College Basketball Power Rankings 2020

With the potential NCAA men’s basketball season looming ahead, we all can begin our guesses as to who will take over in March Madness. As we missed out on the tournament last season, we all are anxiously awaiting Selection Sunday and the beginning of the First Round. But before that comes, we have the regular season to look forward to. With some teams regaining their talent from last year along with some teams bringing in big-time recruits, I will be going over who is looking the best going into the season. There is no free pass for any of these teams into the tournament, so there will be a lot of great competition throughout the winter leading to the conference championships. Here are my power rankings as we enter the season.

villanova logo

1. Villanova

2019-20 Record: 24-7

While Villanova’s best player, Saddiq Bey, will not be returning, they bring back the rest of their Big East regular-season championship team. They also rank 2nd on the national recruiting list which includes the #27 recruit on ESPN’s Top-100 list, Trey Patterson.

gonzaga

2. Gonzaga

2019-20 Record: 31-2

The only vacant spot to fill for Gonzaga is with the departure of Flip Petrusev. With the announcement of the return of Joel Ayayi and Corey Kispert, Gonzaga is looking like a major powerhouse once again, looking to bring home another West Coast Conference championship.

baylor bears

3. Baylor

2019-20 Record: 26-4

Baylor has one of the three 5-stars of 2021 who have committed thus far with ESPN’s #17 recruit, Kendall Brown. They also have added the #23 4-star recruit which, when combined with their returning top 3 scorers and top 2 defenders, will be a monster force against all teams this season.

Virginia Cavaliers

4. Virginia

2019-20 Record: 23-7

Virginia returns three of its starters but loses its top scorer in Mamadi Diakite. They will have transfer, Sam Houser, ready to play after sitting out last season who will be an excellent replacement in the roster, who combined with their other starters who now have more experience, will be a top ACC team this season.

duke blue devils

5. Duke

2019-20 Record: 25-6

Duke is constantly at the top of the recruiting list, and this year is no different with the highest-ranked commitment so far in A.J. Griffin. They have lost many of their best scorers from last season, but their incoming talent will likely lead the way to another top ACC finish.

Kansas Jayhawks logo.svg

6. Kansas

2019-20 Record: 28-3

Kansas will be losing their top two scorers from last year but keeping their experience all around the court. Their five-star recruit from last year, Bryce Thompson will look to slide in to fill one of the missing spots and be a contender for the Big 12 championship.

Iowa Hawkeyes logo.svg

7. Iowa

2019-20 Record: 21-11

Luke Garza decided to stay for his senior year after a monumental junior year and will look to do it again for the Hawkeyes. They are also returning the entire starting roster as of the end of the season which gives Iowa a great chance to compete in the very talented Big Ten conference.

illinois fighting illini

8. Illinois

2019-20 Record: 21-10

The return of both Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn set the Fighting Illini up nicely to make a run in the Big Ten. It will be difficult seeing how stacked some fo the teams are, but there is no reason to cut out Illinois quite yet.

tennesse volunteers

9. Tennessee

2019-20 Record: 17-14

Tennessee has two 5-star guards to help them where they struggled last season with Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson. Those two, added to a very experienced interior, will give the Volunteers everything they need to prove something this year.

wisconsin badgers

10. Wisconsin

2019-20 Record: 21-10

Wisconsin returns its top five scorers from last season in which they took a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship. They have the opportunity to continue their dominance in the latter half of the season into this coming season and compete for another championship.

houston cougars

11. Houston

2019-20 Record: 23-8

Houston is a young team with most of the players returning including four of its top six scorers. With most of its talent like its Kansas transfer, Quentin Grimes, returning and finishing high in the rankings last season, they will look to repeat their success in the American Athletic Conference.

michiganstatespartans

12. Michigan State

2019-20 Record: 22-9

Already the fourth Big Ten team on the list is Michigan State who is losing two big names in Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman. Despite that, Izzo has a talent for finding talent and already has a five-star recruit for this year in Max Christie.

kentucky wildcats

13. Kentucky

2019-20 Record: 25-6

Kentucky lost basically all of its team to the draft, so it will be the new talent coming in that will lead Kentucky to victory. They have three 5-star guards from last year’s recruiting class in Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, and Devin Askew to help guide the Wildcats to another SEC championship.

north carolina tar heels

14. North Carolina

2019-20 Record: 14-19

North Carolina had a disappointing season last year but will only be losing Cole Anthony. Adding a top 3 recruiting class from last year with three 5-star players will help in making the adjustments necessary to raise the Tar Heels back to the level they are known for being on.

