These are AP/NCAA Tournament “resume style” rankings with a twinge of eye test added in. If you want to check out my list of who the “best” teams are, check out my computer rankings.
#1 – Gonzaga (12-0)
4-0 in Q1 games with wins over Iowa, Kansas, West Virginia, and Virginia, the Zags are clearly the #1 team in the nation.
#2 – Baylor (11-0)
The Bears have won every game they have played by double digits, including a 13-point win over Illinois on a neutral court back in December.
#3 – Villanova (8-1)
Villanova is on COVID pause for now, but the road win against Texas keeps them in the #3 spot.
#4 – Texas (10-1)
3-1 in Q1 opportunities (and 3-0 in Q2), Texas is building one of the best resumes in the country.
#5 – Michigan (10-0)
The Wolverines are perfect, with a resume highlighted by an 82-57 thrashing of Minnesota. Wisconsin awaits in a primetime clash on Tuesday.
#6 – Iowa (11-2)
With wins over Minnesota, Rutgers, and North Carolina, Iowa remains the highest ranked two-loss team.
#7 – Tennessee (9-1)
With three Q1 wins already, the Vols should clearly be the highest-ranked team in the SEC. Rick Barnes’ squad gets Florida on January 19th in what should be a good one.
#8 – Houston (10-1)
The loss to Tulsa hurts, but the Cougs’ dominant win over Texas Tech keeps them above Kansas for now.
#9 – Kansas (10-2)
The Jayhawks’ only losses are to top-five teams, and they hold victories over Creighton, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. This group will be a contender in the Big 12 title race yet again.
#10 – Creighton (10-2)
The Bluejays are winners of six straight, and they won’t have to face Villanova until mid-February, so expect them to remain high.
#11 – Clemson (9-1)
With wins against Purdue, Alabama, and Florida State, the Tigers have clearly earned the right to be called the highest-ranked team in the ACC. Virginia awaits on Saturday.
#12 – Wisconsin (10-2)
Beat Michigan and they will skyrocket, but for now, two questionable losses (Marquette, Maryland) keep the Badgers out of the top ten.
#13 – Missouri (7-2)
The loss to a bad Mississippi State team hurts, but wins against Illinois, Oregon, and Arkansas keep the Tigers as one of the highest rated teams in the country.
#14 – Illinois (9-4)
Not only are they the highest-ranked four-loss team, but Illinois is above all three-loss teams as well. The Illini hold wins against Duke, Indiana, and Northwestern among others, and are loved by the metrics.
#15 – Texas Tech (10-3)
The three losses are all to good teams, and the Red Raiders hold a road win against Oklahoma. We will learn a lot more about this team this week, as they face Texas and Baylor.
#16 – Louisville (8-1)
The only loss came @ Wisconsin without many of their best players, and the Cards are winners of four straight since. This team could be a contender come March.
#17 – West Virginia (9-4)
All four of the Mountaineers’ losses came in Q1 games, and the Mountaineers are holders of six wins vs KenPom top 100 teams (eight vs the top 115).
#18 – Oregon (9-2)
The Ducks dropped a road game against Colorado on Thursday, but remain deserving of the top spot in the Pac-12 thanks to a resume that includes wins against Stanford, Utah, and Seton Hall.
#19 – Duke (5-2)
Duke has not lost since their game against Illinois on December 8th. The Blue Devils get their first chance at a Q1 win @ Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
#20 – Minnesota (10-4)
The head-to-head wins against Saint Louis and Ohio State keep the Golden Gophers from dropping any further, but Minnesota has lost three of their last four, with another game against Michigan coming Saturday.
#21 – Saint Louis (7-1)
The Billikens have cemented their place as the best mid-major in America (not including Gonzaga). The only loss came by single digits @ Minnesota, and SLU holds a win over LSU.
#22 – Ohio State (9-3)
Wins against UCLA and Rutgers highlight a resume that could get a lot stronger this week if the Buckeyes can knock off Illinois on Saturday.
#23 – UConn (6-1)
The only loss came in overtime to Creighton, and the Huskies hold wins over USC, Marquette, and Butler. They will have to wait to add another quality win to that list, however, as Friday’s game against Villanova was cancelled due to COVID-19 cases at VU.
#24 – Virginia Tech (10-2)
The pair of wins against Villanova and Clemson is huge, but a mind-boggling 20-point home loss to 3-4 Penn State deflates the Hokies’ ranking. VT gets Duke on Tuesday with a chance to add to their resume.
#25 – UCLA (9-2)
I went with a bit of a wildcard at the #25 spot, but UCLA has been excellent recently, with wins over Utah, Colorado, Arizona State, and Arizona since their December 19th loss to Ohio State. The Bruins are 5-0 in Pac-12 play and will contend for the conference title.