NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #1-10
1. Gonzaga (24-0)
The Bulldogs made it through the regular season as the only unbeaten team in the nation. They kickoff the WCC tournament with a game against St. Mary’s and then, most likely, BYU. Wins against the Gaels and Cougars will give Gonzaga another quad 1 and 2 victory.
Gonzaga has already guaranteed themselves the number one overall seed and will likely open the NCAA Tournament on a Saturday awaiting a winner of the play-in game on Thursday night. The Bulldogs are ranked number one in offensive efficiency and tenth on defense. Being ranked in the top ten in both is usually a good sign of tournament success.
2. Baylor (21-1)
The Bears fell to number three for a whopping one week in my rankings. Baylor seems to have knocked off the rust and again look like a big favorite to play opposite of Gonzaga in the national championship.
The defense has fallen to 32nd in efficiency but the offense is still elite at third overall. Look for Scott Drew to fix a few of the defensive miscues during the Big 12 tournament.
3. Michigan (19-3)
The Wolverines did stumble a bit down the stretch, losing two of their last three. Michigan is still outstanding on both ends of the floor with the fourth-ranked defense and sixth-ranked offense.
Michigan, Illinois, Gonzaga and Baylor have locked themselves into the one seeds. Juwan Howard could have his team heading back to the Final Four, joining a small list of coaches who have played and coached in one.
4. Illinois (20-6)
Ayo Dosunmu is back from injury and the Illini are playing their best basketball all season. Illinois has won four straight, including impressive back-to-back victories over Ohio State and Michigan.
Like Michigan and Gonzaga, Illinois is ranked in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Kofi Cockburn and Dosunmu are the type of duo who could have their team cutting down the nets in Indianapolis.
5. Houston (21-3)
Houston fell one spot from last week. The Cougars had one of the most exciting finishes all year when Memphis hit a three-pointer to tie with less than two second to go, followed by Houston hitting a buzzer-beater of their own to take the victory 67-64.
Houston, once bad on offense, has climbed into the top ten themselves in efficiency, joining their defense at ninth. Fabian White could be the X-factor Houston needed to make a run deep into March.
6. Iowa (20-7)
Iowa has remained steady at number six. After losing four of five from late January to early February, the Hawkeyes have regained their footing.
The defense is still less than phenomenal, but they have improved enough to go from outside the top 100, all the way up to 61st. If Luke Garza gets hot this team could win it all.
7. Alabama (21-6)
The Crimson Tide leapfrogged Ohio State to move to seventh this week. Alabama has locked up a number two seed regardless of what they do in the SEC Tournament.
Nate Oats needs to get the offense going again as they have dropped off the last few weeks. This defense is still one of the best in the country and can get Alabama a win even if shots are not dropping.
8. Colorado (20-7)
This is a tough one as I could have easily left Ohio State inside the top eight. Four straight losses, despite all of them against quality competition, dropped the Buckeyes below Colorado.
The Buffaloes are really solid on both ends of the floor. Both units rank inside the top 25 and McKinley Wright is good enough to carry this team to a few upset wins in the NCAA Tournament.
9. Ohio State (18-8)
The Buckeyes are limping to the finish line. Chris Holtmann needs this team to get back to being a top offensive team. They do not have the athletes to play good enough defense to win without shooting well.
Ohio State has scored under 70 points in three straight games. The Buckeyes still have the fourth-most efficient offense but will need to find another gear heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
10. San Diego State (20-4)
This is a case where the seeding won’t match how good the team actually is. The Aztecs will be a seven or eight seed in the NCAA Tournament and you are not going to want to be the one or two seed in their bracket.
San Diego State has won 11 straight games heading into the Mountain West Conference tournament. San Diego State is really good defensively and if Jordan Shackel gets hot from three, this team could find themselves in the Elite 8.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #11-25
11. Creighton +1
12. Virginia +2
13. Loyola-Chicago +3
14. Texas Tech +4
15. Florida State -4
16. Kansas -1
17. West Virginia
18. Arkansas +1
19. Purdue +1
20. Texas +2
21. UConn +2
22. Oklahoma State +2
23. Wisconsin -8
24. USC (NEW)
25. St. Bonaventure (NEW)
NCAA Men’s Basketball Bracketology
Keep in mind where the power rankings are more about how good I think teams actually are, bracketology is putting them where I think the committee would have them if the season ended today.
- 1 Seeds
Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Illinois
- 2 Seeds
Alabama, Iowa, Ohio State and Houston
- 3 Seeds
Creighton, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Arkansas
- 4 Seeds
Villanova, Kansas, Purdue and Texas
- 5 Seeds
Texas Tech, Florida State, Colorado and USC
- 6 Seeds
Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee and Clemson
- 7 Seeds
Oregon, San Diego State, Loyola-Chicago* and BYU
- 8 Seeds
Wisconsin, Florida, LSU and UConn
- 9 Seeds
St. Bonaventure, UCLA, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech
- 10 Seeds
Georgia Tech, North Carolina, VCU and Michigan State
- 11 Seeds
Rutgers, Maryland, Louisville and Drake
- 12 Seeds
St. John’s/Wichita State, Colorado State/Xavier, Toledo and Louisiana Tech
- 13 Seeds
UC Santa Barbara, Colgate, UNC-Greensboro* and Liberty*
- 14 Seeds
Winthrop*, Morehead State,* Abilene Christian, Grand Canyon
- 15 Seeds
Eastern Washington, Cleveland State, North Dakota State and Hartford
- 16 Seeds
Prairie View A&M/Norfolk State, Bryant/Siena, Drexel, and Appalachian State*
- First Four Out: Boise State, Utah State, St. Louis, Syracuse
- Next Four Out: Seton Hall, SMU, Memphis, Duke