Basketball teams across the NCAA are scrambling. The countdown to March Madness is ticking faster each day, and there isn’t much time left before the playoff brackets are set. Some of the teams that will make it to the series are already established with no chance of being booted out of the lineup, while a few others are still trying to score one of the prestigious spots. As far as who will be seen, power rankings give a strong indication of what to expect.
The Duke Blue Devils of the ACC, who have moved up the charts over the past couple of weeks to sit at first, are in again this year. Not too surprising for a team with a 22-3 record, and they are looking good for a deep run in the playoffs. There will definitely be some stiff competition, and the Blue Devils are anything but a lock on going all the way.
One of the threats Duke faces comes from the Kansas Jayhawks. Ranked second in the Big 12, Kansas has had, for the past couple of years, a solid basketball presence and is in a great position, with a virtually unstoppable offense, to be found in the final game. They still have five regular season contests ahead, including one against top-ranked Baylor University on February 22, and now is the time for the team to show its mettle.
The Baylor Bears haven’t lost since November 8. During this present 22-game series of wins, the Bears have verified triumphs over Villanova, Arizona, Butler, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida, West Virginia and everyone that it has had to face in the Big 12. Last year, the team made a deep run before losing to the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and could go even further this year.
Just behind the Bears is Gonzaga. Gonzaga just played one game last week, and put up a stellar performance on the road against the Pepperdine Waves. The Waves did extremely well at Gonzaga a few weeks ago, and the Bulldogs could have been looking at another loss. However, they ended up leaving with a 12-point victory to stay undefeated in meeting play. Gonzaga sits at 26-1 (12-0 WCC) on the season and is fit to see a number-one spot at the Big Dance. An enormous week is coming, however, as Gonzaga will confront San Francisco at home and Brigham Young in an away game, with only a day off between the two.
The Florida State Seminoles lost a road game to Duke last week, but this wasn’t exactly unexpected. As a result, there’s no motivation to truly blast the Seminoles, considering most groups in the nation would leave Durham with a loss. It is likewise important to point out that the Seminoles reacted by taking a hard-battled home win over Syracuse in their next game. Florida State holds a 21-4 (11-3 ACC) record for the season and has a place in the top ten. This is one of the top groups in the ACC and they’ve repeatedly demonstrated why they rank where they are.
The Louisville Cardinals dropped consecutive road games, to Georgia Tech and Clemson, seemingly indicating that the team is no longer cohesive enough for a March Madness run. These were unquestionably sudden outcomes, considering the Cardinals had won their past ten games; however, now there is some reason for stress with this group. Jordan Nwora scored just seven points over these two games – getting him in the groove again will be significant if Louisville wants to reemerge in the national title discussion.
The Kentucky Wildcats’ measurements are moderately poor no matter how you look at them; however, that shouldn’t take away from the way that the group is dominating matches. The Wildcats have had some difficulty lately, but have additionally won eight of their last nine games while climbing nearer to the top of the list. Despite everything the team has accomplished, it still has some bad luck on its resume, yet its top successes are superior to those by most teams in the country.