After two years without an NCAA tournament, the postseason celebration for men’s basketball did not disappoint. We had a couple of exciting games in extension. Moreover, there have been several significant shocks in the past two days.
In our effort to reorganize the field, don’t expect much movement after one game (or nothing at all, in Oregon’s case). Some of the double-digit seeds that provided a surprise in the first round certainly deserve the attention they’ve received so far, but probably not in conjunction with a significant change in their position in the current pecking order. Once we get past the first weekend, it could be a different story. But for now, here’s our new list of 32 participants in the men’s NCAA tournament.
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1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (Original serial header number: #1. Serial header number: #1)
Norfolk State held things in check for a few minutes before Gonzaga posted a solid 98-55 win over 16th-ranked Gonzaga Saturday in the first half. The 98 points are Gonzaga’s program record in the NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN Stats & Info. No team has had a perfect season since the 64-team NCAA was founded in 1985, but that’s the number of points scored that has Gonzaga’s team, which hasn’t lost since February 2020, on its way to perfection. The Bulldogs shot 52 percent from 3-point range against Norfolk State. Eight players scored at least five points in the game. It’s hard to imagine how any team can stop Gonzaga, which is also one of the best defensive teams in the United States, when the Zags score like the Harlem Globetrotters.
2. Илинойс Боевой Илини (Оригинальное семя: Nr. 1. Resume: Nr. 1)
While the world of college basketball is all about the rise of Ayo Dosunmu, one could argue that Kofi Cockburn is the toughest opponent. In Friday’s 78-49 victory over Drexel, the duo scored 35 points (16-of-24 inside the arc) in a game that was over before the Dragons even got off the bus. When you fight Dosunm and Cockburn, it’s like fighting Iron Man, looking up at the stage and seeing Captain Marvel. According to statistics and information from ESPN, Illinois scored more points in the paint (58) than Drexel throughout the game. Loyola Chicago will try to put this team in a tough spot.
3. Baylor Bears (original ranking: No. 1. New ranking: No. 1).
While the focus in recent months has been on the program’s defensive challenges since returning from a three-week break, Baylor has remained an offensive threat that opponents can still beat. The Bears scored at least 77 points in four of their seven NCAA Tournament games. So the 79-55 win in the first round over Hartford was no surprise. Their depth – Jared Butler finished 5-for-16 and the Bears still escaped – took them to their second-round game against Wisconsin. There’s no reason not to, there’s no reason to. It was the first time in weeks that Baylor beat an opponent, but it was also a sign that the team’s momentum is slowly returning.
4. Michigan Wolverines (Original site: #1. Re-elected: #1).
For the NCAA Tournament, Michigan holds opponents to 0.92 points per possession with Isaiah Livers on the court, according to hooplens.com. With Leavers still sidelined with a leg injury, Brandon Jones Jr. (11 points) defeated Texas Southern Michigan 82-66 on Saturday. The Wolverines aren’t the same group without Liver, but they’re still pretty good because Mike Smith, Franz Wagner, Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks form a core that can still compete. Saturday’s win was easier than Monday’s game against an LSU team that played well until the end. But Juwan Howard’s group played like favourites on Saturday, even without a key player.
5. Alabama Crimson Tide (originally #2, now #2 again)
The problem for opponents against Alabama is that 6-foot-9 John Petty (10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Herbert Jones (20 points, 6 rebounds) allow Nate Oates’ team to run things without sacrificing speed or athletic ability. That’s why Alabama ranks first in KenPom in adjusted defense. Iona tried to play at an unusual pace for Alabama (68 overs), but the Tide was so efficient (54% from beyond the arc on Saturday) that it always maintained control. During today’s 10-1 run, Alabama seemed best positioned and a potential Final Four team.
6. Houston Cougars (Original: #2. Recalculated: #2)
Kelvin Sampson’s squad has been taking lunch money away from opponents in recent months, and the Cougars looked like a bully again when they earned an 87-56 victory over Horizon League Tournament champion Cleveland State on Friday. Aside from two single-digit wins over Memphis in recent weeks, the Panthers have dominated, winning six of their last eight games by at least 24 points. Quentin Grimes (18 points) continues to play for this team. But the frightening part for opponents? Fabian White (12 points), who tore his ACL before the season and returned last month, is coming into form at the right time.
