Top 25 – Week 19

No time for summaries this week, unfortunately, but here’s my poll anyway:

  1. Kansas (–)
  2. Gonzaga (–)
  3. Dayton (+1)
  4. Florida State (+3)
  5. Baylor (-2)
  6. San Diego State (-1)
  7. Oregon (+3)
  8. Creighton (+6)
  9. Kentucky (-3)
  10. Villanova (+5)
  11. Michigan State (+2)
  12. Maryland (-4)
  13. Louisville (-2)
  14. BYU (-2)
  15. Duke (+2)
  16. Seton Hall (-7)
  17. Virginia (+6)
  18. Butler (+2)
  19. Wisconsin (+5)
  20. Utah State (NEW)
  21. Auburn (-2)
  22. Ohio State (-1)
  23. Iowa (-7)
  24. Houston (-6)
  25. Illinois (–)

Dropped out: Penn State

Next 5: Providence, USC, West Virginia, East Tennessee State, Richmond

Bracketology – 3/8

Represents games through Saturday, 3/7. Asterisk indicates auto-bid, number in parentheses represents increase/decrease of seed line (not true seed list) since yesterday’s posting.

Note: On the S-curve, I have East Tennessee State one spot above Arizona State, my last team in, so they would be in the field as of today if they weren’t a projected auto-bid.

1 seeds
Kansas* (–)
Baylor (–)
Dayton* (–)
Gonzaga* (–)
2 seeds
San Diego State (–)
Florida State* (–)
Villanova (–)
Duke (–)
3 seeds
Creighton* (–)
Oregon* (–)
Michigan State (–)
Kentucky* (+1)
4 seeds
Seton Hall (–)
Maryland (–)
Louisville (–)
Ohio State (–)
5 seeds
Butler (–)
Auburn (+1)
Wisconsin* (–)
West Virginia (+1)
6 seeds
BYU (-1)
Houston (–)
Michigan (–)
Virginia (+1)
7 seeds
Iowa (–)
Penn State (-2)
Colorado (–)
LSU (+1)
8 seeds
Arizona (-1)
Florida (–)
Marquette (–)
Illinois (–)
9 seeds
Saint Mary’s (–)
Providence (–)
Oklahoma (+1)
Rutgers (+1)
10 seeds
Wichita State (–)
USC (+1)
Xavier (-1)
Richmond (+1)
11 seeds
Cincinnati (-1) / Indiana (-2) (Last 4 IN)
Utah State* (NEW)
Texas Tech (–) / Arizona State (NEW) (Last 4 IN)
East Tennessee State* (–)
12 seeds
Yale* (–)
Tulsa* (–)
Vermont* (–)
Liberty* (–)
13 seeds
Akron* (–)
Stephen F. Austin* (–)
New Mexico State* (–)
Belmont* (–)
14 seeds
North Texas* (–)
Eastern Washington* (–)
Hofstra* (–)
Bradley* (+1)
15 seeds
Wright State* (–)
Colgate* (-1)
UC Irvine* (–)
North Dakota State* (–)
16 seeds
Little Rock* (–)
Winthrop* (–)
Siena* (–) / Prairie View A&M* (–)
Robert Morris* (–) / NC Central* (–)

First 4 Out
Stanford
Mississippi State
Arkansas
NC State
Next 4 Out
Memphis
Texas
Rhode Island
Oklahoma State

Dropped Out:
Purdue (was 11)
Texas (was 11)

Conference Breakdown:
AAC: 4 bids
A10: 2 bids
ACC: 4 bids
Big 10: 10 bids
Big 12: 5 bids
Big East: 7 bids
MWC: 2 bids
Pac 12: 5 bids
SEC: 4 bids
WCC: 3 bids

Bracketology – 3/7

Represents games through Friday, 3/6. Asterisk indicates auto-bid, number in parentheses represents increase/decrease of seed line (not true seed list) since last posting on 3/2. 

