OK, college football is over. It’s time to jump into college basketball. If you’ve been locked in on CFB for the past few months and have no clue what’s going on, this is for you. Here’s the State of the College Basketball Union, Mid-January edition.
Who are the best teams in college basketball right now?
Purdue, Houston and Kansas are the top three teams in the AP Poll. The Boilermakers have addressed some of the issues that caused their season to end with a historic first-round loss in March, but not all of them — they still depend heavily on big man Zach Edey down low. Houston has yet to lose a game this season, but they do not currently have any ranked wins on their resume. Kansas, on the other hand, is battle-tested with three wins over current top-six teams.
The UConn Huskies remain a powerhouse this season despite the departure of last year’s star Adama Sanogo, who led the Huskies to a national title. The Tennessee Volunteers and Kentucky Wildcats are the teams to watch in the SEC this season, and Marquette has been representing a stacked Big East. North Carolina and Arizona are contenders for deep playoff runs, though the Wildcats have been struggling as of late.
Who are the some of this year’s surprises?
After a few rough years, Kentucky is making a comeback in a big way this year. John Calipari’s young team has defeated UNC, Miami, and Florida so far this season.
BYU has been a fun surprise in their inaugural year in the Big 12. Ranking 18th in the AP Poll and ninth at KenPom, the Cougars are coming into conference play hot.
Which usually successful teams aren’t doing well?
The UCLA Bruins are seriously struggling this season. Sitting at 6-9, they have yet to earn a meaningful victory this season, despite solid efforts against both Marquette and Gonzaga. Mick Cronin’s team is simply lost out there.
Who is overrated?
Purdue fans are just waiting for the other shoe to drop again on this team. While the Boilermakers might not be “overrated,” per se, they are on thin ice at No. 1 and could break through any moment.
The Clemson Tigers are being exposed in conference play and have now lost three of their last five games.
Gonzaga is inexplicably still ranked in the top 25 after folding in every challenge they’ve faced so far this year.
Who is underrated?
Seton Hall has the juice to make a solid run in a stacked Big East this season, which they demonstrated with back-to-back wins over Marquette and Providence, two of the biggest conference heavyweights.
San Diego State may not make it to the Final Four again, but wins over UNLV, Gonzaga, and Stanford have placed them back on the map.
Wake Forest is also off to a solid start in conference play. Falling at 42nd overall at KenPom, the Demon Deacons’ latest win over Miami turned some heads.
Who should I keep an eye on going forward?
The FAU Owls might be better than they look right now. They have been every AAC team’s Super Bowl after reaching the Final Four last year, but they were able to beat No. 8 Arizona in a shootout before Christmas. This will be an interesting case study across quadrant wins.