7. Iowa Hawkeyes (original song: #2. New song: #2)
The Big Ten is full of teams that have wingers who can create shots and talented big men who can make things difficult for Luca Garza. But much of the field doesn’t have enough positions to take on a Wooden Award candidate. Garza scored 24 points in Iowa’s 86-74 victory over Grand Canyon last Saturday. He also made 4 of 5 3-point shots. Iowa, which has a 9-2 record in its last 11 games, is playing its best basketball of the season at this time. There are many things to see: Grand Canyon is the third team in the last four games to score at least 1.08 points per possession against Iowa. The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, scored 137 points on 100 possessions. If Garza continues to play like this, few teams will be able to compete with Fran McCaffery’s team.
8. Arkansas Razorbacks (original ranking: #3. New ranking: #2).
After a rough start, Arkansas won 85-68 over a resilient Colgate team on Friday. Justin Smith led the team with 29 points. Arkansas has had three different top scorers in the last three games (Smith, Moses Moody and J.D. Notae). In the last two months, the Razorbacks have only lost to Oklahoma State (when Cade Cunningham scored 21 points on Jan. 16) and LSU (when Cameron Thomas and Javonte Smart scored 40 points in the SEC Tournament semifinals on March 13). It’s a 13-2 run since the 16th. in January for the Razorbacks, who take on Texas Tech on Sunday.
9. Kansas Jayhawks (original ranking: No. 3. New ranking: No. 3).
Tristan Enaruna and Jalen Wilson were unavailable due to COWID-19 protocols. David McCormack did not start after missing a game in the Big 12 Tournament due to the same protocols. And Eastern Washington brothers Tanner Groves and Jacob Groves combined for 58 points. Kansas, however, managed to win 93-84. A renewed defensive effort helped CU go from a dip in January to an intriguing point in February. The team, which had prepared with a series of short practices, proved that with its offensive prowess (54% inside the arc, 40% from the 3-point line) it could still win the game. Now Bill Self’s team should be able to move on and maybe enter the Sweet 16 with his entire team.
10. Ковбои шта Оклахома (Оригинал: Nr. 4. Resume: Nr. 3)
The idea that the Cowboys are a one-man team has been questioned in recent weeks. Cade Cunningham, the presumptive first-round pick, missed the regular-season finale at West Virginia, but the Cowboys won. Cunningham finished Friday with 15 points (3-of-14), but Avery Anderson III (21 points, 8-of-14) was one of three OSU players besides Cunningham to score nine or more points in the 69-60 victory over Liberty. Cunningham and a strong supporting cast are a combination that can advance to the Sweet 16 – and maybe beyond. The Cowboys now face Oregon State, the Golden State Warriors of the Pac-12, with their devastating talent beyond the arc.
11. West Virginia Highlanders (Original: No. 3. Extension: No. 3)
Bob Huggins won his 900th race. Victory with an 84-67 win over Morehead State in the first round. It was a positive moment for a West Virginia squad that entered the NCAA Tournament with a 1-3 record in its last four games. But if Miles McBride (30 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals) does what he did against Preston Spradlin’s team, the Mountaineers can play against any team in America. Friday marked the third time in five games that an opponent scored 105 points on 100 or more attempts against West Virginia. It was also the third time in five games that WVU scored 80 or more points per game. Virginia Press? Not anymore. Next: Syracuse on Sunday.
12. Florida Seminoles (Original: No. 4. Recalculated: No. 3)
FSU seemed to be in control of the game with a 21-7 lead in the first half, but Kennedy Greensboro was able to cut Florida State’s lead back to three points by halftime. Leonard Hamilton’s team won 64-54 despite going 0-for-9 from the three-point line. But this is the third time in three games that Florida State has failed to score more than one point per possession. We know how good Florida State can be, but the offensive struggles led to more games resembling Saturday’s win over UNC-Greensboro than the 21-point victory over Virginia last month. But a team with Raiquan Gray, MJ Walker and Scotty Barnes can compete with any team in the country. Next Monday is the game against Colorado.
13. Villanova Wildcats (original site: #5, new site: #4).
Winthrop’s team, which lost only once, was swept in the first round against a Villanova team that was without its captain, Collin Gillespie, who tore his ACL earlier this month. But Villanova’s 73-63 victory over the Eagles was a reminder that a team with Jeremy Robinson-Earl (22 points) and a healthy Justin Moore (15 points) remains a challenge for most opponents. Jay Wright’s team, which was inconsistent offensively in its first two games (both lost) without Gillespie, registered 112 points on 100 possessions Friday. The Wildcats will now play against a North Texas team that was defeated by Purdue.
