NCAA basketball power rankings: Orange rush

Syracuse fans hold up signs following the Orange's victory over Notre Dame.

Rich Barnes/Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After two months of stability at the top of the power rankings, there has been a shake-up. Arizona’€™s loss to Cal means the Wildcats are no longer No. 1. Syracuse, which waited patiently behind Arizona at No. 2 all those weeks, defeated Duke on Saturday and then Trevor Cooney prevented a letdown with his 3-point shooting against Notre Dame on Monday. How long can Syracuse remain undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference? Will Wichita State finally drop a game this week? What’€™s going on with the Texas Longhorns? How far will Okahoma State drop? We have the answers.

Here are this week’€™s rankings:

Coach Jim Boeheim called his team’€™s overtime victory over Duke the greatest game in Carrier Dome history. Who are we to argue with the Hall of Famer? Arizona’€™s loss later the same day cleared the path to No. 1 for the Orange.

The addition of Chris Walker will only make the Gators more dangerous down the stretch and in the NCAA tournament. Walker made his debut Tuesday and helped Florida to a home victory over SEC foe Missouri.

After eight weeks at No. 1, the Wildcats lost on a last-second shot at Cal. Brandon Ashley, Arizona’€™s third-leading scorer, was injured in that game and won’€™t be back this season. That’€™s worse news than falling from the top spot.

Does anyone really believe the Shockers will lose to Indiana State or Northern Iowa this week? Didn’€™t think so. But this is the toughest stretch on the schedule for Wichita State. It will be interesting to watch.

The show must go on

What makes the Aztecs tick? Defense and rebounding. Steve Fisher’€™s team leads the nation in field-goal percentage defense (36.2), is third in scoring defense (56.1 points) and 13th in rebounds (40.9).

After playing poorly and losing at Texas, the Jayhawks needed a little leadership and Naadir Tharpe provided that with 22 points in Tuesday’€™s win over Baylor. KU needs Tharpe to play with consistency down the stretch.

The Wildcats have won four straight since taking Creighton’€™s abuse from three-point range in Philadelphia on Jan. 20. The rematch at Creighton is coming up on Feb. 16. Nova has games against Seton Hall and DePaul before that.

The Wolverines suffered their first Big Ten setback with a 63-52 loss at Indiana on Sunday. Coach John Beilein said the loss was good for Michigan, which hadn’€™t suffered a defeat since Dec. 11 against Arizona.

Strange things happen when starters miss games with injuries. The Spartans have been limping around for a while, but a loss to Georgetown seemed really strange for Tom Izzo’€™s team. Adreian Payne could return Thursday against Penn State.

Considering all the hype and the record-breaking crowd at the Carrier Dome, you’€™ve got to give the Blue Devils credit for playing so well in that overtime loss at Syracuse. Mike Krzyzewski’€™s team looks dangerous again.

The Bearcats pulled off an impressive road win at Louisville but then just got past USF, 50-45. That sets up an interesting American Athletic Conference showdown with UConn on Thursday.

The reason you don’€™t hear any debate over the national player of the year contest is Doug McDermott’€™s dominance on an individual level. Everyone is still marveling over that 39-point performance against St. John’€™s.

The Cardinals have had a season-long struggle with injuries and changes to the roster. Coach Rick Pitino says Wayne Blackshear won’€™t play at Houston because of a concussion.

The Billikens will find out all about Brotherly Love this week with a two-game conference set in Philadelphia, first against Saint Joseph’€™s and then LaSalle. Will Saint Louis still be undefeated in the Atlantic 10? We will see.

Rick Barnes for Coach of the Year? That sounds funny after so many wanted to throw dirt on the Longhorns earlier in the season. But Texas dominated Kansas on the boards Saturday and slowed down the Jayhawks’€™ scoring machine in Austin.

The Cavaliers are hanging around in the ACC race, one game behind undefeated and No. 1 Syracuse. Virginia has won five consecutive games since losing at Duke, including a grind-it-out, 48-45 victory at Pitt.

The Cyclones put up a good fight regardless of who they are playing or where they are playing. Fred Hoiberg’€™s squad survived a trip to Stillwater and came away with a triple-overtime victory over Oklahoma State.

We slapped the Wildcats down after that road loss at LSU. But John Calipari’€™s young guys banded together and proved they could win on the road when they defeated Missouri in Columbia.

Michigan should run into an angry bunch of Hawkeyes Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa lost at home to Ohio State on Tuesday, and the Hawkeyes are 2-3 in their last five Big Ten games.

The Sooners will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’€™s 81-75 loss at Iowa State when they take on West Virginia in Morgantown. Oklahoma averages 83.5 points per game.

The Huskies were close to rejoining the power rankings last week. UConn has averaged 84 points in victories over Temple, Rutgers and Houston. Now Shabazz & Co. will try to upset Cincinnati on the road.

That 87-72 loss at SMU obviously angered the Tigers. They bounced back to demolish Rutgers 101-69. Memphis steps out of conference play this weekend to battle Gonzaga, a team just outside our top 25.

The Oklahoma State wagon train has run into numerous speed bumps recently. The Cowboys have lost three straight and four of five to tumble in the Big 12 standings. And Stevie Clark has been dismissed from the team after another arrest.

The Mustangs saw their five-game winning streak end at USF but bounced back with a 15-point victory over Memphis. Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown has SMU in the chase in the AAC.

Life in the ACC got a little tougher for the Panthers, with losses to Duke and Virginia. Pitt still has only four losses overall, and No. 1 Syracuse comes visiting on Feb. 12.