1 seeds
Kansas* (–)
Baylor (–)
Dayton* (+1)
Gonzaga* (–)
2 seeds
San Diego State* (-1)
Florida State* (–)
Villanova (+1)
Duke (+1)
3 seeds
Seton Hall* (-1)
Creighton (–)
Michigan State (+1)
Oregon* (+1)
4 seeds
Maryland (-2)
Louisville (–)
Kentucky* (-1)
Ohio State (+1)
5 seeds
BYU (–)
Butler (+1)
Wisconsin* (+1)
Penn State (–)
6 seeds
Houston (–)
Auburn (-2)
West Virginia (+1)
Michigan (–)
7 seeds
Iowa (-2)
Arizona (–)
Virginia (+1)
Colorado (–)
8 seeds
Florida (+1)
Marquette (-1)
LSU (–)
Illinois (–)
9 seeds
Saint Mary’s (–)
Xavier (–)
Providence (+1)
Indiana (+1)
10 seeds
Wichita State (-1)
Oklahoma (-2)
Rutgers (+1)
Cincinnati (+2)
11 seeds
Purdue (NEW)
USC (-1) / Texas Tech (NEW) (Last 4 IN)
East Tennessee State* (–)
Richmond (-1) / Texas (NEW) (Last 4 IN)
12 seeds
Yale* (–)
Tulsa* (NEW)
Vermont* (+1)
Liberty* (–)
13 seeds
Akron* (–)
Stephen F. Austin* (–)
New Mexico State* (+1)
Belmont* (+1)
14 seeds
North Texas* (-1)
Eastern Washington* (–)
Hofstra* (+1)
Colgate* (+1)
15 seeds
Wright State* (–)
Bradley* (NEW)
UC Irvine* (-1)
North Dakota State* (–)
16 seeds
Little Rock* (–)
Winthrop* (NEW)
Siena* (–) / Prairie View A&M* (–)
Robert Morris* (–) / NC Central* (–)

First 4 Out
Arkansas
Stanford
Utah State
Arizona State
Next 4 Out
Memphis
Mississippi State
Northern Iowa
NC State

Dropped Out:
Stanford (was 11)
Arizona State (was 11)
Northern Iowa (was 11)
Utah State (was 12)
UCLA (was 12)
Radford (was 16)

Conference Breakdown:
AAC – 4 bids
A10 – 2 bids
ACC – 4 bids
Big 10 – 11 bids
Big 12 – 6 bids
Big East – 7 bids
MWC – 1 bid
Pac 12 – 4 bids
SEC – 4 bids
WCC – 3 bids

Bracketology (3/2)

Represents games through Sunday 3/1. Asterisk indicates auto-bid, number in parentheses represents increase/decrease of seed line (not true seed list) since last posting on 2/23. Teams such as Purdue that have otherwise good metrics are not considered due to a poor winning percentage below .533, which is the lowest winning percentage of any team awarded an at-large berth.

1 seeds
Kansas* (–)
Baylor (–)
Gonzaga* (–)
San Diego State* (+1)
2 seeds
Dayton* (–)
Florida State (+1)
Seton Hall* (+1)
Maryland* (–)
3 seeds
Villanova (-1)
Duke (-2)
Kentucky* (+1)
Creighton (–)
4 seeds
Michigan State (+1)
Louisville* (-1)
Oregon (–)
Auburn (+1)
5 seeds
Ohio State (+2)
Penn State (-1)
BYU (+1)
Iowa (+1)
6 seeds
Houston* (+1)
Wisconsin (+2)
Michigan (-2)
Butler (–)
7 seeds
West Virginia (-2)
Arizona (-1)
Colorado (-2)
Marquette (–)
8 seeds
Virginia (+1)
LSU (-1)
Illinois (–)
Oklahoma (+4)
9 seeds
Wichita State (–)
Saint Mary’s (-1)
Florida (–)
Xavier (+1)
10 seeds
Indiana (–)
Texas Tech (-2)
Providence (+2)
USC (+1)
11 seeds
Stanford (NEW)
Arizona State (-2) / Rutgers (-1) (Last 4 In)
Northern Iowa* (+1)
East Tennessee State* (–)
12 seeds
Cincinnati (-1) / Utah State (-1) (Last 4 In)
UCLA* (NEW)
Yale* (–)
Liberty* (–)
13 seeds
Vermont* (–)
Akron* (–)
North Texas* (–)
Stephen F. Austin* (–)
14 seeds
New Mexico State* (–)
Belmont* (–)
Eastern Washington* (NEW)
UC Irvine* (+1)
15 seeds
Hofstra* (-1)
Wright State* (–)
Colgate* (-1)
North Dakota State* (NEW)
16 seeds
Little Rock* (-1)
Radford* (-1)
Siena* (NEW) / Prairie View A&M* (–)
Robert Morris* (–) / North Carolina Central* (NEW)

First 4 Out
Mississippi State
Richmond
NC State
Richmond
Next 4 Out
Texas
Arkansas
Alabama
Memphis

Dropped Out:
Rhode Island (was 10)
NC State (was 11)
South Dakota State (was 15)
Montana (was 16)
Saint Peter’s (was 16)
North Carolina A&T (was 16)

Conference Breakdown:
AAC – 3 bids
A10 – 1 bid
ACC – 4 bids
Big 10 – 10 bids
Big 12 – 5 bids
Big East – 7 bids
Mountain West – 2 bids
Pac 12 – 7 bids
SEC – 4 bids
WCC – 3 bids

Top 25 – Week 18

  1. Kansas (–) – No change at the top – Kansas did what they needed to do and dispatched Oklahoma State and Kansas State to remain the king for now.
  2. Gonzaga (+1) – The Bulldogs absolutely murdered San Diego to nobody’s surprise Thursday night, then finished up the regular season with a solid 10 point home win over a tournament-bound Saint Mary’s team.
  3. Baylor (-1) – While I do like to have a bit of a “power ranking” element in my Top 25, I just can’t make a strong argument for Dayton being a better team than Baylor despite the Bears having lost 2 of 3. All 3 of Baylor’s losses this season have come by just 3 points and while TCU and Washington are strange teams to lose to, weird shit happens in college hoops.
  4. Dayton (–) – Dayton is pretty clearly one of the top 5 teams, and despite a less than dominant performance Tuesday night at George Mason, I did seriously think about bumping them up to #3 past Baylor. The Friday night offensive masterpiece against Davidson alone was worth a major shoutout, and this team still has yet to lose a game in regulation this season. But I just can’t convince myself that Dayton is superior – I really think the top 3 teams have a good amount of separation over #4 and #5.
  5. San Diego State (–) – It wasn’t a cakewalk, but ultimately, the Aztecs finished of a nearly flawless season with a win over Colorado State and a second half rally at Nevada. Next up is the Mountain West tournament where they’ll try to avoid falling to a bid thief.
  6. Kentucky (+2) – Kentucky has yet to look consistently dominant and they’re certainly not a computer metric darling, but I like teams that win, and winning is something this team continues to do so. This week they held Texas A&M at bay and then outlasted Auburn in a competitive game at Rupp Arena.
  7. Florida State (-1) – Weird week for the Seminoles – they did become yet another victim to the big game hunting Clemson Tigers but they managed to surge past Louisville with a phenomenal 2nd half effort and knock down the Cards. Ultimately I went with Kentucky at #6 due to more consistent play but it’s really close for me.
  8. Maryland (-1) – Not a great week or even week and a half for the Terps, with losses to Ohio State and Michigan State and a near loss to Minnesota until Darryl Morsell saved the day with a dagger game-winner. That said, the Big 10 is a gauntlet and the larger sample size says really good things about the quality of this team, and I’ve been a believer all year and am not going to stop now.
  9. Seton Hall (+2) – The Pirates only played once this week, but went on the road and spoiled Markus Howard’s senior day (and 37 point outburst) with a 9 point win on Saturday. After a brief skid with losses to Creighton and Providence, Seton Hall has quickly turned things around and ranks #1 on Bart Torvik’s T-Rank since February 17th.
  10. Oregon (+3) – Poll inertia definitely favored the Ducks this week. A home win against Oregon State doesn’t move the needle a whole lot this year, but unlike Duke, Creighton, and Louisville, the Ducks got the job done this week so I’ll give them the nod at #10.
  11. Louisville (+1) – I actually had Louisville at #12 last week, and while they got throttled for a big portion of the 2nd half at Florida State, a road win to a Top 10 team is better than a blowout road loss to a non-tournament team (see Bluejays, Creighton) or multiple losses (see Blue Devils, Duke).
  12. BYU (+3) – BYU is another big winner of poll inertia, as they completed their regular season with a 17 point road win at Pepperdine, doing exactly what a team of their caliber should do. While I have a bit of a hard time wrapping my head around BYU being ranked this high, they are up to 11th on KenPom, and that includes early season performances that didn’t include the man named Yoeli Childs.
  13. Michigan State (+9) – The Spartans are back from the dead with one of the best weeks anyone has put together in conference play this year. They kicked things off Tuesday with an 8 point home win over a ranked Iowa squad, then went on the road to a juiced up Maryland fanbase and completely controlled the vast majority of the game and raced away to a double digit Top 10 road win. That’s a hell of a week.
  14. Creighton (-4) – There’s coming back down to earth, and then there’s whatever the hell happened to Creighton on Sunday at St. John’s. The 6th best 3-point shooting team in Division I, Creighton, shot all of 15% from beyond the arc, while the 304th best 3-point shooting team in Division I, St. John’s, scorched the nets to the tune of 64% 3pt shooting. Just one of those days, man.