14. Creighton Bluejays (originally No. 5, again No. 4).
This team hasn’t looked like the Week 2 team for a few weeks now – a change that began after Greg McDermott stayed on the commentary plantation. Georgetown defeated the Bluejays in the title game of the Big East Tournament and failed to get past Villanova after Collin Gillespie missed most of the game with a knee injury that ended the season. Creighton did little to allay concerns about its recent trend when it defeated 12th-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. Marcus Zegarowski (17 points) kept his team in the NCAA Tournament, but Creighton doesn’t seem like a reliable provider lately.
15. Colorado Buffaloes (original placement: #5, replaced: #4).
Prior to the NCAA tournament, Colorado State shot 51 percent inside the arc and 37 percent from the three-point line with McKinley Wright on the court, according to hooplens.com. Wright showed how to help his team by leading Georgetown to a 96-73 victory (12 points, 13 assists and five rebounds) in the Big East Championship Tournament on Saturday. The Buffaloes hit 64 percent of their three-point attempts in the process. Colorado enters the second round against Florida State with a 7-1 record in its last eight games.
16. Texas Tech Red Raiders (original seed: 6. seed: 4).
Chris Beard’s team has finished poorly on a couple of occasions this season. 10 поражений его команды в этом сезоне три поражения в регламнте на одно очко и два поражения овертайме. The Red Raiders have been waiting for a chance to play against someone other than the Big 12. When they finally got the chance, they defeated Utah State, the highest ranked team in the Mountain West, 65-53. They held the Aggies to 0.80 points per possession and hit 39% of their 3-point shots (Mack McClung led with 16 points). Texas Tech is a top defensive team that can beat anyone if they combine that trait with an effective offensive performance. Next up, the Red Raiders will take on a strong team from Arkansas.
17. USC Trojans (original ranking: No. 6, new ranking: No. 5)
Drake caught the nation’s attention after winning his first 18 games. The Bulldogs slipped to the first round after a promising win over Wichita State. But they didn’t see someone like Evan Mobley, who was picked in the top 3 of this summer’s NBA draft, according to ESPN’s latest mock draft. Mobley and his brother Isaiah Mobley scored 32 points in a 72-56 victory over USC, which defeated David McCormack and Kansas on Monday. This frontcourt is a challenge for every opponent. Drake just didn’t have the size to deal with the Trojans, a team that entered the game with a 4-3 record over its last seven games.
18. Florida Gators (original number: 7. Placement: 5).
The Gators didn’t have to prove their worth. Reaching the NCAA tournament after losing their leading scorer Keyontae Johnson in December showed their toughness. But now they are trying to prove that they are competitors. In a 75-70 victory over Virginia Tech in the first round, 6-foot-6 junior Colin Castleton scored 19 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and made three blocks. His growth is a welcome development for Mike White’s club. Opponents used 35 percent of their misses when Castleton was on the bench and only 29 percent when he was on the field, according to hooplens.com. Tre Mann and his teammates will now face off against an Oral Roberts team that defeated Ohio State 75-72 in overtime, producing the biggest surprise of the NCAA Tournament since UMBC defeated Virginia three years ago.
19. LSU Tigers (originally posted: #8. Picked: #5).
Following Saturday’s 76-61 victory over St. John’s Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10, Cameron Thomas is averaging 22.6 PPG in LSU’s last six games (5-1). In a league with powerhouses Arkansas and Alabama, it was Will Wade’s team that finished first in offensive efficiency in conference play. The Tigers were unable to match that defensive effort. In their last two scores, they scored 80, 83 and 91 points. But LSU handed St. Bonaventure, the number one team in the league in offensive efficiency, its worst defeat of the season on Saturday. If the Tigers can make those defensive stops in the next round, they still have a chance against Michigan.
20. Oregon Ducks (original: #7. Recalculation: #5)
The nightmare scenario the NCAA feared occurred Saturday when it was announced that Oregon’s first-round game against VCU was deemed non-competitive due to the Rams’ COVID-19 issues. It’s an unfortunate development that allows Oregon to move on and VCU to be sent home. Now the Ducks head straight to Monday’s game against Iowa, which is no small task. But the Ducks have been on a roll since day four. February has only lost two games. Eugene Omoruyi (16.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 PPG, 38% from the 3-point line) is the kind of athlete that can cause problems for the Hawks.
