Jonah’s Top 25 (and Hog ranking)

Excited for the day that the I can remove the “and Hog ranking”, but until then here are my power rankings and an update on the Razorbacks.

Some resources I use to put these rankings together:

  1. Baylor: I have the Bears slightly edging out Gonzaga but they are both in a class of their own. At 16-0 (mainly in blowout fashion) Baylor has given fans no reason to doubt that they could win it all this year.
  2. Gonzaga: There are two certainties in this world: The sun will rise in the morning and Mark Few will have a dominant basketball team. At 18-0 with wins over Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa, and Virginia the Bulldogs aren’t just dominating the WCC. Smart money would see Gonzaga facing off against Baylor in a tossup come early April.
  3. Michigan: The Juwan Howard experiment is officially a success. Apart from a lopsided loss @Minnesota the Wolverines haven’t lost a basketball game. They hold wins over Wisconsin and Purdue. We will see what they’re made of down the stretch with some tough games upcoming.
  4. Ohio State: The Buckeyes high powered offense just went 12 rounds on the road against Iowa and pulled out a decisive victory. I have them a little higher than most statistical rankings and look for them to be a real threat if they can clean things up on defense. Chris Holtmann has things rolling in Columbus.
  5. Alabama: Since conference play has started the Crimson Tide are a perfect 10-0 in blowout fashion in every game other than a 94-90 win @Auburn. They have a dangerous offense and a very underrated defense that comes in at 3rd in the country. The Tide can beat anyone and look to be a threat in the Big Dance.
  6. Iowa: I would argue that the Hawkeyes have underperformed to this point. That being said they are 13-5 in the best conference in America. Their sole bad loss was to Minnesota who has proven to be a Giant Killer. With Garza being surrounded by the highest ranked offense in the country Iowa is a legit danger to anyone they face.
  7. Illinois: A very balanced team that scores the ball efficiently and gets back on defense. Weapons at every position makes them hard to stop on a given night. A big win over Iowa and a road win against Indiana have the Illini moving in the right direction.
  8. Villanova: Another year another great Jay Wright team. The Wildcats have a great win over Texas on the road and only one “bad loss”. There is no shame in losing to a Mike Anderson team that often surprises people in big games, but they were dominated that night in MSG. Look for them to bounce back and be 2 or 3 seed going into the tournament.
  9. Virginia: Slow tempo, half court offense, and a Tony Bennett defense make up a grind it out team in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers are missing a marquee win but have taken care of business since losing to San Francisco in late November. In an easier ACC this year they look to roll through the back half of their schedule.
  10. Houston: Kelvin Sampson’s squad was looking a lot more dangerous before dropping a game to a bad East Carolina team. Still, the Cougars hold the 5th ranked defense in the country and can rebound with anyone. Houston looks to bully teams with their physicality and will be a tough matchup for just about anyone in March.
  11. Texas Tech
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Texas
  14. Tennessee
  15. Florida State
  16. Creighton
  17. Oklahoma
  18. Kansas
  19. West Virginia
  20. USC
  21. Colorado
  22. Purdue
  23. Florida
  24. Missouri
  25. Loyola-Chicago

Arkansas: 29

KenPom: 26, Sagarin: 22, Massey: 33, Net: 30

The Hogs are a difficult team to get a grasp on this season to say the least. Their offense sputters at times and they often give up runs against even bad teams. That being said, the Razorbacks have more depth than they have had in a long time and are still 14-5 looking firmly in the field at the moment. They face @Kentucky, @Missouri, and get the Gators at home in the next three games. If the Hogs win two of the three you could see them crack into some of the top 25 rankings. With a difficult back half of the schedule things could go downhill fast or they could really make a statement. The Razorbacks just need to win the games they should to make the tournament but that is no easy task.

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