  15. Villanova (-1) – Villanova managed to handle the Red Storm earlier in the week, but they also had a WTF shooting performance over the weekend, as they fell at home to Providence in an ugly 58-54 game. Villanova shot just 35% from the field and 17% from 3 point range, though Providence is certainly a better opponent than St. John’s – since February 17th, the Friars rank 3rd in T-Rank and they rank 8th in T-Rank in the larger sample size that dates back to the beginning of February.
  16. Iowa (+1) – Tough to really do too much in the rankings with Iowa this week – they did drop a tough road loss to Michigan State, but they bounced back with a strong home win against Penn State over the weekend. Feels like Iowa has definitely zoned in on the #16-#20 range this year.
  17. Duke (-8) – Duke has been flat out awful this week, and I’d like to toot my own horn from last week’s rankings, where I said that Duke is very good but more susceptible to a stinker of a performance than any other top team. That came true in their 2OT loss at a truly bad Wake Forest squad, and then Duke fell to the huffing & puffing Virginia Cavaliers over the weekend to complete the winless week, though that loss is far more excusable than the former.
  18. Houston (+2) – Houston feels like another team that’s pretty comfortable in the #17-#24ish range this year. In the AAC they’re the best team and nobody is too close, so there’s no real opportunities to jump up, and they’ve avoided all the land mines of conference play, so they’ve pretty much been at the mercy of poll inertia.
  19. Auburn (-1) – Auburn has now gone 5 straight games without any going to OT, so this string of games with margins of victories ranging from 7-12 points are basically all blowout wins or losses for the Tigers. All joking aside, I think Auburn has finally found its balancing point, as the 1-2 loss team from earlier in the year was just far too lucky to sustain it, but they’ve clearly shown that they have talent to compete with the big dogs, as evidenced by the highly competitive weekend loss to Kentucky.
  20. Butler (+4) – Big time poll inertia here, as an 18 point home win over DePaul doesn’t move the needle too much. The real story here is that Butler introduced the new Butler Blue live mascot over the weekend, so Butler now has to be seriously considered as a tournament darkhorse. In all seriousness, I do recognize that the larger trend of 8 losses in 13 games is not great, but I think it’s just the leveling out of a team that was overperforming early on but is still better than its recent trend.
  21. Ohio State (+4) – Nice week for the Buckeyes, who smoked Nebraska on the road Thursday night, then took down a Michigan team that had a healthy Isaiah Livers by double digits. As the theme has been throughout much of these rankings, this feels like a good place for Ohio State to hang around – they’re not quite the top 5 team they looked like early in the season (though KenPom does have them at #8) but they’re not the same team that at one point was 2-6 in Big Ten play, either.
  22. Penn State (-6) – Top 10 Penn State was fun, but the Nittany Lions have lost 3 of 4 and nearly lost that 4th game until Myles Dread bailed Penn State out against Rutgers on Wednesday night. While the losses have been to Illinois, @Indiana, and @Iowa, all tournament teams, my bigger concern is that Penn State is 72nd on T-Rank over the past two weeks. Sure, its a small sample size and other teams I have ranked like Maryland and Auburn are near them in that regard, but those teams have shown more winning tendencies in their slumps and its not the direction you want to be trending in as March proceeds.
  23. Virginia (NEW) – Virginia still has an offense that makes my eyes want to bleed, but they have very quietly been stacking up wins with 9 in their last 10 and 6 consecutive victories. They’re definitely back on the map now thanks to Saturday night’s upset of Duke, and their defense can absolutely keep them there.
  24. Wisconsin (NEW) – Great week for the Badgers, who pulled off a huge road win at Michigan mid-week, then defended the Kohl Center and handed Minnesota yet another soul-crushing close loss on Sunday. Despite a good deal of turmoil between Micah Potter’s lack of waiver and Kobe King’s surprising departure, this team is headed in a really good direction at the right time, which seems pretty on-brand.
  25. Illinois (NEW) – Illinois is also headed in the right direction, as they’ve reversed course after a 4 game losing streak to win 4 straight. Two of those were against Northwestern and Nebraska, so they only half count (joking…but am I?) but a road win at Penn State and narrow home win over Indiana definitely count. We’ll see where the Fighting Illini stand after a pair of ranked matchups this coming week, but I like the momentum they’ve built.