21. Loyola Chicago Ramblers (originally scheduled: #8, reset: #6)
Sister Jean moves on after Loyola defeated Chicago (71-60) Georgia Tech, which was without ACC Player of the Year Moses Wright on Friday. It’s a team of confidence with a serious side. But by some standards, this group is even better than the team that reached the Final Four three years ago. Cameron Krutwig (14.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.9 APG) is no longer a young freshman playing for the Magic Ramblers in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. But Loyola Chicago’s last run had a few good moments: UMBC beat Virginia, Nevada beat Cincinnati and Kansas State beat a Kentucky team with Kevin Knox and P.J. Washington. In order to advance this time, the Ramblers will have to go up against an Illinois team that plays incredible basketball.
22. Oklahoma Sooners (original ranking: #8, new ranking: #6).
When the school announced that De’Vion Harmon (12.9 PPG), Oklahoma’s second top scorer, would miss Saturday’s game against Missouri, some switched brackets and the bookies in Las Vegas changed their minds to make Missouri the slight favorite. But the Tigers have been a bit of a mess since their surprising win over Alabama in Week 6. February is just not a good team anymore. The team was 3-7 in its next 10 games, including a 72-68 loss Saturday against an underdog Oklahoma team. But Lon Krueger showed why he is one of three coaches to lead five different programs to the NCAA Tournament by reaching out to his veterans. Austin Reaves, Elijah Harkless and Brady Manek all scored 14 points for their team.
23. Wisconsin Badgers (original rankings: #9. New rankings: #6).
After a tumultuous ending in the Big Ten, Wisconsin defeated North Carolina 85-62 in the first round, doing what it does best: Limit the number of turnovers (seven) and keep the team with the most offensive rebounds (41%) well below average (30% against the Badgers). It was one of Wisconsin’s most impressive wins this season. But the game against Baylor goes against the grain of a Badgers team that was 8-10 in its last 18 games, especially since it went 0-9 against Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State during that span. The Bears are a top team that Wisconsin has struggled with all season.
24. Maryland Terrapins (original number 10, new number 6).
The strange altercation between Juwan Howard and Mark Turgeon earlier this month at the Big Ten Tournament only underscored the Terps’ problem: What are they doing? You could say that after losing to Northwestern and Penn State in their final two regular season games and during their 4-9 start in the Big Ten. But the Terps saved their season with a five-game winning streak and showed even more resiliency Saturday. The 63-54 victory over UConn in the first round featured a 50 percent success rate from the 3-point line (9-of-18). But Alabama’s defensive efficiency is another obstacle for a program that has lost to lesser opponents in recent weeks.
25. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (original number 10. Placement number 7).
Geo Baker, Jacob Young and Ron Harper Jr. combined to score 36 points in a 60-56 victory over Clemson in the first round. Rutgers is struggling this season, but the win over the Tigers gave them the lead they needed to move up in the standings after a 10-10 run in the Big Ten. Prior to this game, Rutgers was scoring 104 points per 100 possessions and committing a turnover on just 14.7% of its possessions for a hooplens.com with Baker, Young and Harper on the floor. If those three players contribute, Rutgers can keep up with the right teams. Their problem is that Houston, Rutgers’ next opponent, is not a good team. Great team.
26. Syracuse Orange (Original: No. 11. Reinstated: No. 7)
Jim Boeheim’s success in the first round of the NCAA Tournament continues: he hasn’t lost in the first round since 2006. His son Buddy Boeheim didn’t let up and won 78-62 over sixth-seeded San Diego State on Friday. It was Buddy Boeheim’s third consecutive game with at least 27 points. He has scored 26 points or more in four of the team’s last five games. The idea of teams struggling to cope with Syracuse’s zone was first proven by San Diego State, which led the Western League in scoring with 39.5 percent from the 3-point line to finish 11-of-40 against Syracuse, which played above its weight in this contest.
