By this time next Sunday, we’ll actually have a bracket to look at, so this will be the last set of power rankings for the season.
It was another crazy week of hoops though, and I think we are poised for a fantastic Championship Week full of close games and exciting finishes.
College Basketball Power Rankings
1. Kentucky (30-1, Previous Ranking: 1)
The Wildcats polished off a perfect SEC season by crushing Georgia at home and winning at Florida. Their first SEC Tournament game is on Friday against either LSU or Arkansas, and I have a hard time seeing anyone other than Kentucky coming away with the title.
2. Syracuse (30-1, Previous Ranking: 2)
After a season-ending win over Louisville, the Orange finished 17-1 in the Big East. They have yet to lose with Fab Melo in the lineup, and they should face either Connecticut or West Virginia in the Big East Tournament on Thursday. Along with UK, Syracuse is locked in as a one seed.
3. Kansas (26-5, Previous Ranking: 3)
Death, taxes, and Kansas winning the Big 12. The Jayhawks won their final two games by double figures and finished 16-2 in the Big 12. Barring a stunning loss, they will take on either Baylor or Kansas State in the Semifinals of the conference tournament.
4. North Carolina (27-4, Previous Ranking: 6)
With the ACC Title on the line, the Tar Heels crushed Duke at Cameron. They are playing some of their best basketball of the season and can hang onto a one seed by winning the ACC Tournament.
5. Missouri (27-4, Previous Ranking: 7)
The Tigers picked up a tough home win against Iowa State before crushing Texas Tech to end the regular season. After a winnable Quarterfinal matchup, Mizzou will face either Iowa State or Texas for a chance to go to the Big 12 Title Game.
6. Ohio State (25-6, Previous Ranking: 10)
Thanks to a huge game from William Buford, the Buckeyes won at Michigan State to forge a three-way tie atop the Big Ten. Based on tiebreakers, OSU will be the three seed in the conference tournament, which means a likely matchup with Purdue in their first game.
7. Michigan State (24-7, Previous Ranking: 4)
The Spartans came up empty last week at Indiana and at home against Ohio State, but their biggest loss may have been freshman Branden Dawson, who was lost to a torn ACL against the Buckeyes. They still earned the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will face either Illinois or Iowa in the Quarterfinals.
8. Duke (26-5, Previous Ranking: 5)
Saturday’s loss to North Carolina was Duke’s third home defeat of the season, but they still finished alone in second place in the ACC. A potential Semifinal matchup with Florida State is definitely intriguing.
9. Marquette (25-6, Previous Ranking: 8)
The Golden Eagles struggled at Cincinnati earlier in the week, but they bounced back to beat Georgetown by 14 on Saturday to lock up the two seed in the Big East Tournament. Their first opponent will be Louisville or Seton Hall, and a Tournament Championship could earn them a two seed if other things break their way.
10. Michigan (23-8, Previous Ranking: 12)
Road wins at Illinois and Penn State moved the Wolverines to 13-5, which tied them with Ohio State and Michigan State for the regular season crown. They are the two seed in the conference tournament and will likely face a desperate Northwestern team in their first game.
11. Baylor (25-6, Previous Ranking: 9)
With a season-ending loss at Iowa State, Baylor finished just 2-6 against teams who finished in the top half of the Big 12. They have a rubber match with Kansas State in the conference Quarterfinals.
12. Georgetown (22-7, Previous Ranking: 11)
After dominating Notre Dame earlier in the week, the Hoyas struggled at Marquette on Saturday and missed out on a double bye in the Big East Tournament. They should be able to knock off either St. John’s or Pittsburgh in their first tournament game, which would set up an intriguing matchup with Cincinnati in the Quarterfinals.
13. Wisconsin (23-8, Previous Ranking: 13)
The Badgers closed the regular season with three straight wins, which was enough to earn them the four seed in the Big Ten Tournament. A Quarterfinal matchup against Indiana would be a tough one for both squads.
14. Murray State (30-1, Previous Ranking: 15)
Jewuan Long hit the game-winner with under five seconds to play, and the Racers picked up the automatic bid by winning the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. They now face a lengthy layoff prior to the NCAA Tournament.
15. Indiana (24-7, Previous Ranking: 18)
The Hoosiers knocked off another Top Five team at home this week when they beat Michigan State by 15, and they followed that up with a double-digit win over Purdue on Senior Night. They face a winnable game against Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, and a win there sets up a date with Wisconsin.
16. Wichita State (27-5, Previous Ranking: 14)
A one-point loss to Illinois State in the MVC Semifinals doesn’t negate how well the Shockers played throughout the conference season. They are left to wait out their NCAA Tournament seed, but this is not a team to take lightly once the Big Dance starts.
17. Florida State (21-9, Previous Ranking: 21)
The Noles staged a huge late comeback to win at the buzzer at Virginia, and they took care of Clemson at home to finish 12-4 in the ACC. They will likely face Miami in the Quarterfinals, and a win there would likely lead to a rubber match with Duke.
18. San Diego State (24-6, Previous Ranking: 19)
By winning at Boise State and TCU, the Aztecs finished the season tied atop the Mountain West with New Mexico. They face the Broncos again in the Quarterfinals, and a win there would lead to a Semifinal matchup with either Colorado State or TCU.
19. UNLV (25-7, Previous Ranking: 16)
The Rebels lost at Colorado State but bounced back to beat Wyoming on Saturday to finish a game back of SDSU and New Mexico. They will take on Air Force in their first MWC Tournament game, and if they win there as expected, New Mexico would likely await them in the Semis.
20. Temple (24-6, Previous Ranking: 22)
Wins over UMass and Fordham locked up an outright A-10 Title for Temple. The Minutemen took them to overtime last week, and they are likely to meet again in the Quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Friday.
21. Notre Dame (21-10, Previous Ranking: 17)
The Irish struggled at Georgetown but bounced back to knock off Providence at home to lock of third place in the Big East. Notre Dame will likely take on tournament hopeful South Florida in their first Big East Tournament game on Thursday.
22. Creighton (28-5, Previous Ranking: 24)
Bubble teams everywhere were cheering hard for the Bluejays to win the MVC Tournament, which they did in overtime. Creighton was already safely in the field, but their play in the conference tournament should help improve their seed.
23. Iowa State (22-9, Previous Ranking: 25)
Saturday night’s win over Baylor removed any doubt about the Cyclones’ post-season status, although I didn’t think there was much left anyway. They now face a Texas team desperate for quality wins in the Big 12 Quarterfinals.
24. Gonzaga (25-5, Previous Ranking: N/A)The Zags beat Longwood prior to the start of the WCC Tournament, where they crushed BYU by 19 points in the Semifinals. They face Saint Mary’s for the tournament title on Monday night in what should be a great game.
25. Memphis (23-8, Previous Ranking: N/A)
As has become customary, the Tigers won the C-USA title and finished 13-3 in the league with their three losses coming by a combined six points. Based on their recent play and the fact that they are hosting the event, I would be surprised if Memphis didn’t win the C-USA Tournament.