-pointer and a late steal.

Dropped out: UConn, Michigan State, San Diego State, Dayton, NC State