As March Madness closes in, now’s not the time for college basketball teams to let down their guard.  The Baylor Bears didn’t get the message in time to keep from losing its first game of the season this past Saturday.  That loss, against the Kansas Jayhawks, pushed the team down to number three in the rankings, but there is still time to recover before the final tournament series of the year begins.  The NCAA basketball rankings are giving fans and sports gamblers something to think about as the end of the season approaches, and the top-ten finds one team entering and another exiting.

Gonzaga Continues To Rule The Courts

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are still on top of the list, maintaining their perfect record.  They are now 24-0, thanks to superior performances in all of their contests.  They have won by double digits against a number of teams and are 15-0 in WCC games, winning by an average of 24.1 points.

The Michigan Wolverines are now in second with an 18-1 record.  The only loss recorded this season was to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, which don’t even rank in the top 25.  Still, the Wolverines have consistently scored double-digit wins and are ready for the playoffs.

Baylor is 18-1, as well, and Saturday’s loss wasn’t a surprise.  It was Senior Night, and Kansas has a solid track record of winning when they host games that night.  In addition, the Bears had to overcome COVID-19 issues and could never get control as the Jayhawks ran away with a 71-58 win.

Buckeyes Still Strong Despite Recent Loss

The Ohio State Buckeyes are now 18-7, but continue at fourth in the rankings.  They are 12-6 in the first two quadrants, thanks to a loss last Thursday at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans.  Wins against Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin show the strength the Buckeyes have as they look for March Madness success.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are now fifth in the rankings, 18-6 overall and 12-6 in the first two quadrants where they have no losses.  Five of the six losses the team incurred this season came in Quadrant 1 games, and they take on Michigan tomorrow as they look to improve.

The West Virginia Mountaineers are 17-6 this season, 6-1 in their last seven games.  They’ve gone 11-6 in the first two quadrants and are second in the Big 12, sixth in the overall rankings.  They have won their last three and will now take on Baylor tomorrow.

Alabama Takes The SEC By Storm

The Alabama Crimson tide are ranked seventh with an overall 19-6 record.  They’re 13-5 in the first two quadrants and have one loss in Quadrant 3.  Alabama has had an exceptional year, becoming the SEC champs for the first time since 2002.  The Crimson Tide basketball program joins the school’s football program at the top, with Alabama having won the College Football Playoff National Championship last season.

The Villanova Wildcats are 15-4 now and remain in eighth place in the rankings.  They are 7-3 in the first two quadrants with no additional losses and have gone 4-1 in their last five.  They take on the Creighton Bluejays this Wednesday looking for revenge.  Creighton was the team that handed them that loss.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are ninth in the rankings, moving up one spot.  That improvement comes in spite of a loss last Thursday to Michigan, and six of the seven losses seen by the team have been Quadrant 1 losses.

Jumping up two spots are the Houston Cougars.  They are now 20-3 and have gone 4-1 in their last five games.  The Cougars have gone 6-2 in the first two quadrants and added a loss in Quadrant 3.  They just beat the South Florida Bulls yesterday and will take on the Memphis Tigers this Sunday.