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Andy Katz | Correspondent | March 1, 2021

College basketball rankings: Oklahoma State, Texas Tech are on the rise in the first Power 36 of March

Andy Katz says he'll pick Gonzaga, two Big Ten teams to make the Final Four

We’re entering the final two weeks of the Power 36.

The bracket will take over in two weeks.

This is, remember, a snapshot of how teams are playing in the previous week.   

Get ready to debate and digest the rankings:

1. Gonzaga (1): Undefeated and WCC champs again. 

2. Michigan (3): The Wolverines are in position to win the Big Ten and the No. 2 overall 1 seed. 

3. Baylor (2): The Bears suffered their first loss of the season at Kansas. They’ve got to get right in this last week before the Big 12 tournament. 

4. Illinois (4): The Illini picked up a much-needed win at Wisconsin without Ayo Dosunmu and helped their chances for a No. 1 seed. 

5. Iowa (9): The Hawkeyes win at Ohio State send a clear message that they are poised for a deep run. 

6. Ohio State (5): The Buckeyes have lost three in a row but to Michigan and Iowa in the best league in the country. And Michigan State was playing well. Sound like excuses? No, it’s just the Big Ten. 

7. West Virginia (11): The Mountaineers have a great shot to finish second in the Big 12 — yet another reason why Bob Huggins is a Hall of Famer after reinventing his team during the season. 

8. Alabama (10): The Tide did lose to Arkansas, but later in the week clinched the SEC regular-season title. 

9. Kansas (12): The Jayhawks knocked off Baylor and are well on their way to being a possible No. 3 seed. 

10. Florida State (6): The Seminoles took a step back after losing at North Carolina, but should still be the outright ACC champs. 

11. Texas Tech (29): The Red Raiders got the sweep of Texas and are poised to be a tough out in the Big 12 and NCAA tournament. 

12. Oklahoma State (21): The Cowboys got 40 from Cade Cunningham in Bedlam Game 1. They should be taken very seriously as a candidate to win the Big 12 tournament. 

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13. Arkansas (18): The Hogs knocked off Alabama and are clearly now the second best team in the SEC. 

14. Purdue (16): The Boilermakers are the team to buy stock in that has Sweet 16 potential. 

15. Maryland (17): The Terps knocked off Michigan State Sunday and are safely in the field. 

16. San Diego State (22): The Aztecs have taken their rightful position atop the Mountain West. 

17. Oklahoma (8): The Sooners got beat in overtime in Bedlam Game 1 and shouldn’t be dinged too much. They get another shot at the Cowboys on Monday night. 

18. Villanova (7): The Wildcats fell to Butler on the road Sunday. But the Big East is still theirs to lose. 

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19. Virginia Tech (19): The Hokies are still in a strong position for a high seed, something that was not projected in the beginning of the season.

20. Creighton (13): The Bluejays fell to Xavier on the road. But they are still the safest bets in the Big East to make deep runs. 

21. Texas (20): The Longhorns beat Kansas earlier in the week before the road loss at Texas Tech.

22. Rutgers (32): The Scarlet Knights got the win they needed against Indiana to reset their season. 

23. Wichita State (23): The Shockers have won five straight and Isaac Brown is now the permanent coach. 

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24. Houston (26): The Cougars have great numbers and will have a high seed, but they still may not win the AAC. 

25. Oregon (31): The Ducks are once again a threat to make a run — something that has traditionally happened under head coach Dana Altman. 

26. St. Bonaventure (NR): The Bonnies are the A-10 champs — another remarkable job by coach Mark Schmidt and his staff. 

27. Loyola-Chicago (24): The Ramblers are Missouri Valley Champs and are poised to make trouble in March. 

28. Clemson (28): Brad Brownell continues to have the Tigers in the mix year in and year out for a bid. 

29. Colorado (NR): The Buffaloes got the sweep of the LA schools to quiet any questions about their bid status. 

30. UCLA (15): The Bruins had a rough go on the trip to Colorado and Utah. But they still have the goods to win the league. 

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31. USC (14): The Trojans have hit a rough patch. But there is too much talent to be too discouraged. 

32. UConn (NR): The Huskies have quite the 1-2 punch with James Bouknight and RJ Cole. 

33. Florida (NR): The Gators got the win they needed over Kentucky to reassure their spot. 

34. Georgia Tech (NR): The Yellow Jackets are in position to make the NCAA tournament.

35. Louisville (NR): The Cardinals played one of their best games of the season at the right time in taking down Duke. 

36. North Carolina (30): The Tar Heels loss to Marquette could have easily taken them out of the rankings, but the win over Florida State showed this team has fight. 

Dropped out: No. 25 Missouri, No. 27 Wisconsin, No. 33 Boise State, No. 34 Drake, No. 35 LSU, No. 36 Belmont. 

What winning March Madness brackets have in common

Player of the Week

Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State: The freshman was phenomenal with 40 points and 11 boards in 44 minutes in a Bedlam Game 1 win over Oklahoma in overtime. Earlier in the week, he dropped 20 on Texas Tech in overtime. Cunningham has lived up to the hype to be a first-team all-American. 

Team of the Week

Arkansas: The Hogs earned their NCAA tournament berth this past week with wins over Alabama and LSU. This team, with a rising star in Moses Moody, is ready to make waves in March. 

A few headlines from the week:

1. Wichita State AD Darron Boatright made the right call by hiring Isaac Brown. He has steadied the program and led the Shockers to the top of the American. 

2. Mark Schmidt continues to amaze. St. Bonaventure has always been one of the hardest jobs in the A-10 with Olean, N.Y. as a tough outpost. And yet he has found a way to win — every year. And yet the A-10 tournament could be the most wide open of any with as many as seven teams able to win the event. 

3. Virginia has lost three straight and yet has the numbers to still have a decent seed. They have yet to reach their potential this season. 

MARCH MADNESS: See the latest NCAA tournament bracket predictions 

4. Marquette had nothing to lose in picking up the road game at North Carolina. Steve Wojciechowski made the call, they got the win and then they worked out at Duke for a few days. He wanted to give his players experiences. And they got a great one. 

5. The Xavier win over Creighton will go down as one of the decisive wins by a bubble team in the final two weeks of the season. 

6. Northwestern coach Chris Collins and Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg have not lost their teams. The Wildcats and Huskers beat Minnesota last week. 

7. Remy Martin has had a rough season. So, too, has Arizona State. So it was great to see him have the game-winning shot at the buzzer to knock off Washington State.

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