NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings and Bracketology; January 24, 2021

basketball power rankings and bracketology 01.24.21

NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #1-10

  1. Gonzaga (15-0)

Nothing has changed here. Gonzaga is still ahead of Baylor, but the rest of the field is starting to really fall off after Baylor. It is very clearly a 1a and 1b and then everyone else. 

The Bulldogs have three of the four best players according to some of the metrics. Corey Kispert, Drew Timme and Jalen Suggs are ranked first, second, and fourth respectively. Gonzaga is coming off a 46-point trouncing of Pacific. 

basketball power rankings
  1. Baylor (14-0)

At half-time of their last game against Oklahoma State it looked like Baylor might be in trouble. The Bears found themselves down by four and struggling offensively. Luckily for Baylor, they have the best two defensive players in the country, in my opinion.

Mark Vital and Davion Mitchell turned up the intensity and eventually wore out the Cowboys. The depth and relentlessness of Baylor’s defense is just too much for teams over 40 minutes. 

Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, Macio Teague and Mark Vital are ranked third, sixth, eighth and ninth by as individuals. It is just an embarrassment of riches for both Mark Few and Scott Drew.

  1. Michigan (13-1)

My rankings will stay unchanged in the top four spots. Minnesota handed the Wolverines their first loss of the season, but they have bounced back nicely with wins over Maryland and Purdue.

Freshman Hunter Dickinson struggled against the Golden Gophers and seems to have hit a wall. He has failed to hit double digits in three straight games. Luckily for Juwan Howard, Isaiah Livers had his two best games of the year with a double-double against Purdue and 22 points in a win over Maryland.

  1. Villanova (10-1)

After knocking off the rust against Seton Hall, the Wildcats looked much better in a win over Providence. Villanova will need to get better defensively if they hope to be a Final Four team.

With the long shutdown it remains to be seen how good this Villanova team can be. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Connor Gillespie will make the Wildcats a tough out come March.

  1. Alabama (13-3)

The Crimson Tide have made a giant leap from 23rd to 5th in my rankings. Alabama is riding a nine-game winning streak and Nate Oats has hit all the right buttons.

While everyone thinks this Alabama team is nothing but offense, Oats has quietly created the 10th most efficient defense in college basketball. As long as they get Jordan Bruner back in time for the tournament, no one will want this Alabama team in their bracket.

  1. Houston (13-1)

The biggest question going forward for this Houston team will be the lack of competition. They have no top tier teams left on their schedule. While they have a really good win over Texas Tech on a neutral floor, that was all the way back in November.

Unless the Cougars are just completely dominant down the stretch, Kelvin Sampson’s team will have nowhere to go but down in the rankings. This Houston team could very well enter March Madness with just the one loss.

  1. Iowa (12-3)

Archie Miller and Indiana may have created the playbook to beating Iowa. The zone mix that the Hoosiers used really quited everyone but Luka Garza. Garza still ended up with 28 points, but only had six rebounds and the team was just 5-of-23 from behind the arc. 

If Jordan Bohannon is not hitting threes, this team just does not play enough defense to win games. While he probably won’t go 0-for-8 in a game the rest of the season, you can bet fellow Big Ten coaches will be watching a lot of tape from the Indiana game.

  1. Virginia (10-2)

After a shaky start to the season, Tony Bennett has Virginia off to a 6-0 start in ACC play. The problem for Virginia is this defense just isn’t elite as they were in years past.

The Cavaliers are good, but they do not have a marquee win, and because the ACC is not as good as usual the only real chance they will get is at Florida State later in the year. I just do not see this Virginia team being able to climb high enough to get a one seed.

  1. Texas (11-2)

The big question for Longhorns fans is the status of freshman Greg Brown. He did not play against Kansas State, and the injury/status was unknown.

Without Brown, this Texas team does not have the firepower to compete with the top teams in the conference. If Brown is back, I think Texas has a real shot at handing Baylor their first loss.

  1. Florida State (9-2)

Leonard Hamilton is quietly putting together another really good Florida State team. Last year, might have been his best team ever, and they were headed to a fourth straight NCAA appearance before the season was shut down.

This is by far the best offensive team Hamilton has ever had at Florida State. If they can become just a little bit better defensively, I like Florida State to take home the ACC regular season crown and find themselves in another Elite 8.


NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #11-25

  1. Colorado
  2. Illinois
  3. Ohio State
  4. St. Louis
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Texas Tech
  7. Creighton 
  8. Missouri
  9. Drake
  10. West Virginia
  11. Oklahoma
  12. USC
  13. Kansas
  14. Tennessee
  15. Indiana

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 Houston

  • 2 Seeds

Villanova, Iowa, Texas and Alabama

  • 3 Seeds

Virginia, Illinois, Florida State and Missouri

  • 4 Seeds

Drake, Colorado, Ohio State and Creighton

  • 5 Seeds

Wisconsin, Tennessee, St. Louis and Texas Tech

  • 6 Seeds

West Virginia, Kansas, USC and Oklahoma

  • 7 Seeds

Indiana, UCLA, Purdue and Boise State

  • 8 Seeds

Minnesota, Florida, BYU and Oregon

  • 9 Seeds

Virginia Tech, Loyola-Chicago, Xavier and San Diego State

  • 10 Seeds

Arkansas, LSU, Syracuse and Stanford

  • 11 Seeds

Oklahoma State, Clemson, Louisville, Seton Hall

  • 12 Seeds

Utah State/UCONN, Colorado State/Pittsburgh, Winthrop and Western Kentucky

  • 13 Seeds

Toldedo, Belmont, Furman, and Colgate 

  • 14 Seeds

Liberty, Texas State, Wright State and South Dakota State

  • 15 Seeds

Grand Canyon, Abilene Christian, Vermont and  UC Santa Barbara

  • 16 Seeds

Prairie View A&M/Norfolk State, Bryant/Siena, Northeastern, Montana State

  • First Four Out: North Carolina, St. Bonaventure, SMU and Maryland
  • Next Four Out: Georgia Tech, Penn State, Duke and Rutgers


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About Anthony Nelson 15 Articles
Love writing and researching sports and sports gambling. Where can you find an edge and the smart ways to bet? Huge college basketball and MLB fan but follow all sports. Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears, and Illinois State fan. Been writing for Knup Sports for two years and been doing bracketology for the last three seasons. Top 10 ranked in new bracketologist by Business Manager by day, writer by hobby.