College basketball Power Rankings: Baylor men stay No. 1 going into conference play

November and December were fun. We had some marquee games — Duke vs. Gonzaga still stands out — some surprises, some disappointments. But the meat and potatoes of the 2021-22 men’s college basketball season is set to truly begin: conference play.

So before we get to this week’s awards and rankings, here’s a quick look at the biggest question facing each of the major conferences when league play heats up this week. ACC: Is anyone good besides Duke?

The Blue Devils have separated themselves as the best team in the league, but there’s a canyon between them and the rest of the league. We think North Carolina is probably solid, but after that the best bet might be Wake Forest , or a Virginia Tech team that lost to the Demon Deacons by 19 at home. American: Can Memphis get on the same page?

More on Houston a little later, but with the Cougars’ injuries, they’re no longer a shoo-in to win the league. And we’ve seen Memphis ‘ ceiling with a 14-point win over Alabama . Unfortunately, we’ve seen the Tigers’ floor far more often this season. Big East: How vulnerable is Villanova ?

The Wildcats opened Big East play with a 20-point loss to Creighton but bounced back with a comeback win over Xavier . For me, Nova is still the league favorite, but Seton Hall , Xavier, UConn and Providence will all have something to say. Big Ten: How deep is the league’s middle of the pack?

From an NCAA tournament perspective, we’ve yet to get a handle on how deep the league is outside of Purdue , Michigan State , Ohio State and Illinois . Wisconsin has a great résumé, Michigan could turn things around, but Indiana and Minnesota are relatively unproven and Iowa and Maryland haven’t been consistent enough yet. Big 12: Which teams emerge from the middle and bottom half of the league?

Baylor and Kansas are likely to be a cut above the rest of the conference this season, but questions remain about everyone else. Is Iowa State for real? Will Texas hit its ceiling? Which of Oklahoma , Texas Tech and West Virginia is consistent enough offensively? TCU is unproven, too. Pac-12: It’s three top-10 teams and nobody else, right?

The top of the Pac-12 is as good as it gets nationally. Arizona has looked like a Final Four contender through the first two months of the season, UCLA is still a top-10 team and USC is unbeaten and looks awesome defensively. But it’s pretty clear so far that there might not be another NCAA tournament team in the league. SEC: Who’s the favorite?

There are five teams deserving to be ranked in the top 20 nationally this week, and you can make a case for any of the five as the favorite: Alabama looked like the pick, but the Crimson Tide then lost to Memphis and Davidson in back-to-back weeks. It should be a terrific race. Davidson’s surprise win over Alabama […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *