Welcome to the finish line as we race through the last week of the regular season. Our power rankings have held steady for the most part, and honestly, we’re ready for the college hoops madness. Tournament season is upon us and it’s time to see which teams are truly able to endure. Virginia maintains their place at the top, but nothing about these rankings are as clear cut as one would think. Whether you’re an ACC die-hard or anti-Kansas when it comes to anything Big 12 related, it’s hard not to find a rooting interest in something in these coming days. March has finally arrived.
TEAM OF INTEREST: (13) Houston
How good are the Houston Cougars? The answer isn’t really that important, but it’s worth taking an honest look at. One win away from having the most wins in school history (magic no. 28), the ceiling on this team may still have room to go. Kelvin Sampson’s band of believers should absolutely run through the American Conference tournament, but after that things get a bit murky. I really want to believe this team can go on an extended run in the big dance, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they were eliminated in the opening rounds.
It’s unfair that a team with only one loss heading into last week’s matchups will be judged for narrowly losing to a decent Central Florida team, and that Houston has to play flawless basketball basically every night while other programs can have “off nights”, and still be considered legitimate contenders. It’s all unfair but that’s how these things tend to go, and Sampson and crew know the stakes. The only way they can change the narrative is by continuing to keep things rolling in their favor as they prepare for postseason play and maybe prove to everyone they are just as good, if not better than the rankings would have us believe.
- Virginia (27-2)
Defeated Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
- Gonzaga (29-2)
Defeated Pacific, Saint Mary’s
- North Carolina (24-5)
Defeated Syracuse, Clemson
- Tennessee (26-3)
Defeated Mississippi, No. 4 Kentucky
- Duke (25-4)
Lost to No. 20 Virginia Tech, Defeated Miami
- Kentucky (24-5)
Defeated Arkansas, Lost to No. 7 Tennessee
- Texas Tech (25-5)
Defeated Oklahoma St., TCU, Texas
- LSU (24-5)
Defeated Texas A&M, Alabama
- Michigan State (23-6)
Lost to Indiana
- Virginia Tech (22-6)
Defeated Notre Dame, No. 3 Duke
- Michigan (26-4)
Defeated Nebraska, No. 17 Maryland
- Kansas (22-7)
Defeated Oklahoma St.
- Houston (27-2)
Defeated East Carolina, Lost to UCF
- Nevada (26-3)
Defeated UNLV, Lost to Utah St.
- Marquette (23-6)
Lost to Villanova, Creighton
Lurking: Purdue, Florida State, Kansas State, Cincinnati
Esau Howard is a Friend of the Program, a hoops enthusiast, and a sports scribe that appreciates the life shortening stress of competition at it’s finest. Follow his musings on Twitter.
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