An eventful week in the world of college basketball has led to a slew of changes in the AP Top 25 poll. While the top three names on the list remain in place, there has been movement for every other spot in the rankings.
The futures market for the Men’s National Championship odds continues to take shape as well. While Duke is still the top choice of oddsmakers, the odds are tightening for the nation’s other top programs. Let’s take a look at where the odds stand as we get set for what should be a wild week of conference tournaments.
Duke Blue Devils
Top 25: 5
The Blue Devils continue to struggle in the absence of star forward Zion Williamson. Duke lost its regular season finale versus North Carolina on Saturday, which marked the team’s third loss in its last six outings. Williamson is expected back soon, but we’ll have to wait and see if the team can put it back together.
Top 25: 1
The Bulldogs remain atop the AP poll, and the team’s odds to win it all have been shrinking on a weekly basis. While this is clearly the best team in the west, we’ll reserve judgement on how that will translate against tougher competition later in the tournament. Gonzaga looks like a lock for a #1 seed.
Top 25: 2
The Cavaliers closed out the regular season with a 73-68 victory over Louisville on Saturday. That pushed the team’s ACC record to 16-2, which leaves them in a tie at the top with North Carolina. That’s no small feat in the loaded ACC, but the team will still have its hands full in the conference tourney.
The Next Tier
Top 25: 4
After getting walloped by Tennessee on March 2, Kentucky closed out the SEC regular season with a pair of wins over Ole Miss and Florida. The team finished up with a conference mark of 15-3, which leaves them tied with the Volunteers and a game behind the 1st place LSU Tigers.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Top 25: 3
The Tar Heels closed out the regular season with seven consecutive wins, a span which included a pair of victories over Duke. The team wound up with an impressive 16-2 record in ACC play and tied with Virginia for 1st place. If North Carolina wins the ACC tournament, you’re looking at a #1 seed.
Michigan State Spartans
Top 25: 6
The Spartans closed out the regular season in emphatic fashion with a 75-63 victory over Michigan. That was their second victory over the Wolverines in the regular season as they rolled to a mark of 16-4 in Big Ten play. Michigan State shares the regular season conference crown with Purdue.
Top 25: 8
After spending much of the year at the top of the charts, a rough close to the season sees the Volunteers check in as the #8 team in the nation. The team is just 4-3 over its last seven games. Tennessee finished up with a mark of 15-3 in SEC play, which was good enough for a tie for 2nd place with Kentucky.
Top 25: 10
The Wolverines fell to rival Michigan State twice over its last four games. Dreams of a Big Ten regular season crown went by the wayside as a result. Michigan closed out the season with a 15-3 record in conference, which leaves them one-game behind co-leaders Michigan State and Purdue.
Nevada Wolf Pack
Top 25: 14
The Wolf Pack have just three blemishes on their season-long record, but all of those losses came against Mountain West foes. They were still able to snag a share of the regular season crown with Utah State, a team that got the better of them by the score of 81-76 a few games back.
Top 25: 17
The Jayhawks are in the unfamiliar position of being in 3rd place in the Big 12 at the conclusion of the regular season. The team’s run of 14 straight crowns is over, but don’t mistake that for a sign that this team won’t be a factor in both the conference tourney and March Madness.
Top 25: 13
A share of the Big Ten regular season title and a ranking of #13 in the nation has to be considered a rousing success for the Boilermakers. However, a disappointing 73-69 loss on the road at Minnesota last week put a damper on things. Nonetheless, this is another squad that should be a big postseason factor.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Top 25: 7
The Red Raiders closed out the season on a nine-game winning streak. That was enough to push the team to a record of 14-4 in Big 12 play and to leave them in a tie with Kansas State atop the conference. The #7 team in the nation looks like a dangerous team to contend with.
Top 25: 11
A disappointing loss to UCF snapped Houston’s lengthy home winning streak, but the team responded with two straight impressive wins to finish atop the AAC at 16-2 in conference play. Sunday’s 85-69 road victory over Cincinnati had all the earmarks of a statement game from the Cougars.
