Although it’s cold outside, the action is heating up* in the college basketball season. As we barrel into March, let’s take a look at the newest AP Poll.
*This is best read as a second tier Big Ten Network play-by-play guy introducing a game in January
Michigan → No. 3
Ohio State → No. 4
Illinois → No. 5
Iowa → No. 11
Wisconsin → No. 21
- I’ve written throughout the season how the top two or three were kind of congealing at the top. Well, it now looks like Michigan is one of the top three that is starting to congeal. After seeming to shake off the rust in the second half as they beat Wisconsin this weekend, the Wolverines are firmly in third place after their mandatory two week layoff because of COVID concerns. Now, there’s a massive showdown set up this coming weekend where the Wolverines play the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes in a classic hardwood rivalry that has no significance on the football field.
- It’s been a tough week for the Missouri Tigers. Two losses against unranked teams — Ole Miss and Arkansas, who crept up to No. 24 after the win — sent Mizzou tumbling down 10 spots in the polls to No. 20. Fellow SEC team Tennessee also dropped in the rankings after losing to a resurgent LSU team. That means traditional basketball powerhouse Alabama is top of the line in the SEC at No. 8. The Tide scored 115 against UGA, which is a lot of points.
- Requiem for Sister Jean! The Loyola Chicago Ramblers are BACK baby. Despite an overtime loss to Drake on Sunday, Loyola is No. 22 in the most recent poll and are looking like a dangerous mid-major to face in the Big Dance. Led by their center Cameron Kurtwig, who kind of just looks like a guy but is insanely good at basketball, the Ramblers are in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference and just a fun story to see them continue to have some staying power in college basketball.
Another terrible day for Cameron Krutwig's haters pic.twitter.com/iuJWqERlj2— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) February 13, 2021
- Looking ahead, there is a tasty slate of games this week. On Monday, No. 7 UVa plays No. 16 Florida State and No. 2 Baylor looks to stay undefeated against No. 11 West Virginia. Top-15 teams Oklahoma and Texas clash on Tuesday, then on Thursday, the No. 21 Badgers play the No. 11 Iowa Hawkeyes. That all sets up the aforementioned big one between Michigan and Ohio State. It’s a good hoops week to look forward to.
AP Poll → No. 23 Kansas, No. 24 Arkansas, No. 25 San Diego State