Power Rankings for each of the Major Conference
Conference play is about to start up for most leagues (the Big Ten being the exception), so what I wanted to do is give my Power Rankings for each of the Six Power conferences. I include the Pac-12 in this for the sole reason because they are considered major conferences.
1.Duke: The Blue Devils have been great behind their four great freshmen Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Tre Jones, and Cam Reddish. The ACC will be a tough conference to win but this team certainly has the pieces to do so.
2.Virginia: If Duke doesn’t win the ACC, Virginia will. The Cavaliers continue to be one of the best teams in the country on defense, that paired with the offensive production they have gotten out of Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and De’Andre Hunter makes this a National Championship contender.
3.Florida State: Florida State has probably the deepest team in the sport, as they have multiple players who can beat you on any night, thus far they have eight players averaging over 5 points per game and their leading scorer from last year Phil Cofer isn’t one of them.
4.North Carolina State: The Wolf Pack like to get out and run, while scoring a lot of points. They can run multiple guys at you and force turnovers and make plays on offense.
5.North Carolina: The Tar Heels have gotten off to a rough start thus far this season, going 8-3 to start the year. Thus far this team doesn’t look the part of a true title contender but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they made it back to the Final Four.
6.Virginia Tech: Justin Robinson has taken a step back and let Nickeil Alexander-Walker take the lead on offense. Those two along with Kerry Blackshear and Ahmed Hill are solid but they are still without key contributors Chris Clarke and Landers Nolley.
7.Louisville: The Cardinals have been great to start the season. Jordan Nwora has taken a big step forward and become an All-ACC level player, while this team has a ton of depth. This team is really good considering many thought that this team would miss the NCAA Tournament.
8.Clemson: This team has gotten off to a slow 9-3 start, although I wouldn’t take too much out of it as they’ve had a chance to win all their games late. I think they probably rebound and make the NCAA Tournament.
9.Syracuse: The Orange have gotten off to a slow 8-4 start. They’ve already lost buy games to Old Dominion and Buffalo, while they went 0-2 in the 2K Classic in Madison Square Garden. Once again it looks like the Orange are heading for the bubble.
10.Notre Dame: The Irish have a really young team, so getting off to a slow start was probably expected. They’ll have a chance to develop this season and likely come back next year as a Top-25 team.
11.Boston College: Boston College has played pretty well thus far this year. The trio of Ky Bowman, Wynston Tabbs, and Nik Popovic have been good this year. This team should probably end the season right around where they were last year.
12.Pittsburgh: The Panthers have been decent to start the season, the freshmen trio of Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens, and Au’Diese Toney should help the Panthers make it back to the NCAA Tournament in a few years.
13.Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have been really inconsistent to start the year, which will probably keep them in the bottom tier of the ACC.
14.Miami: The Hurricanes miss Dewan Hernandez a lot so far this year, it is one of the main reasons why this team has moved into the bottom tier of the ACC.
15.Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have been really bad this year, this team could win a couple of games in ACC play but not many.
1.Marquette: I have the Golden Eagles at one on my Big East Power Rankings because I think they have the most complete team. Markus Howard is an elite scorer, Sam and Joey Hauser are also good scorers, then they have a lot of people who play great on the defensive side of the ball.
2.Villanova: The Wildcats have been a roller coaster to start the season, which is not exactly ideal. They do though have a chance to rebound and win the Big East once again.
3.St. John’s: The Red Storm are one of the five unbeaten teams in College Basketball, while they don’t look great for all 40 minutes but it doesn’t seem to matter. Shamorie Ponds is a stud and I think a reasonable choice for Big East Player of the year.
4.Seton Hall: The Pirates have been a pleasant surprise so far this year as they have already beat Kentucky and won at Maryland. Myles Powell has been great so far this year, Myles Cale is a good second option and this team plays great defense, this team not only should make it back to the NCAA Tournament but they also could compete for a Big East title.
5.Butler: The Bulldogs have had an up and down season to this point, they haven’t had any bad losses to this point but their best win is against Florida. If they can pick up enough wins in Big East play they should go dancing.
6.Creighton: The Blue Jays have been decent thus far but they lack the quality wins to this point, as thus far Clemson and Georgia State are their only quality wins. This team though has a road to the NCAA Tournament if they can turn out a decent conference record.
7.Providence: The Friars have been on a roller coaster thus far this year, winning likely quadrant one games at Boston College and at Texas but also losing to Wichita State and Umass. If they can become more consistent they easily could get back to the NCAA Tournament.
8.DePaul: I think it is safe to usually presume that DePaul will finish last in the Big East, however, that maybe isn’t the case this season. The senior duo of Eli Cain and Max Strus has led this team to a surprising 8-3 start and this team certainly looks like it could avoid the basement of the Big East.
9.Xavier: The Musketeers have really not played well this season and that stems from the lack of development of some of their expected key role players. This team still could rebound for a good record in Big East play but it doesn’t look like there is any route to the NCAA Tournament for this team.