27. UCLA Bruins (original place: 11, new place: 7)
The Pac-12 continued its march in the first round – and remained undefeated in the league – by beating No. 6 BYU. Johnny Juzang pitched in high in his team’s 23-point win over Michigan State, and the former Kentucky transfer scored 27 points in his team’s 73-62 victory over BYU. Reminder: California had lost four consecutive games prior to the first four game set against Michigan. But in two NCAA Tournament games, the Bruins have made 17 of 37 three-pointers. There was some doubt whether Mick Cronin was fit for a legendary west coast team after his long career in Cincinnati, but he has already exceeded expectations in his first two seasons.
28. Oregon Beavers ((Originally scheduled: #12. Newly scheduled: #7)
Уэйна Уэйна растровшая 5-сеянный Теннеси за победу 70-56 в пяницу, когда-нибудь остынет? And, uh, is any of this real? Oregon State finished 10th. Ranks 12th out of 12 Pac-12 teams in scoring at 33% from the 3-point line. Oregon State has hit 40% (UCLA), 53% (Oregon), 41% (Colorado) and 48% (Tennessee) in its four games since the end of the regular season. According to ESPN’s BPI, Oregon State had a 1 in 820 chance of winning all four games. But the Beavers have turned the tide and will now face off against Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State.
29. Ohio Bobcats (Original: #13. Reissue: #8)
A few years ago, Jason Preston was a UCF basketball player who barely came off the bench in high school. Preston (11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists) led 13th-ranked Ohio to a 62-58 victory over Virginia on Saturday. It’s not fair to point out UVa’s struggles after a positive COVID-19 test forced the program out of the ACC tournament and into 24 hours before the Ohio game. The Cavaliers had a big lead and couldn’t hold on against an Ohio team that showed its best side in a two-point loss to Illinois in the non-conference season. The Bobcats have size, they can shoot and they held the ACC champion to just 35% of the field. Leopards are dangerous.
30. Abilene Christian Wildcats (original song: #14, new song: #8)
Abilene Christian’s 53-52 victory over Texas in the first round likely ended with a defensive turnover, as the 14th-ranked Wildcats set the tone on the defensive side of the ball. The Longhorns made 23 turnovers in Saturday’s loss to CCU. Abilene Christian shot less than 30% in the game, while Texas made over 50% of its shots from beyond the arc. But the pressure was different for Joe Golding’s squad, which is now 13-1 in its last 14 games before Monday’s game against UCLA. Now he faces a Bruins team that has struggled against BYU.
31. Oral Roberts Golden Eagle (Initial placement: #15. Replaced: #8)
After his team’s 75-72 victory over Ohio State in extension, Paul Mills said he was confident because his team had been conservative all season: it ranked in the top 15 in offensive turnovers according to KenPom, and Ohio State was 13th of 14 Big Ten teams in turnovers forced. In addition, Max Abmas and Kevin Aubanor have been outstanding all season. Abmas scored in double figures in games against Oklahoma State, Wichita State, Oklahoma City, Missouri and Arkansas. The Golden Eagles rank in the top 15 for three-pointers and are No. 1 in the country for taking free throws. Florida will be a tough test, but after this test, nothing is impossible for Mills’ team.
32. North Texas Mean Green (original position: #13, new position: #8)
The NCAA tournament doesn’t always make sense. North Texas had lost three consecutive games before advancing to the Conference USA tournament, which it won in overtime against Western Kentucky. Lucky, huh? On Friday, North Texas defeated Purdue, fourth in the Big Ten this season, 78-69 in overtime. The number of walks makes more sense when you consider that Javion Hamlet is averaging 19.6 PPG in his last five games. Villanova will present a new challenge for this group, but the Mean Green are confident after scoring 118 points on 100 possessions against a Purdue team that ranks third in the league in defensive efficiency.
frequently asked questions
How does the ranking work in March Madness?
Step three: The selection committee takes the teams that were selected as regular teams in the tournament or received an automatic selection from their conference and selects the teams (four teams at a time) in the standings. The first four teams on the placement list make up the first bracket (four number 1 picks).
Will March Madness take place in 2021?
March Madness 2021 officially began with the First Four games on Thursday, with wins by Texas Southern, Drake, Norfolk and UCLA. … Sports Illustrated will keep you updated all day Friday with final scores and a recap of all 16 games, all played at Indiana State, starting at 12:15 p.m. IT.
Which number one wins the NCAA tournament the most times?
NCAA Tournament Winning Rate The ACC Tournament, with perennial favorites North Carolina, Duke and Virginia, has the highest winning percentage.
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