College Basketball Power Rankings for March 7th, 2013

kelly-olynyk-gonzagaIn the last set of power rankings that we did, it was extremely difficult to pick a clear number one college basketball team. However, this week was a bit easier because only one top team has continued winning in recent weeks. After our top pick, things get a bit more muddled since none of the powerhouses can string together any sort of winning streak. This being said, let’s try to sort out the top 10 college basketball teams as we near the regular season’s end.

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-2) – After ousting their last tough test of the season in Brigham Young and blowing Portland out, Gonzaga heads into the West Coast Conference tournament on a 12-game winning streak. This means that – barring anything crazy happening in the conference tourney – the Zags are virtually guaranteed a top NCAA tournament seed. The team should be fairly fresh for the postseason too since nobody on this club plays more than 31 MPG.

2. Duke Blue Devils (26-4) – Duke was previously the number one team in our power rankings, but they dropped a 5-point game on the road to Virginia (20-9). However, the Blue Devils also followed this game up with some revenge against 5th-ranked Miami and a win over Virginia Tech. They finish up the regular season with a road contest against rival North Carolina. Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo (14.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG) will be hoping that his Tar Heels can pull off the upset and grab a good tournament seed.

3. Kansas Jayhawks (26-4) – The Jayhawks have been quickly climbing our rankings since they’ve gone on a seven-game winning streak against pierre-jacksonsome decent competition. They can collect a Big-12 title by winning at Baylor on Saturday. Kansas will need to shut down Bears senior guard Pierre Jackson (19.1) to assure themselves of victory.

4. Indiana Hoosiers (25-5) – Indiana drops a spot after losing two out of the past three games, including a 9-point home loss to Ohio State on Tuesday. The edge in this game appeared to be the Hoosiers’ 12 turnovers compared to the Buckeyes 7. Now Indiana will have to win on the road against 7-ranked Michigan if they want to guarantee themselves an outright Big-10 title. The first game was an eight-point victory for the Hoosiers; however, this contest is at Ann Arbor.

5. Louisville Cardinals (25-5) – After opening the college basketball season as the number one team in many publications – including ours – Louisville hit some stumbling blocks during the season such as a three-game losing streak and injury to starting center Gorgui Dieng (9.9 PPG, gorgui-dieng10.0 RPG). However, the Cardinals seem to be peaking at just the right time, and they’re on a six-game winning streak. The highlight of this strong run includes a road victory over 12th-ranked Syracuse.

6. Michigan Wolverines (25-5) – Michigan falls a couple of spots since they lost to Big-10 bottom-feeder Penn State (5-19) on February 27th. Luckily, they didn’t fall any further thanks to victories over 9th-ranked Michigan State and a mediocre Purdue team. The Wolverines could close out the regular season with a huge victory if they take down Indiana at home this weekend.

7. Georgetown Hoyas (23-5) – The Hoyas had an 11-game win streak snapped on the road against Villanova. Star forward Otto Porter Jr. didn’t exactly have his best game after shooting 2-for-9 against the Wildcats. However, the sophomore has been a great all-around player for Georgetown all season, so we look for some better performances from him in the postseason.

Rodney McGruder, Demarcus Holland8. Kansas State Wildcats (24-5) – K-State leaps into our rankings thanks to a recent six-game winning streak and strong overall record. Plus, they jump ahead of Florida due to a mid-season victory over the Gators. About the only team that’s had the Wildcats’ number this season is in-state rival Kansas, which beat K-State twice. Maybe Rodney McGruder (14.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG) and the Wildcats will get their chance at revenge in the Big-12 conference tournament.

9. Florida Gators (24-5) – Florida has played pretty mediocre for themselves over the past nine games after going 6-3. But they can finish the season on a high note by beating Kentucky on the road. This certainly won’t be an easy task though since the Wildcats feature five double-digit scorers and can beat opponents in many different ways.

10. Miami Hurricanes (23-5) – It’s hard telling what Miami team is going to show up each night. The Hurricanes have done everything from beat Duke by 27 points to lose against Indiana State at home. At this point, the latter Miami team has been showing up since they’ve lost three out of the past four contests. Now a three-point road loss to Duke is certainly understandable. However, they’ve also lost to a mediocre Georgia Tech squad and a pretty bad Wake Forrest team during this stretch. Even with this being said, the Hurricanes can finish atop the ACC with a victory over Clemson.