Dropped Out: Colorado (was 19), West Virginia (was 21), Arizona State (was 23)

Next 5: Marquette, USC, Arizona State, East Tennessee State, Colorado

Top 25 – Week 17

  1. Kansas (+2) – Don’t think there’s really a whole lot to explain here – the Jayhawks went on the road and took down the #1 team in the country in a thrilling, high-level game, and now rank #1 on just about every major computer metric. They’re the best team in the country.
  2. Baylor (-1) – Baylor is now the clear #2 team in the country in my eyes – had Gonzaga won at BYU, I still would have put the Bears in this position. That’s how well-executed the game on Saturday against Kansas was. Any fan of college basketball should hope we get at least one more rematch of the top 2 teams.
  3. Gonzaga (-1) – Though the Bulldogs lost, I find it hard to ding them very much – I’m not sure that even Kansas would’ve won in Provo on Saturday night. That atmosphere is why I’ll always love college basketball more than the NBA, despite the lower quality of play and questionable officiating. Don’t be fooled – BYU is legit and Gonzaga is still an elite team.
  4. Dayton (+3) – How awesome is it that Dayton is about to be a pretty much consensus Top 5 team? This team is just incredibly fun to watch and weathers every storm it encounters – which seems to happen on a near-nightly basis since they are every opponent’s Super Bowl. This week they handled a difficult road test at a desperate VCU team and survived a challenge from Duquesne at home, two wins that don’t have a ton of name branding but are very much quality wins.
  5. San Diego State (-1) – Yes, the Aztecs lost at home to a now 15-14 UNLV team, but I just can’t ding them too much for finally losing – there’s a reason it’s been over 40 years since a college team has gone unbeaten. Not to mention, San Diego State is one of just 3 teams (along with Kansas and Duke) to rank in the top 10 for both AdjO and AdjD on KenPom. I can’t wait to see the Twitter trolls get proven wrong in the NCAA Tournament.
  6. Florida State (+3) – Productive week for the Seminoles, who easily avenged a season-opening loss to Pitt, then went on the road and took down a feisty and very hungry NC State team fresh off a destruction of Duke. I am really looking forward to seeing which one of Florida State, Louisville, and Duke stands above the rest in the ACC Tournament, cause right now, I’m not quite sure which team is the best.
  7. Maryland (-2) – Maryland’s 9 game win streak finally game to an end on Sunday when they fell on the road to the Buckeyes, but the Terps still remain the best team in the best conference, which has to count for something. It’s definitely a bummer that Anthony Cowan fouled out on a technical foul – I was looking forward to seeing if his late game heroics could lead Maryland to another come from behind road win.
  8. Kentucky (+3) – Don’t look now, but Coach Cal has this team rolling – the road loss to Auburn is their only blemish in their past 11 games, and their only other conference loss came on a buzzer beater at South Carolina. That loss to Evansville seems like a distant memory, and while the computer metrics don’t love this Kentucky team, I absolutely love the way they’re playing and the tenacity brought by Immanuel Quickley and Nick Richards.
  9. Duke (-3) – Duke is a very good team, but all season, I just haven’t quite felt as if they’re truly elite. Wednesday’s defeat to NC State demonstrates why I feel that way, despite metrics (and a really strong resume) suggesting they’re near the top of the charts – this team can be dominant when clicking, but for all the talent they possess, it feels as if they’re more prone to an absolute stinker of a performance than any other team in the Top 10.
  10. Creighton (+4) – Creighton is quite possibly the hottest team in college basketball right now with 9 wins in their last 10, and they’ve taken down some juggernauts on the way, with road wins at Villanova and Seton Hall, and after this week, Marquette, plus Sunday’s blowout of a good Butler team. The Tyshon Alexander/Marcus Zegarowski/Mitchell Ballock trio is simply a joy to watch and I really think this team is headed towards a very deep run in the tournament.
  11. Seton Hall (+1) – After an 0-2 week, the Pirates bounced back in a really strong way, with Sandro Mamukelashvili’s buzzer beater leading them over Butler and a convincing win over St. John’s wrapping up the week. The Pirates get a much-needed break until a road trip to Marquette on Saturday where they’ll try to stay on pace for a Big East title, but Creighton remains on their tail and continue to light their opponents up.
  12. Louisville (+1) – Not a whole to say about Louisville other than that they bounced big in a needed way – after losing to two bad teams on the road, two bad teams came into the KFC Yum! Center (that exclamation point is critical, folks) and left with double digit losses. Monday’s road trip to Tallahassee will determine if this is a top 10 team or not.
  13. Oregon (-3) – The Ducks fell on the road in Tempe to a scorching hot and surging Arizona State team, and I’ve got the Sun Devils ranked now, so I can’t drop the Ducks too far for that, especially given the way they came out and stole a win on the road at Arizona late Saturday night. Payton Pritchard continued to make a case for 1st Team All-American with a masterful 38 point performance in a brutally tough road environment.
  14. Villanova (+2) – Villanova held serve on the road this week, extending their winning streak to 4 games after 3 consecutive losses to Creighton, Butler, and Seton Hall. I’m not convinced that they’re quite at the level of Creighton and Seton Hall yet, given that half of this winning streak includes Temple and DePaul, but they’re definitely in the right direction.
  15. BYU (+8) – BYU is definitely my biggest winner in the rankings this week – the metrics have loved them for a while, but I somewhat begrudgingly ranked them at #23 last week despite a narrow road win over San Diego. But now, there’s no way to argue that BYU is not one of the top 25 teams in the country after a massive home win against Gonzaga, and I really believe they’re one of the 15 best teams.
  16. Penn State (-8) – After Penn State ripped off an 8 game winning streak I was perfectly content to launch them up into the top 10, but after the last week, I feel like I may have jumped the gun a bit. A home loss to Illinois and road loss to Indiana certainly aren’t the end of the world by any means; I just think that I needed to recalibrate my view of Penn State a little bit.
  17. Iowa (+5) – Iowa took their only game of the week and made the most of it, boatracing Ohio State in the opening minutes and controlling the game from then on to snag a 9 point victory over a top 25 team. With an impressive win, along with some losses by teams I had previously ranked above the Hawkeyes, Iowa is another big mover.
  18. Auburn (-3) – The Tigers somehow pulled another rabbit out of their hat on Saturday with a massive come from behind victory over Tennessee, but the mid-week loss to Georgia is a bit of a concern for me. Yes, Isaac Okoro was out, so I don’t want to penalize the Tigers too harshly, but at no point this season have I ever felt as if Georgia was close to a good team, and the Tigers have been awfully lucky a lot this season.
  19. Houston (–) – The Cougars fell over the weekend, but a one point road loss to a talented team desperate for a big win to get back in the bubble conversation is hardly shameful. Plus, just a few days earlier they blasted Tulsa by 33 points, so that balances out their past week pretty nicely.
  20. Colorado (–) – The Buffaloes did take a home loss over the weekend to the same team that previously lost to Cal State Fullerton and Hofstra, but really, UCLA is a completely different team from that time. They’re on a red hot streak, so I can’t penalize Colorado too much, especially when others near them in the rankings lost either worse games, are on more prolonged skids of inconsistency, or lost multiple times this past week.
  21. West Virginia (-3) – Compared to Houston and Colorado, it may be a bit more harsh to penalize the Mountaineers for an OT road loss to a conference foe, but my bigger concern is how BAD this team is on the road – in Big 12 play, West Virginia is now 1-6 on the road, with the lone win coming at Oklahoma State. They’re a great team at home, but I really would like to see some better road performances.
  22. Michigan State (+2) – Quiet week for the Spartans, who blasted Nebraska on the road by 21 points on Thursday night and move up thanks to some Big East carnage. We’ll get a better gauge of where the Spartans are at now with Iowa coming to town on Tuesday night and a road trip lined up to College Park on Saturday night.
  23. Arizona State (NEW) – Earlier this season, I didn’t think the Sun Devils were even remotely close to the bubble picture, let alone the top 25 picture, but they are up there with Creighton and Kentucky in the mix for hottest team in the country. Now the leader in the Pac 12 standings, the Sun Devils took down Oregon this week and held serve at home in a narrow win over Oregon State. With 7 straight wins, I’ve gotta give a tip of the cap to Arizona State this week.
  24. Butler (-3) – The days of Butler being a top 5 team seem long forgotten, but I can assure you they happened this very season. Butler is absolutely headed in the wrong direction with 4 losses in their past 5 games, but I’m not completely giving up on them yet. While they ended up getting boatraced by Creighton on Sunday, Kamar Baldwin leaving the game is definitely a major loss that had to have played a part, though I don’t think his injury was even close to being the reason for the blowout. Also, it’s pretty hard to knock a team too much for losing on the road to a top 15 team on a buzzer beater inbounds play with 0.6 seconds left – that’s just tough.
  25. Ohio State (–) – Ohio State came back to the rankings this week after a long break marked by maddeningly inconsistent play, then promptly got beaten pretty handily by Iowa. They bounced back in a huge way though on Sunday, knocking off top 10 Maryland, so I have no problem keeping them where they’re at for the time being.

Dropped Out: Marquette (was 17)

Next 5: Marquette, Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia

Bracketology – 2/23

Based on results through games played on 2/22. Asterisk indicates auto-bid, number in parentheses indicates increase/decrease since last update on 2/18.

NOTE: As a reminder, this is based on an algorithm – that said, I have made one correction to match historical precedent, which is that no team that is .500 or worse has ever been awarded an at-large bid. My algorithm would place Purdue as the 2nd last team in the field, which would bump Oklahoma to the first team out, but seeing that Purdue is 14-14, I have not included them in the field and they are not listed in the First/Next 4 Out, either. At this point, I don’t think .500 teams are worthy of being considered, but obviously, if Purdue can get to above .500, they are very much in the mix of bubble consideration.

1 seeds
Kansas* (–)
Baylor (–)
Gonzaga* (+1)
Duke (–)
2 seeds
San Diego State* (-1)
Maryland* (–)
Dayton* (–)
Villanova (+2)
3 seeds
Florida State (–)
Creighton (–)
Louisville* (+1)
Seton Hall* (–)
4 seeds
Penn State (-2)
Oregon (–)
Kentucky* (+2)
Michigan (+3)
5 seeds
West Virginia (-1)
Auburn (-2)
Michigan State (–)
Colorado (–)
6 seeds
Iowa (–)
BYU (+1)
Butler (–)
Arizona (–)
7 seeds
Houston* (–)
Ohio State (-2)
Marquette (-2)
LSU (–)
8 seeds
Wisconsin (–)
Texas Tech (–)
Saint Mary’s (–)
Illinois (+2)
9 seeds
Wichita State (-1)
Florida (+1)
Virginia (+2)
Arizona State* (+3)
10 seeds
Indiana (+2)
Rhode Island (-1)
Rutgers (-1)
Xavier (-1)
11 seeds
Utah State (–)
East Tennessee State* (–)
USC (–)
Cincinnati (-1) / NC State (NEW) (Last 4 In)
12 seeds
Providence (NEW) / Oklahoma (-3) (Last 4 In)
Northern Iowa* (–)
Liberty* (NEW)
Yale* (–)
13 seeds
Akron* (NEW)
Vermont* (-1)
Stephen F. Austin* (–)
North Texas* (–)
14 seeds
Belmont* (NEW)
New Mexico State* (-1)
Hofstra* (–)
Colgate* (-1)
15 seeds
UC Irvine* (-1)
Wright State* (-1)
South Dakota State* (-1)
Little Rock* (–)
16 seeds
Montana* (–)
Radford* (NEW)
Prairie View A&M* (–) / Saint Peter’s* (–)
Robert Morris* (–) / North Carolina A&T* (NEW)

First 4 Out
Richmond
Arkansas
Alabama
Stanford
Next 4 Out
Mississippi State
Georgetown
Memphis
UNC Greensboro

Dropped Out:
Purdue (was 10)
Georgetown (was 11)
Bowling Green (was 15)
Murray State (was 15)
Winthrop (was 15)
North Florida (was 16)
Norfolk State (was 16)