Despite dealing with COVID-19, college basketball is about as entertaining as it has ever been this season. In a year where Blue Bloods have struggled we have seen a wide range of teams take the national spotlight. While Gonzaga, Baylor, and Michigan seem to be in a class of their own, that could change on any given night. I am a believer in using advanced metrics to evaluate talent, but there is obviously way more to it than that. Here are my 25 best teams in college basketball right now based on advanced metrics and how I view their current trajectory.
- Gonzaga (+1)
The Zags are back on top as they continue their pursuit of a perfect season. On offense, they can score on all levels as they push the ball down the court. With the best effective FG% in the country while playing faster than almost any team, the Bulldogs look like favorites to win it all this season.
- Baylor (-1)
“There is no such thing as a bad win”. Well… going down to the wire with a 2-17 Iowa State team is about as ugly of a win as you can get. Granted, they were coming off a lengthy COVID break. The Bears absolutely have the ability to win it all, but their last game finally separated them from Gonzaga’s dominance from a metrics standpoint.
- Michigan (–)
The Wolverines are hot. With only one loss to a dangerous Minnesota team, they are not far behind Baylor at this point in time. Their win at Ohio State may be the most impressive performance by any team this season. Michigan relies on a good balance of offensive and defensive ability as they take a methodical approach in terms of pace.
- Ohio State (+1)
Despite a loss at home, I still love this Ohio State team. Very similar to Iowa, they can hang with anyone with their elite scoring ability. That being said, they also struggle on defense where they rank 86the in AdjD. This is a team that no one will want to see in March and is being coached at an elite level.
- Illinois (-1)
This is the least confident I have been about a top 5 team all year. The Illini are well balanced but rely too heavily on the play of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. If I am a 15 seed in the tournament I would be praying to match up with this team. At the same time, this team has the ability to hang with anyone but lacks consistency.
- Iowa (–)
It is a thing of beauty to watch the Hawkeyes on offense. They have the best AdjO. in the country and are seriously dangerous from deep. Not to mention Luka Garza torturing every opposing big man he faces. It’s a mystery how they are so bad on defense but they can typically make up for it on the offensive end. Watch for a massive matchup tonight against Michigan.
- Houston (+3)
The Cougars are a difficult team to get a read on. With losses to Tulsa, ECU, and Wichita State they have an ugly resume. It is worth noting that they perform very well metrically coming in at 5 on Ken Pom, 6 on NET, 7 on Sagarin, and 8 on Massey. Kelvin Sampson leads a physical squad that is good on both sides of the ball. Will be one of the most interesting teams to look for in March.
- USC (–)
Evan Mobley. The 7’0 freshman is one of the best players in the country and possibly the best prospect in college basketball. Averaging 17 points per game with nearly 8 rebounds and 3 blocks he is as versatile as they come. The Trojans rank 19th in AdjO and 14th AdjD to round out a very good basketball team.
- Florida State (+3)
Leonard Hamilton has to be one of the most underrated coaches in basketball. The Seminoles weaponize the three-point shot to create a powerful offensive attack. Florida State has won their last four games and nine of its last ten. Their resume isn’t anything special but includes wins over Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina.
- Alabama (-3)
The Tide have sputtered a little of late but are still a very formidable opponent. They push the ball on offense as fast as almost anyone in the country. This paired with their 4th ranked defense makes for a dangerous team. With a blend of height and experience, they are not easily rattled and are never out of a contest with their three-point ability.
- Villanova (-1)
- Creighton (+1)
- Wisconsin (+2)
- Arkansas (+4)
The Razorbacks may very well be the hottest team in the country right now. They are riding an 8 game conference win streak with all of their resume-building wins in the last couple of weeks. With the emergence of Justin Smith, Jalen Tate, Devo Davis, Jaylin Williams, and Connor Vanover this last month they have as much depth as almost anyone in college basketball. All of that being said, Hog fans may need to pump the brakes a little bit. I have seen far too many “Final 4” tweets over the last 24 hours. The Razorbacks have moved into the 5 seed line in most bracketologists minds, but this is college basketball, who is to say what will happen over the next few weeks. One thing you can count on is Eric Musselman will have his players prepared as they can possibly be going into each game. The Hogs are looking like a team with a floor in the round of 32 and a ceiling as high as the Elite 8.
- West Virginia (+2)
- Virginia (-8)
- Tennesee (-3)
- Kansas (+3)
- Purdue (+3)
- Texas (+1)
- Texas Tech (-3)
- Loyola-Chicago (Newly Ranked)
- BYU (Newly Ranked)
- Colorado (-8)
- Oklahoma (-5)
Dropped from Rankings: San Diego State and LSU
Biggest Movers Up: Arkansas +4
Biggest Movers Down: Colorado/Virginia -8
The Razorbacks have won their last 8 conference games. On Wednesday night they knocked off No. 6 Alabama by 15 points.
The Cavaliers have dropped their last three games. Including a 21 point loss to Florida State and a 7 point loss to NC State at home.
hours minutes seconds