10.Georgetown: The Hoyas have at least been interesting this year, as the freshman led backcourt of James Akinjo and Mac McClung has fun. This team should be good in the Big East in the future but it would be hard to see this team making the Big Dance.
1.Michigan: The Wolverines have been one of the biggest surprises thus far in the Big Ten as they are 12-0 with an eye on a one seed. The Wolverines have a great starting five both offensively and defensively and they should be the favorites to win the Big Ten.
2.Michigan State: The Spartans have gotten off to a 10-2 start and they are in the Top-10 in the latest polls. This team is about what you would expect to begin the season, which still means they’ll have a good shot to win the Big Ten.
3.Wisconsin: The Badgers are 10-2 playing against a pretty tough Strength of Schedule. Ethan Happ looks like the best player in the league, while they have a good collection of shooters surrounding him.
4.Indiana: The Hoosiers have been shaky at times against Arkansas and Duke but since then they have played better. Romeo Langford is a great scorer for the Hoosiers, while Juwan Morgan has been great playing alongside him.
5.Ohio State: The Buckeyes have started 11-1 thus far this season. The Buckeyes have seen Kaleb Wesson and CJ Jackson take the lead but they have seven guys that can score in double figures on any night.
6.Nebraska: The Cornhuskers have been pretty good this season, especially at home. They have a good starting five but their issues come from the bench. Their home court advantage should help them get back to the NCAA Tournament, while being one of the top teams in the Big Ten.
7.Minnesota: The Gophers have played a pretty good schedule and they have started 10-2. Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey have been a dominant front court pair, while it looks like Richard Pitino has avoided most hot seat lists.
8.Maryland: The Terrapins have been in every game this year, the problem is that they have yet to pick up a quality win yet. If they can start to pick up a few of these wins they’ll go dancing.
9.Iowa: The Hawkeyes are 10-0 in non-conference play, the problem is that they are 0-2 in Big Ten play. This team is always going to score the ball at a high rate but if their defense can continue to be halfway decent this team will have a good chance to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
10.Purdue: The Boilermakers are 7-5, which is less than ideal. Carsen Edwards has been sensational but unless they can get production from the rest of the team, this team won’t win many games.
11.Northwestern: It is hard to believe that this team is 11th in my Power Rankings, They’ve had chances to beat Michigan, Indiana, and Oklahoma but on each occasion Ryan Taylor missed a game-winning three.
12.Penn State: The Nittany Lions are 6-6 and a clear bottom tier Big Ten team, they should be able to pull off a couple of upsets but if at the end of the day they aren’t in the bottom three of the Big Ten I would be surprised.
13.Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights are over .500 against decent competition, which includes a win at Miami. They might not be a tournament team but they should at least compete in the Big Ten.
14.Illinois: The Illini are 4-8, which is pretty bad, although they could be better than that had they won a couple of close games. They should compete in the conference but I think this team is poised to finish either last or second to last in the Big Ten.
1.Kansas: The Jayhawks haven’t looked sensational in doing so but they are 10-1 against the best schedule in the country. Dedric Lawson has looked like the National Player of the year, Lagerald Vick has been dominant from beyond the arc, once again it looks like Kansas will win the Big 12.
2.Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have also gotten off to a great start this season, as they are 10-1. Jarrett Culver has looked like a lottery pick, while this team plays great defense. They should be the main challenger to Kansas atop the Big 12 standings this year.
3.Kansas State: The Wildcats are 9-2, while they have so far underachieved this year. Their offense hasn’t been great but I think at some point they will rally and be a top-tier Big 12 team.
4.TCU: The Horned Frogs are 11-1, with their lone loss coming to Lipscomb. They have yet to beat anyone great but I think this team looks good and has the potential to finish second in the conference.
5.Oklahoma: The Sooners are 11-1 with the most combined quadrant one and quadrant two wins right now and their lone loss coming to Wisconsin. I think they take a small step back in Big 12 play but they still should be able to get a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.
6.Iowa State: The Cyclones are 10-2 and they look decent, especially considering they’ve played most of the season without Lindell Wigginton, Cameron Lard, Zoron Talley, and Solomon Young. With them back in the fold this team should be one of the deepest in the Big 12 and be an NCAA Tournament lock.
7.Texas: I was very high on Texas in the preseason and through six games, they looked like a Top-20 team. They since have lost home games to Radford, VCU, and Providence. They are really inconsistent on offense, which could help them pick up quality wins but also lose bad games. This is a pretty clear bubble team right now.
8.West Virginia: The Mountaineers lost Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. but many thought this team still could be the main challenger to Kansas atop the Big 12 standings. To this point, they’ve looked terrible and they want no part of an at-large bid, it looks like they will not be playing in the NCAA Tournament this season.
9.Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have played a really tough schedule to this point, so it isn’t surprising that they are 4-6 on the season. If they can rally and get to 18 wins they could steal an at-large bid but they will have to start winning ASAP.
