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NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings and Bracketology; January 15, 2021

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Let’s break down the NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings, along with bracketology talk.

Let’s break down the NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings, along with bracketology talk.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #1-10

1. Gonzaga (12-0)

The Bulldogs are not going to leave this spot the rest of the year unless a huge upset happens. They are going to be double digit favorites in all of their remaining games. 

Joel Ayayi, the fourth best player on the team, just registered Gonzaga’s first ever triple-double against Portland. Ayayi had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists. It is an embarrassment of riches for Make Few and the Bulldogs.

Drew Timme is still one of the front runners for National Player of the Year. He is averaging 21.1 points and shooting over 60% from the field.

2. Baylor (11-0)

The Bears are the one team in the country who has a chance to unseat Gonzaga at the top of the list. Because they play in the Big 12, the chance to rack up a ton of Quad 1 wins could really move the needle.

Baylor has no real shot to go undefeated due to the level of competition they are playing. With games at Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas and West Virginia, then at home against Kansas and Texas Tech the chances of coming out unscathed is very low.

Jared Butler will join Timme in conversation for NPOY. Butler is averaging 16.4 points and 5.4 assists a game while shooting 43.1% from three-point range. On top of all that, Butler is one of the most tenacious defenders in all of college basketball.

3. Michigan (11-0)

The Wolverines are flying up my rankings. I had Michigan ranked 16th two weeks ago, but their decisive victory over a very good Wisconsin team finally made me a believer.

7-1 freshman Hunter Dickinson, looks like he will definitely be Big Ten Freshman of the Year, but could give Luka Garza a run for Player of the Year. Dickinson didn’t even start early in the season and is averaging 17.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, all which lead the team.

Dickinson is shooting a ridiculous 72.9% from inside the arc. It is not just Dickinson driving this team as senior Isaiah Livers is averaging 13.8 points per game and shooting just over 40% from three-point range. The trio of Dicksinson, Livers and Franz Wagner make this team a real contender to cut down the nets in Indianapolis.

4. Villanova (8-1)

I had the Wildcats ranked fifth yesterday, before Texas lost at home to Texas Tech. Villanova has not played a game since before Christmas due some positive coronavirus tests on the team. It will be interesting to see how rusty they are when they take on Seton Hall.

5. Iowa (11-2)

When you hear about Iowa, the first name that comes to mind is Luka Garza, and rightfully so. But, it is not Garza who had the Hawkeyes climbing my rankings. Senior Jordan Bohannon has suddenly found his shot, and with it, made Iowa a much more dangerous team.

Bohannon has scored 19, 18, 13 and 24 points in the Hawkeyes’ last four games. He has shot 57% or higher from behind the arc in all four games. If Bohannon can continue his hot shooting, after struggling last season at 32.8%, Iowa could win the Big Ten and find themselves playing in the Final Four.

6. Creighton (10-2)

This was extremely close between Creighton and Texas. The Blue Jays are getting the slight edge because Marcus Zegarowski and Denzel Mahoney are just a little more dangerous than any two players Texas has.

Mahoney is averaging 14.7 points and Zegarowski is just behind him at 14.1. Greg McDermott has one of the more balanced offenses in the nation as all five starters are averaging double figures. My big concern with Creighton is a lack of depth.

7. Texas (10-2)

The Longhorns dropped from higher up after a second half collapse against Texas Tech. Texas had a 10-point lead that eventually evaporated, as Mac McClung hit a long two-pointer with three second to go to propel the Red Raiders to a 79-77 victory.

Shaka Smart has the Longhorns playing well on both ends of the court as Texas is fifth in defensive efficiency and 12th on offense. The big piece I think Texas is missing is a game changing scorer. They have nice balance, but neither freshman Greg Brown or Courtney Ramey are the kinds of guys who can just take over a game.

8. Tennessee (9-1)

This Tennessee squad is elite defensively, but can they score enough on offense? Victor Bailey Jr. is averaging 12.4 points to lead the team, but can sometimes disappear. He scored only three points against Texas A&M in the Volunteers last game. 

If I were Rick Barnes, I’d be running more of my offense through freshman Jaden Springer. Springer has the skill set to give Tennessee a go-to guy down the stretch.

9. Houston (10-1)

To be completely honest, I think there is a big drop off after Tennessee at number eight. I have about six of seven teams that I could make an argument for at number nine. 

Quentin Grimes has the ability to completely dominate games, and with Caleb Mills transferring, there is no more question who the top dog is. Grimes is averaging 17.7 points per game and with Houston’s tenacious defense this team will be a tough out come tournament time.

10. Illinois (9-4)

I know the 9-4 record should keep them out of the top 10, but the analytics still say this team is elite. The duo of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn still might be the best in the nation.

Dosunmu is averaging 22.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. If this Illini team can find some consistency they can find their way back into the top 5 by season’s end.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Power Rankings #11-25

  1. Texas Tech
  2. Colorado
  3. LSU
  4. St. Louis
  5. Kansas
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Virginia
  8. West Virginia
  9. Clemson
  10. Drake
  11. Ohio State
  12. USC
  13. Alabama
  14. Virginia Tech
  15. Oregon

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 Iowa

2 Seeds

Villanova, Tennessee, Texas and Houston 

3 Seeds

Illinois, Creighton, Kansas and Colorado

4 Seeds

West Virginia, Texas Tech, Missouri and Clemson

5 Seeds

Virginia, Drake, Wisconsin, and St. Louis

6 Seeds

LSU, Alabama, UConn and Louisville 

7 Seeds

Virginia Tech, USC, Ohio State and Oregon

8 Seeds

Minnesota, UCLA, San Diego State and Oklahoma State

9 Seeds

Florida State, Florida, Indiana and Boise State

10 Seeds

Arkansas, Oklahoma, Seton Hall and Xavier

11 Seeds

Duke, Stanford, UNC and Rutgers

12 Seeds

Purdue/Syracuse, BYU/Michigan State, Winthrop and Marshall

13 Seeds

Furman, Colgate, Toledo and Belmont 

14 Seeds

Liberty, Little Rock, Wright State and South Dakota State

15 Seeds

New Mexico State, Abilene Christian, Vermont and  UC Irvine

16 Seeds

Texas Southern/Norfolk State, Bryant/Siena, Northeastern, Eastern Washington

First Four Out: Penn State, Richmond, Maryland and VCU

Next Four Out: Wichita State, Colorado State, Utah State and NC State

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