NCAAB: Instant Reaction to the New AP Top 25 Pollby Ben Fadden March 1, 2021 0 comments
There is significant movement in this week’s college basketball Associated Press Top 25 Poll, so let’s get to the full rankings along with some takeaways.
Week 15 Top 25
(first place votes in parentheses)
1. Gonzaga (59)
2. Michigan (4)
6. West Virginia
7. Ohio State
11. Florida State
17. Oklahoma State
18. Texas Tech
19. San Diego State
20. Loyola Chicago
22. Virginia Tech
Michigan Got Their Respect
As mentioned after Baylor’s upset loss to Kansas on Saturday night, Michigan deserved to leap past the Bears because they are playing better basketball right now. The AP voters listened.
Juwan Howard has kept his program going even through the outbreak and is likely going to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. In their past three games, the Wolverines have beaten two top-10 teams in Ohio State and Iowa before embarrassing Indiana, a storied basketball program.
Michigan might even say they have a case for being ranked first overall in the nation over Gonzaga if they knock off fourth-ranked Illinois on Tuesday night. They would easily be able to say that their strength of schedule is harder than Gonzaga and beating a team that could be a top seed would be a huge resume boost.
Oklahoma State Should Have Been Ranked Before This Week
The Cowboys come in ranked 17th this week when they were not even ranked in the Top 25 last week, a huge jump. Cade Cunningham proved he will be the first overall pick in the country in Oklahoma State’s win over then-No. 7 Oklahoma but they already had wins over ranked teams such as Texas Tech and Kansas while barely losing to sixth-ranked West Virginia.
Illinois Has Outside Shot of Leaping Baylor
Illinois is getting a chance on Tuesday night to beat a Michigan team that is now in front of Baylor and if they do, it would pay dividends in next week’s rankings.
Baylor has a tough matchup against West Virginia on Tuesday, which is definitely losable considering their disappointing performance at Kansas last weekend. A second straight loss for Baylor and a Fighting Illini win over the Wolverines would make it tough for the committee deciding which should be the third-ranked team in the country.