10.Baylor: The Bears are 7-4 on the season and they are dealing with a lot of injuries, meaning a lot of players are getting experience. In a year this team should be once again going to the NCAA Tournament.
1.Arizona State: While most of the Pac-12 has been awful this year, Arizona State isn’t playing into that stereotype as they are 9-2 with wins over Mississippi State and at the time top-ranked Kansas. This team will enter into Pac-12 play as the favorites, as they look to win the league title.
2.Washington: The Huskies have been decent this season but they have yet to pick up any quality wins, they should be able to get rolling once Pac-12 play comes around but they could be on the wrong side of the bubble this season.
3.Oregon: The Ducks have been one of the biggest disappointments this season, as they are 8-4 and look like they will miss the NCAA Tournament again. One major issue has been the injuries of five-star freshmen Bol Bol and Louis King, if they are healthy they could win the Pac-12 Tournament and get in.
4.Arizona: The Wildcats are 9-4 against a decent schedule, their win over Iowa State will age well but the problem is that the Pac-12 won’t give them many chances at getting quality wins.
5.UCLA: The Bruins are 7-5, having looked very bad so far this season, while they don’t have any bad losses, they haven’t looked competitive and head coach Steve Alford has a seat that is burning hot.
6.Stanford: The Cardinal aren’t great by any means but they have no bad losses and they came close to beating Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. This team should be able to feast upon the bottom of Pac-12 and put together a solid conference record this year.
7.USC: The Trojans are 6-6 and are one of the most disappointing teams in the sport. They have a couple of NBA level players, so maybe they can rebound for a decent finish in the Pac-12.
8.Colorado: McKinley Wright was expected to carry the Buffaloes this year and to this point, he hasn’t done so, as a result, this team has no good wins and a couple of losses to mid-major teams.
9.Oregon State: When looking at the Pac-12 it is important to know that the league is pretty bad. Oregon State is 7-4 with neutral court wins over Penn and Old Dominion, through the transitive property that means they have wins over Villanova and Syracuse, meaning they are not that horrible.
10.Utah: The Utes have underachieved to this point, they’ve yet even compete against good teams and they’ve lost to Hawaii.
11.Washington State: The Cougars are 7-5 against an average schedule, at least that record is better than California’s record.
12.California: The Bears are 5-6 this season and while they have beaten San Diego State, they’ve lost to every other halfway decent team.
1.Tennessee: The Volunteers are 10-1 against a really good schedule, they’ve beaten Louisville and Gonzaga already, while their lone loss came in overtime to Kansas. Grant Williams looks better than last year when he won SEC Player of the year, while Admiral Schofield has been excellent too.
2.Auburn: The Tigers haven’t been sharp as of late but they still have a really good resume, as they’ve beaten Washington, Arizona, and Murray State already.
3.Kentucky: The Wildcats struggled out of the gate, losing games to Duke by over 30 and to Seton Hall in overtime. That being said they’ve played well as of late and look poised to compete atop the SEC standings.
4.Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have been pretty solid this year, only losing to Arizona State, while beating solid teams in Cincinnati and Clemson. This team will make the NCAA Tournament and be a borderline Top-25 team throughout the season.
5.LSU: The Tigers have had a rocky start to the season but it appears that the Tigers have figured out their rotations and they now look like they’ll be near the top the SEC this year.
6.Florida: The Gators have been disappointing to this point but I think things will turn around as players like Jalen Hudson will play better and the young players start to play better.
7.Alabama: The Crimson Tide haven’t been great to start this year but with their overall talent to make a charge at the NCAA Tournament.
8.Ole Miss: Year one of the Kermit Davis era has been decent so far, as they’ve picked up already a couple of quality wins. This team should be around .500 in SEC play, which is really good for a team that finished last in the conference a year ago.
9.Vanderbilt: The Commodores are 7-3 this season, which is decent. The Darius Garland injury will limit this teams ceiling but an at-large bid is not out of question at the moment.
10.Arkansas: The Razorbacks have been pretty good this season, which is surprising considering they’ve played with basically a new team. Daniel Gafford has been great but the play of Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones is the real key for the Razorbacks.
11.Georgia: Year one of the Tom Crean era hasn’t started badly but they don’t look like a legitimate candidate to make the NCAA Tournament.
12.Missouri: The Tigers have gotten some recent publicity because of their wins over Illinois and Xavier, however, I think this team isn’t a real threat to get an at-large as they aren’t really that good without Jontay Porter.
13.Texas A&M: The Aggies haven’t beat anyone great so far this year but they have only lost one buy game. To this point, the only noteworthy thing about the Aggies has been when they had a home and home against Boston College canceled because of ice.
14.South Carolina: The Gamecocks have been awarded worst Power Conference team in College Basketball based off their 4-7 start. They’ve lost buy games to Stony Brook and Wofford and lost to a terrible Wyoming team on the road. At least they haven’t looked terrible against good teams.