Top 25: 25
Despite closing out the regular season by losing five of its last eight games, the Wildcats 13-5 Big East record was enough to leave them in 1st place when all was said and done. Recent struggles aside, this is not a team that anyone is going to want to deal with come tournament time.
Top 25: 22
The Tigers saved their best for last in the regular season. The team closed things out with a four-game winning streak, highlighted by Saturday’s 84-80 home win over Tennessee. The team was just 11-7 in SEC play this year, but they seem to be peaking at the right time.
Top 25: 9
LSU ended the season on a five-game winning streak to push their conference mark to an impressive 16-2. That was good enough to leave them one-game in front of conference powerhouses Tennessee and Kentucky and with a somewhat surprising regular season crown.
Florida State Seminoles
Top 25: 12
Many names from the loaded ACC will be invited to the dance, but the Seminoles may be the most intriguing sleeper of all of them. That said, three of the team’s five losses in conference play came to ACC heavyweights North Carolina, Virginia, and Duke, so hold expectations in check.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Top 25: 16
It was a tough finish to the season for the Hokies as the team went just 5-4 over its final nine games. However, a 12-6 mark in the tough ACC is far from anything to sneeze at. This team has the defensive chops to make some noise in both the conference tournament and at the dance itself.
Marquette Golden Eagles
Top 25: 23
The Golden Eagles had a Big East regular season title within its grasp, but the team was unable to seal the deal. A four-game losing streak to close out the season is not exactly the best way to enter the conference tournament, but we’ll see if this talented squad can turn it around.
Kansas State Wildcats
Top 25: 15
Losses to Iowa State and Kansas made it look like it wouldn’t be the Wildcats year, but the team rebounded to win its final three games. They finished up at 14-4 in the Big 12, which was good enough for a share of the crown with Texas Tech. The Wildcats look like a team to reckon with in the tournament.
Top 25: 19
The Badgers closed out the season by winning its final three games. At 14-6 in Big Ten play, Wisconsin finished up just two games behind conference leaders Purdue and Michigan State. Along with Maryland, the Badgers are the dark horse from the Big Ten to keep in mind.
Sleepers to Keep an Eye on
Iowa State Cyclones
Top 25: NA
The Cyclones are a talented bunch, which makes the team’s 2-6 run to end the season pretty hard to digest. At just 9-9 in Big 12 play, this team needs to show something in the conference tournament, starting with its opener versus Baylor.
Top 25: 24
The Bearcats are also looking forward to the conference tournament to make a statement in the wake of a disappointing two-game losing streak to close out the year. Losses to UCF and Houston dropped them to 2nd place in the conference.
Top 25: 21
The Terrapins were just 3-3 over their final six games. The team’s 13-7 record in conference play left them three games behind the conference heavyweights. However, the #21 team in the country still deserves to be on the radar.
Top 25: NA
An overall record of 19-12 and three straight losses to end the season means that Baylor has some work to do in the Big 12 tournament. They open things up on Thursday with a quarterfinal matchup versus a tough Iowa State team.
Top 25: NA
Four losses over the last five games left Louisville in 6th place in the ACC when all was said and done. Two of those defeats came at the hands of #2 Virginia, but this is a team that really needs to step it up in the ACC tourney.
St. John’s Red Storm
Top 25: NA
St. John’s was a bit of an enigma in the Big East this season. While they were able to pick up victories over conference heavyweights Marquette and Villanova, they finished with three straight losses and a mark of just 8-10 in Big East play.
Top 25: NA
The Orange wrapped things up by losing four of their last five. It was a brutal stretch of games which saw them face off against the top three teams in the ACC. We’ll see if they can fare better in the conference tourney, which gets underway on Wednesday.
Top 25: NA
It has been a down year for the Pac-12 as a whole, but the Huskies are the best of the bunch with a record of 15-3 versus familiar foes. They’ll naturally be favored in the conference tournament, but two losses over the last four games tempers enthusiasm.
Top 25: 18
Standing: 1-MAC East
While we’ll have to wait and see how the MAC tournament plays out, Buffalo looks poised to be a popular sleeper. The team wrapped up the season on a 9-0 run and with a 16-2 record in conference play this season.
Betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag