The Top 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball rankings could change within the next few weeks to the end of the regular season. The powerhouse that are always highly ranked in the Top 10, aren’t in the Top 10 this year. Teams that haven’t been highly ranked are being highly ranked for the first time in years. Also, no team is a clear cut favorite to win it all.
The college basketball season is slowly winding down, and we‘re approaching the NCAA Tournament. March Madness will be rolling around the corner. Fans and even President Obama will be setting their brackets to decide an NCAA Men’s Basketball champion. This year, the college basketball landscape is very different.
Here are this week’s Top 10 teams.
Oklahoma Sooners (18-2)
The Sooners basketball team are in prime position to contend for a Final Four run. They have been ranked in the Top 10 most of the season. Jordan Woodard is having a good year averaging 15 points and 3 assists per game. They have a huge matchup coming up with their Big 12 rival the Kansas Jayhawks this weekend as they try to make a statement to college basketball that they are for real.
North Carolina Tar Heels (19-2)
The Tar Heels are another team trying to position themselves for a Final Four run. Head coach Roy Williams is trying to guide UNC to its first title since 2009. The Tar Heels have two big games left with their rival the Duke Blue Devils before the end of the season. If they can win at least one of those games, the Tar Heels will be in good position for the tourney.
Villanova Wildcats (18-3)
Villanova is re-establishing itself as the top dog of the Big East. They have taken the college basketball world by surprise. Junior guard Josh Hart has been very solid by averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds per game. In the last few weeks, the Wildcats have some big games with rivals Xavier and Georgetown. They can make a strong title run if they can somehow win both of these games.
Maryland Terrapins (19-3)
Terrapins have established themselves as a contender in the Big Ten. They have huge wins over rivals Ohio State, Iowa and Purdue this season. Sophomore guard Melo Trimble has had a pretty good year averaging 14 points and 5 assists per game. They have a few more big games in the coming weeks against Big Ten rivals Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, but they have a rematch with Purdue at Purdue. If they can string those wins together, they can be a legit threat for more talented teams in the tournament.
Iowa Hawkeyes (17-4)
Iowa has been one of the most underrated teams in college basketball all season long. They may not be the most talented team, but they’re the hardest working team. The Hawkeyes play great defense and want to keep the games low scoring. They have some statement wins over Big Ten rivals Purdue and top dog Michigan State. Iowa has a few games left against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. The Hawkeyes will be a tough out for any team come tournament time.
Xavier Musketeers (19-2)
Villanova may be the #1 team in the Big East. But, Xavier isn’t too far behind the Wildcats. Sophomore guard Trevon Bluiett has had a solid season with 15 points and 6 rebounds per game. This team also plays tenacious defense and pretty good offensively. They have huge wins over Butler, Marquette and Wake Forest. Down the stretch, the Wildcats have some huge games against Villanova, Georgetown and Butler. This team can have a strong NCAA Tournament run.
Kansas Jayhawks (17-4)
The Jayhawks have been on top of the Top 10 rankings all year. They aren’t too far behind the Sooners in the Big 12. Junior guard Frank Mason III has been the heart of this team. He has been averaging 13.2 points and 5 assists per game, and Devontae’ Graham has been solid by averaging 10.2 points per game. They have already beaten Oklahoma earlier this season. They have another game with Oklahoma and Baylor to close out the season. The Jayhawks could make a strong Final Four run.
Texas A&M Aggies (18-5)
Texas A&M is having a great season with an 18-5 record. Senior guard Jalen Jones is averaging 16 points and 7 rebounds per game. The Aggies have had some huge wins over LSU and Florida this season. As the season’s drawing to a close, A&M have some big matchups with SEC rival Alabama, LSU and Kentucky. If they can string those wins together, they could make a strong for being a high seed in the tournament.
Virginia Cavaliers (17-4)
The Cavaliers, no not the ones in Cleveland, have been another surprise during the college basketball season. They currently sit in 1st in the ACC with a 19-4 record. The Cavaliers are definitely on the rise with wins over Louisville, Pitt, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Virginia has some big upcoming games against Virginia Tech, University of North Carolina, Louisville and Duke. This is a team will be a force to be reckoned with in the tournament.
Michigan State Spartans (19-4)
It seems like Michigan State is also a strong contender every year for the Final Four. This year, it isn’t any different as the Spartans are currently 4th in the Big Ten. Senior guard Denzel Valentine is leading the way averaging 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists per game. Under head coach Tom Izzo, MSU has always been a great defensive team, and can score timely baskets. They have strong wins against Kansas, Iowa and Maryland. They still have to play some huge games against Ohio State (twice), Purdue and Wisconsin. The Spartans are poised to make another Final Four run.
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By Quentin Congress