• The Cardinals are up to No. 6 while the Hoosiers fall to No. 14 this week, which is the last of the non-conference season and a good time to take stock of how teams are performing relative to preseason expectations.
By Luke Winn
December 22, 2016

Part of the winning formula in college basketball is developing upside—as in, having players make breakthroughs that are beyond what their career stats, projected development curves and recruiting evaluations would suggest. The final, full week of non-conference play seems like the right time to take stock of how the Power Ranked 16 stand vis-à-vis SI's preseason projections, and answer the same question for each team: In what way are they most outperforming our analytic forecasts?

1Villanova Wildcats
last week: 1
record: 12-0

Senior wing Josh Hart was No. 2 in our preseason Player of the Year forecast based not on an expectation of extreme, offensive excellence but rather all-around value—scoring, rebounding and defense. Hart has since moved up to No. 1 in every pundit's assessment of the Wooden/Naismith race by playing out of his mind offensively. He's the nation's most efficient player (with a 137.8 offensive rating on kenpom.com) that uses at least 25% of his team's possessions, and he's averaging nearly as many assists (3.7) as point guard Jalen Brunson (3.8).

(Overall, though, 'Nova is right in line with its projections, which were to be the No. 3 team in offensive efficiency and No. 13 in D. The Wildcats are currently No. 1 and No. 16.)

Next up: 12/28 vs. DePaul, 12/31 at Creighton

2UCLA Bruins
last week: 2
record: 13-0

Next up: 12/28 at Oregon, 12/30 at Oregon State

3Kansas Jayhawks
last week: 3
record: 10-1

Next up: 12/22 at UNLV, 12/30 at TCU

4Duke Blue Devils
last week: 4
record: 12-1

Next up: 12/31 at Virginia Tech, 1/4 vs. Georgia Tech

5Baylor Bears
last week: 6
record: 12-0

Next up: 12/30 at Oklahoma, 1/4 vs. Iowa State

6Louisville Cardinals
last week: 11
record: 11-1

Next up: 12/28 vs. Virginia, 12/31 vs. Indiana in Indianapolis

7Gonzaga Bulldogs
last week: 9
record: 12-0

The Zags are pretty much who we thought they'd be. I'm amazed at how close the actual stats of their top seven guys are to their projections:

The lone Gonzaga player who's truly expanded his repertoire this season is senior center Przemek Karnowski, who can now post up, throw crafty, lefty passes to cutters and play Santa Shem during timeouts of game telecasts:

Next up:
8Creighton Bluejays
last week: 10
record: 12-0

Next up: 12/28 vs. Seton Hall, 12/31 vs. Villanova

9Kentucky Wildcats
last week: 7
record: 10-2

Next up: 12/29 at Mississippi, 1/3 vs. Texas A&M

10North Carolina Tar Heels
last week: 8
record: 11-2

Next up: 12/28 vs. Monmouth, 12/31 at Georgia Tech

11Butler Bulldogs
last week: 14
record: 11-1

Next up: 12/29 at St. John's, 1/1 vs. Providence

12West Virginia Mountaineers
last week: 13
record: 10-1

Next up: 12/23 vs. Northern Kentucky, 12/30 at Oklahoma State

13Virginia Cavaliers
last week: 17
record: 10-1

Next up: 12/28 at Louisville, 12/31 vs. Florida State

14Indiana Hoosiers
last week: 5
record: 9-2

Next up: 12/22 vs. Austin Peay, 12/28 vs. Nebraska

15Wisconsin Badgers
last week: 12
record: 10-2

Next up: 12/23 vs. Florida A&M, 12/27 vs. Rutgers

16USC Trojans
last week: 16
record: 11-0

Next up: 12/22 vs. Missouri State in Las Vegas, 12/23 vs. Wyoming/DePaul in Las Vegas

The Next 16

17. Oregon
18. Purdue
19. Arizona
20. Notre Dame
21. Xavier
22. Florida State
23. Florida
24. St. Mary's
25. Cincinnati
26. Clemson
27. Virginia Tech
28. Seton Hall
29. Minnesota
30. Maryland
31. UT Arlington
32. Arkansas

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