NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings and Bracketology
NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #1-10
After Baylor closed the gap last week on Gonzaga analytically, the Bulldog’s last few performances have widened the gap. Gonzaga’s performance against San Francisco was one of their best of the year, beating the Dons 100-61 to keep Gonzaga first overall in this week’s basketball power rankings.
Corey Kispert has cooled off a bit the last three games after I touted him as my pick for National Player of the Year. His teammate, Drew Timme, is now my favorite as he averages 19.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and .9 blocks, all of which lead Gonzaga.
It was no surprise that the Bulldogs were listed as the number one overall seed when the NCAA released their top 16 teams on Saturday. The committee did say there was a lot of discussion on Gonzaga and Baylor for number one overall, but the Bulldogs impressive non-conference wins were the difference.
Nothing has changed with Baylor as they have been shut down due to some positive COVID-19 cases. The Bears would have had a chance to pass Gonzaga in the rankings as they had games against Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and West Virginia.
If they could have won all three of those, it would be hard to keep Baylor at number two. Jared Butler is an absolute stud and number two in my National Player of the Year rankings.
Michigan finally returned after being on pause since January 22nd. The Wolverines looked rusty late in the first half before coming back from a 14-point deficit to defeat Wisconsin.
The layoff seemed to help freshman Hunter Dickinson, who had struggled before the pause. He put up a double-double with 11 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
Ohio State (17-4)
The Buckeyes moved from sixth in my rankings up to fourth passing Illinois. While Ohio State has played well, it was Illini’s performance against Nebraska that caused the switch.
Chris Holtmann should be the coach of the year for the job he has done with this team. The Buckeyes do not have Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, or Illinois’ talent, but Holtmann has them playing unbelievably well.
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After an impressive win over Wisconsin at home, the Illini almost suffered a terrible loss at Nebraska. Illinois needed overtime after coming out flat, which has been a real issue with this team.
Ayo Dosunmu, who I have third behind Timme and Butler for National Player of the Year, saved Illinois with a 31 point, six assist performance against the Cornhuskers. The Fighting Illini have three very winnable games before finishing the season at Wisconsin and Ohio State.
The Cougars have played exceptionally well this season but have two ugly losses against East Carolina and Tulsa. According to the NCAA’s first release, Houston is the last time on the two-line, and they cannot afford another loss if they want to be a two seed come tournament time.
Virginia has maintained their spot at number seven after wins over North Carolina and Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers are one of the most balanced teams in the country, with their offense (12th) and defense (11th) both ranked inside the top 15 in the nation.
After the defense had struggled, at least against Virginia standards, they really turned it on with outstanding performances at North Carolina and Georgia Tech. Both teams were held under 50 points and saw the Cavaliers efficiency numbers climb back to where we are accustomed.
Alabama has a very favorable schedule coming down the stretch. After playing South Carolina and Georgia, both outside of the top 75 on Kenpom, they get Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, both outside of the top 100.
The only tier 1 opportunity the Crimson Tide has on the regular-season schedule is at Arkansas. Alabama should win the regular-season SEC title by at least two games.
Iowa rebounded from an ugly couple of weeks by defeating Rutgers and Michigan State with ease. The Hawkeyes offense is the top-ranked offense in efficiency, but the defense is still outside of the top 100.
The Hawkeyes were listed as the top four seed by the NCAA but have a lot of opportunities for quality wins down the stretch and could easily find themselves as a two seed with a strong performance down the stretch. If Iowa can finish with only one more loss, Luka Garza will put himself back in the National Player of the Year conversation.
I left Villanova at number ten because no one seemed to want to take the spot from them. Loyola-Chicago, Colorado, and Wisconsin also lost a game last week. There is quite a drop-off after Iowa in mind in the rankings.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #11-25
- San Diego State
- Colorado +4
- Loyola-Chicago +6
- Wisconsin -1
- USC +4
- Creighton +7
- Texas Tech -2
- Tennessee -1
- West Virginia +1
- Florida State -2
- Kansas (NEW)
- Arkansas +1
- Saint Louis (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.
The committee released their rankings On Saturday and made me feel pretty comfortable as I had all the one and two seeds correct. The three-seed line was not correct besides Virginia and Tennessee, so I have made some small adjustments in the formula.
- 1 Seeds
Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Ohio State
- 2 Seeds
Illinois, Houston, Alabama and Villanova
- 3 Seeds
Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Iowa
- 4 Seeds
West Virginia, USC, Texas Tech and Texas
- 5 Seeds
Missouri, Texas, Creighton and Wisconsin
- 6 Seeds
Colorado, Florida State, Kansas and Virginia Tech
- 7 Seeds
Purdue, Arkansas, Loyola-Chicago and Florida
- 8 Seeds
Rutgers, Clemson, San Diego State and Louisville
- 9 Seeds
Oklahoma State, Xavier, UCLA and BYU
- 10 Seeds
St. Bonaventure, Oregon, Drake and Saint Louis
- 11 Seeds
Seton Hall, LSU, North Carolina and Minnesota
- 12 Seeds
Stanford/Colorado State , Boise State/VCU, Toledo and Wright State
- 13 Seeds
Belmont, Western Kentucky, Winthrop and Colgate
- 14 Seeds
UNC Greensboro, Liberty, UC Santa Barbara and South Dakota State
- 15 Seeds
Grand Canyon, Abilene Christian, Vermont and Texas State
- 16 Seeds
Prairie View A&M/Morgan State, Merrimack/Siena, James Madison, Eastern Washington
- First Four Out: Richmond, UConn, Utah State, Indiana
Next Four Out: Maryland, Penn State, Syracuse and St. John’s