Creighton Bluejays

15. Creighton

2019-20 Record: 24-7

Only Ty-Shon Alexander is leaving the starting Creighton team for the draft which leaves them with four of them back. As they were the regular-season champions for the Big East last year, they have the same chance again just without Alexander as a leading figure.

florida state seminoles

16. Florida State

2019-20 Record: 26-5

Florida State currently has the best recruiting class of 2021. With Trent Forrest gone, the main deciding factor for the Seminoles will be who is the one who will step up in his position at point guard. With five-star Scottie Barnes coming into the system, we will see how much of a factor he will play.

texas tech red raiders

17. Texas Tech

2019-20 Record: 18-13

Texas Tech is losing its top two scorers but will have players to take their positions. Kyler Edwards appears to be at the 1 and four-star recruit Nimari Burnett will likely fill in the 2. They have incoming talent but will it match up to the numbers last season?

west virginia mountaineers

18. West Virginia

2019-20 Record: 21-10

West Virginia hit a major drop off at the end of last season but will be returning its top three players from that team. They now have something to prove this year after falling off last season, so expected the Mountaineers to be coming out strong.

michigan wolverines

19. Michigan

2019-20 Record: 19-12

Michigan returns many of its top players from last season like Franz Wagner and Isaiah Livers. They add in Hunter Dickinson at the 5 and are yet another team out of the Big Ten to have a major chance to show something to the nation.

Arizona State Sun Devils

20. Arizona State

2019-20 Record: 20-11

Romello While transferring out of Arizona State is a major blow but there are positives to look forward to for the Sun Devils. They have five-star Josh Christopher coming in to join the likes of Remy Martin to put together a strong offense that has a shot in the Pac-12.

rutgers scarlet knights

21. Rutgers

2019-20 Record: 20-11

Rutgers is returning eight of its top nine scorers which is insane to think about when they just made their first NCAA appearance since 1991. They are also adding Cliff Omoruji, a top 50 prospect, who adds height to their team.

oregon ducks

22. Oregon

2019-20 Record: 24-7

Oregon is losing its big-time player, Payton Pritchard, this year which will take a toll on what the Ducks can do, but they are returning two of their top three scorers. They are also adding St. John’s leading scorer, LJ Figueroa, who will be a great compliment to their current offense.

texas longhorns

23. Texas

2019-20 Record: 19-12

Texas brings almost its full roster from last season who finished the season on a high note, winning five of their last six games. They add to that roster with five-star recruit Greg Brown who add who adds some strength to their team.

ucla bruins

24. UCLA

2019-20 Record: 19-12

UCLA is returning every starter from its turn-around season which finished on a high upward trend. The return of Chris Smith adds immense value to the team as he pulled out of the draft for another year with the Bruins.

Louisville Cardinals logo.svg

25. Louisville

2019-20 Record: 24-7

Louisville has a bunch of graduates leaving but has two guards to step up and fill the roles with David Johnson and Samuell Williamson. Malik Williams will serve as the experience on the team as the only returning starter and grad transfers Carlik Jones and Charles Minlend Jr.

FAQ

How does a school get into March Madness?

Every conference plays its own conference tournament in which the winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid into the March Madness tournament. Every other team (36) is selected by a committee at large based on interviews and data. In total, there are 68 teams including the automatic bids.

Who won March Madness last season?

The 2020 March Madness was canceled due to Covid-19, but the 2019 winner was Virginia over Texas Tech in overtime. In 2018 it was Villanova and in 2017 it was North Carolina.

Who has the best odds to win March Madness this year?

Currently, Vegas has the odds for Baylor and Gonzaga at 8/1 with Villanova and Virginia close behind at 9/1. This means for every $1 you bet on Baylor, you will receive $8 if they win.

Has there ever been a perfect bracket?

The short answer is no. There are 67 total games in the tournament and the farthest anyone has officially gotten perfect is 49 games in 2019 which beat the previous record of 39 in 2017, according to NCAA.

Who is the best player?

Luke Garza is considered to be the best returning player from last year as he averaged 23.9 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. He is returning to Iowa after dropping out of the NBA draft for his senior year.

  
I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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