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College Basketball Ramps Up

As we inch closer and closer to March, there is a lot to unpack from this college basketball season. Coming off of a week filled with madness where 4 of the top 5 teams lost to unranked opponents, there has been some shake-up in the rankings. 

First off, UConn has taken the top spot in the AP poll after the former number-one Purdue lost to the frisky Nebraska Cornhuskers. Even after losing its core from last year, UConn has made an impressive appearance so far this season. They currently sit at the top of a very strong Big East division right now, and I expect them to stay there. Even with Purdue’s loss, they are still 15-2 and have had the toughest strength of schedule according to Ken Pomeroy, a famous college basketball analyst. The Boilermakers’ glaring weakness last year was inadequate guards to support star Center Zach Edey. This year, however, Braden Smith and Lance Jones have stepped up which leads me to believe Purdue won’t get sent home early again this year in the tournament. 

Kansas stays in the 3 spot which makes sense; they have had impressive wins over UConn, Kentucky, and Tennesee. However, due to their recent loss to UCF, they sit at the 3. 

The North Carolina Tarheels have been steadily climbing the ranking for multiple weeks, and they currently sit at their highest rank this year: 4. I think this is a little high for them, though. The two best teams they have played this year have been Kentucky and UConn, and they lost in both of those matchups. 

I think that Houston will slip back into the top 4 soon enough with the talent they have. The reason they dropped was because they had their first two losses of the season, both to unranked opponents. However, these were in conference away games that they still competed in. I think that Houston will prove themselves in their coming Big 12 games to earn a 1-seed in the tournament and probably make a run too. 

I also think that Duke has been underrated all year and will get on a hot streak to end the year. They have a lot of talent with Kyle Filopowski and Jeremy Roach, and coach Jon Scheyer has proven to be a good coach. 

If I had to pick today the team I think will win the tournament in March, I would pick Kansas.

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