Tuesday night almost brought drastic change to the power rankings. No. 1 Indiana had a close call at Michigan State. No. 2 Miami pulled out a nail-biter at home -- but the Hurricanes seem to enjoy games determined in the final minute of play. Florida went on the road and lost at Missouri and Saint Louis handed Virginia Commonwealth its third Atlantic 10 defeat. It’s been that kind of season. Here are the rankings for this week.
1. Indiana -- Victor Oladipo may have taken the lead for national player of the year honors with his tremendous performance in a 72-68 win at Michigan State. The Hoosiers hadn’t won on the road against the Spartans since 1991. “It was a huge win for us,” said Oladipo, who had 19 points, nine rebounds, five steals and a block.
2. Miami -- The Hurricanes have become experts in the art of dramatic victories. They did it again Tuesday night, holding off Virginia 54-50 to improve their home record to 12-0. Two nights earlier, Kenny Kadji put Miami ahead with 36 seconds left in a 45-43 victory at Clemson.
3. Gonzaga -- The Bulldogs took care of business in the West Coast Conference with their 77-60 victory over second-place Saint Mary’s. Kelly Olynyk and Kevin Pangos are the heart of a very efficient offense.
4. Michigan State -- The Spartans have lost only twice since Jan. 1 and both times were to Indiana. The Hoosiers won by five in Bloomington and Tuesday night’s game ended 72-68. It’s hard to penalize Michigan State for losing to No. 1.
5. Louisville -- Coach Rick Pitino will have the Cardinals ready for the NCAA tournament, you can count on that. This is his time of the year. Russ Smith, Peyton Siva and terrific defense will carry Louisville.
6. Kansas -- The Jayhawks will be looking for revenge at Oklahoma State Wednesday night. The loss to the Cowboys on Feb. 2 started a three-game losing streak but Bill Self has his team playing with passion again.
7. Syracuse -- Red-hot Providence visits the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. Then Georgetown will face an enormous crowd on Saturday as the Hoyas and Orange play their final Big East game in Syracuse.
8. Florida -- The Gators hurt themselves in a big way Tuesday night by letting a 13-point lead get away at Missouri. Laurence Bowers and Phil Pressey made Florida pay the price. The Gators still have big road games coming at Tennessee and at Kentucky.
9. Duke -- There are two versions of Duke to be considered. First, there’s the team that built a terrific early resume. Second, there’s the team that trails Miami by 3.5 games in the ACC standings. Duke drops after losing at Maryland.
10. Michigan -- The Wolverines are still a talented and dangerous team capable of going deep in the NCAA tournament, but Michigan has lost three of its last five. The next big test comes March 2 with the Michigan State rematch.
11. Georgetown -- The Hoyas turned things around with a win at St. John’s on Jan. 12. Since then, Georgetown has lost just once. Outstanding defense, improved offense and the versatility of Otto Porter have the Hoyas rolling.
12. Arizona -- Those losses to Cal and Colorado were not very flattering to Arizona’s resume. The Wildcats followed that bump in the road with a four-point win at Utah but still trail Oregon by one game in the Pac-12 standings.
13. Oklahoma State -- The Cowboys carry a seven-game winning streak into Wednesday night’s home game against Kansas. The winner keeps pace with Kansas State in the Big 12 standings.
14. Butler -- Charlotte made a big impact on the Atlantic 10 race with a surprising win over Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse last week. The Bulldogs bounced back with two wins, and that sets up a huge showdown with Saint Louis on Friday at Hinkle.
15. Kansas State -- The Wildcats may not be the most talented team in the rankings but they proved their resiliency, bouncing back from that 21-point loss at Kansas to defeat Baylor and West Virginia. Road trip to Texas is next.
16. Marquette -- The Golden Eagles took a half-game lead in the Big East standings Tuesday night with a 67-46 win at Seton Hall. Even more impressive was Saturday’s 10-point win over Pittsburgh. Vander Blue is becoming a star.
17. Wisconsin -- Not sure how to explain the proceedings in the Big Ten. The Badgers went to Minnesota and lost by six in overtime. They followed that with a 71-49 rout of Ohio State, explaining their spot slightly ahead of the Buckeyes.
18. Ohio State -- The Buckeyes just went through a tough stretch, losing three of four with the only victory over Northwestern. The 71-49 loss at Wisconsin was shocking because Ohio State’s defense didn’t get the job done.
19. New Mexico -- The Lobos have won five of their last six heading into Saturday’s big game at Colorado State. New Mexico won the first meeting 66-61, back on Jan. 23. Both teams are in the top 13 of the RPI standings.
20. Colorado State -- The Rams have a tough few days ahead of them. Colorado State plays at UNLV on Wednesday night, then must return home to prepare for New Mexico. The Rams are undefeated at home this season.
21. Notre Dame -- No one would think of describing Mike Brey as a “raving lunatic” -- except for Brey himself. Brey got a technical foul at Pittsburgh on Monday night and that put the fight back in the Fighting Irish. Big game Sunday against Cincinnati.
22. Oregon -- The Ducks showed some toughness winning at Washington and at Washington State last week. After that three-game losing streak, Oregon has put together three consecutive wins. Cal visits next.
23. Memphis -- The Tigers are in control of Conference USA and have just three losses overall. They beat Southern Miss on the road on Feb. 9 and can complete the sweep Saturday at the FedEx Forum.
24. Wichita State -- The Shockers are back in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference after impressive back-to-back road wins over Illinois State and Indiana State. A March 2 trip to Creighton looms large on the schedule.
25. Saint Louis -- Don’t look now, but the Billikens have won eight straight and with Tuesday night’s win over VCU, Saint Louis has moved ahead of Butler and VCU into first place in the A-10. Can they work some magic at Butler Friday night?