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. Also, today is that day.
Some resources I use to put these rankings together:
1. Baylor (–)
Baylor continues to impose their dominance as they cruise through their Big 12 schedule. The Bears hold the third highest AdjO as well as the third highest AdjD. They have won 15 of their 17 matchups by double digits.
Key Wins: n-Illinois, Oklahoma, @TCU, @Texas Tech, Kansas, @Oklahoma State, Auburn, @Texas
Key Losses: TBD
2. Gonzaga (–)
Gonzaga and Baylor are interchangeable at the top spot in the country. The Bulldogs are 2nd in AdjO and 5th in AdjD. The Zags are 10-0 in conference with an average winning margin of over 23 points. Look to see Gonzaga and Baylor matchup in the National Championship.
Key Wins: n-Kansas, n-Auburn, n-West Virginia, n-Iowa, n-Virginia, San Francisco, BYU, @Saint Mary’s
Key Losses: TBD
3. Michigan (–)
While only playing 14 games the Wolverines have racked up an impressive resume. Michigan is 8-1 in the first two Quadrants with their sole loss coming on the road to Minnesota who they also beat by double digits earlier in the season.
Key Wins: Penn State, @Maryland, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, @Purdue
Key Losses: @Minnesota
4. Illinois (+3)
The Illini are on a four game winning streak (all four Quad 1) in the toughest conference in America. Despite having five losses they have ranked very well in the metrics. Coming in at 8th offensively and 12th defensively. Their blend of talent across the floor make them a threat against anyone they face.
Key Wins: @Duke, Minnesota, @Penn State, Indiana, Purdue, @Northwestern, Penn State, Iowa, @Indiana, Wisconsin
Key Losses: n-Baylor, @Missouri, @Rutgers, Maryland, Ohio State
5. Ohio State (-1)
The Buckeyes are 8-1 over their last 9 games. They have an elite offense but struggle to defend, coming in at 64th in AdjD. Chris Holtmann has his team playing some of their best basketball down the stretch as they have strung together a handful of massive wins.
Key Wins: n-UCLA, Rutgers, @Rutgers, Northwestern, @Illinois, @Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan State, @Iowa, @Maryland
Key Losses: @Purdue, @Northwestern, @Minnesota, Purdue
6. Iowa (–)
The Hawkeyes possess the best AdjO in the country but have issues on the defensive end. They have returned talented guard, C.J. Fredrick to their lineup and should finish strong if they remain healthy. With all of their weapons on offense they are good enough to beat anyone they face.
Key Wins: North Carolina, Purdue, Northwestern, @Rutgers, Minnesota, @Northwestern, Michigan State, Rutgers
Key Losses: n-Gonzaga, @Minnesota, Indiana, @Illinois, Ohio State, @Indiana
7. Villanova (+1)
The Wildcats, led by future Hall of Famer Jay Wright, are 13-2 and look the part for another NCAA Tournament run. Their 5th ranked offense runs at a slow pace as they wear down their opponents. If they can shore up on the defensive end the Wildcats could become dangerous in March.
Key Wins: @Texas, @Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence, @Seton Hall, Marquette
Key Losses: n-Virginia Tech, @St. John’s
8. Alabama (-3)
Apart from a brutal road loss to Missouri, the Tide have been dominant in conference play. Alabama pushes a quick tempo while their defense forces turnovers and ranks 1st in the country. This is the best team in the SEC by quite a margin and have real Giant Killer potential when they play in the Big Dance.
Key Wins: Ole Miss, @Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, @Kentucky, Arkansas, @LSU, Mississippi State, Kentucky, LSU, @South Carolina
Key Losses: n-Stanford, n-Clemson, Western Ketucky, @Oklahoma, @Missouri
9. Houston (+1)
After a mysterious loss to a bad ECU team the Cougars are back to dominating teams on both sides of the ball with their physicality. They rank 1st in offensive rebound percentage. The Cougars will not be intimidated by anyone and should be a real threat in tournament play.
Key Wins: n-Texas Tech, @SMU, Wichita State, Tulsa, SMU
Key Losses: @Tulsa, @East Carolina
The Cavaliers are about as balanced as a team can be. In true Tony Bennett style, Virginia plays at the slowest tempo in country. This can frustrate teams who are used to playing at a faster pace. The Cavaliers have improved on the offensive end and look to make another deep run this season.
Key Wins: @Clemson, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, @NC State, Pittsburgh, @Georgia Tech
Key Losses: n-San Francisco, n-Gonzaga, @Virginia Tech
11. Tennessee (+3)
12. Wisconsin (–)
13. USC (+7)
14. West Virginia (+5)
15. Florida State (–)
16. Texas Tech (-5)
17. Colorado (+4)
18. Creighton (-2)
19. Texas (-6)
20. Oklahoma (-3)
21. Purdue (+1)
22. San Diego State (+4)
23. Loyola-Chicago (+2)
24. Arkansas (+5)
25. Kansas (-7)
Dropped From Rankings: Missouri & Florida
Clarification on Missouri:
Fact: I hate the University of Missouri.
Fact: They currently hold the largest gap between Avg. Metric Ranking and AP Ranking.
The Tigers are currently number 10 in the AP Poll. This is a testament to the fact that AP voters are not paying attention to advanced metrics. Missouri’s current rankings in a few of the most credited metric systems.
Ken Pom: 40, Sagarin: 40, Massey: 25, NET: 34
I make these rankings mainly based on metrics with a little bit of the eye test if I feel particularly strong about a teams ability. This is the most subjective way I can provide insight into where I think teams rank on a given week. Using this framework Missouri would have been the worst team in the top 25 by a substantial amount had I included them. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a smile on my face when I added them to the “Dropped From Rankings” section.
Ken Pom: 24, Sagarin: 23, Massey: 26 NET: 26
The Hogs did what they hadn’t done all season. Win a game they weren’t favored to win at the time of tip-off. The Razorback’s took Kentucky’s best shot and stood their ground. From a metrics standpoint the Hogs are a top 25 squad, and they have looked the part over the last few weeks. To this point Arkansas hasn’t shown the ability to beat any great teams, but will have an opportunity to prove themselves with a tough schedule down the stretch.