1. Xavier Musketeers (3-0, last ranking: 3)
The Musketeers followed up a home win against Northern Arizona with blowouts over Long Beach State and Stephen F. Austin. Xavier looks very impressive so far, thanks in part to strong outings from Trevon Bluiett and Matt Stainbrook, who have led X in scoring throughout the first three games. Can they contain this level of play as the season progresses?
That remains to be seen. But for now, Xavier's done enough to garner the top spot in our power rankings.
2. Villanova Wildcats (3-0, last ranking: 1)
One has to believe this ranking won't last for long. Villanova is too good not to return to No. 1 in the near future. The 12th-ranked Cats destroyed Maryland Eastern Shore last Monday, but needed a late surge to outlast Bucknell, 72-65. Ryan Arcidiacono and Darrun Hilliard are struggling to get off the ground early, but Dylan Ennis has been Nova's main source of offense so far, averaging 15 points on 48 percent shooting. The Wildcats will be tested tonight as the kick off the Legends Classic in Brooklyn against 15th-ranked VCU.
2. Georgetown Hoyas (3-0, last ranking: 2)
D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera has consecutive double-doubles after an abysmal opener against St. Francis Brooklyn. But the big surprise of Georgetown's early-season schedule is freshman L.J. Peak, who is second on the Hoyas with 15 points per game. Josh Smith has been a force down low with multiple 20-10 performances.
The Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas later this week will be Georgetown's first test to prove they belong among the top 25 teams in the nation, with an opening round fight with Florida and likely a matchup against one of last year's final four, Wisconsin, should they advance.
3. Providence Friars (5-0, last ranking: 5)
After dispatching of Binghamton, Navy and Florida State rather easily, the defending conference champs captured the Davitt Cup with a close 75-74 win over Notre Dame in the finals of the Hall of Fame Tipoff. LaDontae Henton has been a force, averaging 23 points and close to 6 rebounds a game. The Friars will get a Black Friday gift with Yale coming to town, serving as a tune-up for Sunday's marquee game at No. 1 Kentucky.
5. Creighton Bluejays (4-0, last ranking: 9)
Many believed Creighton would take a few steps back with the loss of Doug McDermott to the NBA, but the Bluejays have started the 2014-15 campaign strong, and much can be attributed to sophomore Isaiah Zierden, Creighton's top scorer with 16.3 points per game off the bench. They've made the biggest climb in our power rankings, up four spots to No. 5, after rallying from an 18-point deficit to stun 14th-ranked Oklahoma at home. The Bluejays dubbed North Carolina Central Sunday, and welcomes Eastern Illinois to Omaha Tuesday before making the trip to Florida this weekend for the Emerald Coast Classic.
6. Seton Hall Pirates (3-0, last ranking: 6)
The Pirates are off to a 3-0 start after wins over Mercer, Nevada and Gardner-Webb. Isaiah Whitehead is still adjusting to the college game, shooting 23 percent from the field in the early going. But the veterans of Seton Hall remain unfazed. Sterling Gibbs, Brandon Mobley and Jaren Sina have all shot the ball tremendously well, and freshman Angel Delgado is averaging close to 9 points and 11 boards through the first three games of his college career. The Pirates wrap up the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands tonight in the championship game against Illinois State.
4. Butler Bulldogs (3-0, last ranking: 8)
Butler has cruised in their first three contests this season, pounding Maine, Chattanooga and Loyola (MD). But if Butler really wants to impress their critics, they'll need to play a hard-fought game Wednesday against North Carolina, the first of their Battle 4 Atlantis match-ups. Roosevelt Jones has returned from season-ending injury last year, averaging double figures, and Kellen Dunham continues to light it up from outside, shooting 58 percent from the field and 67 percent from long-range.
8. St. John's Red Storm (3-0, last ranking: 4)
St. John's falls the furthest on this list, dropping from 4 to 8 in the last two weeks. It's none of their fault, though. The Red Storm have played three cupcakes to begin the season, but expect them to rise once the season is in full bloom. A team known more for its offense, its defense held LIU Brooklyn to 21-of-71 shooting last week, en route to a 66-53 win. D`Angelo Harrison is already averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds a game as he makes an early push for Big East player of the year honors.
9. Marquette Golden Eagles (1-2, last ranking: 7)
Many expected Marquette to fall in Columbus to the Buckeyes last Tuesday. Very few saw predicted Nebraska-Omaha to upset the Eagles at home. Despite career days from seniors Juan Anderson and Derrick Wilson, the Maverick backcourt were able to run on Marquette at will and the Golden Eagles fall to 1-2. They'll get a chance to make up for a disappointing loss tonight as they host NJIT before tipping off the Orlando Classic against Georgia Tech on Thanksgiving.
10. DePaul Blue Demons (2-0, last ranking: 10)
The Blue Demons are off to a good start to the 2014-15 season, with a close win over UIC and a rout of Drake at the Allstate Arena. It's still early, but sophomores Billy Garrett Jr. and Tommy Hamilton have been outstanding, Myke Henry has come in and given DePaul the wing they desperately needed after the departure of Cleveland Melvin, and Forrest Robinson has shown his range, connecting on 6-of-11 from deep. DePaul will get two good matchups this week: first against Lehigh before they host Chasson Randle and the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday.