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Andy Katz | Correspondent | April 6, 2021

Way-too-early Power 36 rankings for the 2021-22 college basketball season

2021 One Shining Moment

The first Power 36 is probably going to be the most picked-apart.

These rosters are going to be changing daily, weekly over the next month due to the transfer portal and the NBA draft early-entry deadline. 

The deadline to apply for the NBA draft isn’t until May 30. 

The withdrawal deadline is July 19. 

That means rosters may not be final until just a few weeks before some semester schools resume fall classes in August. 

So get ready for a wild offseason and a changing poll. 

Nothing is certain. The list of teams is more of a shell to get us going into the offseason. Here is at least one thing I like about these teams:

1. UCLA: The Bruins had no senior contributors on a Final Four team. Mick Cronin has built a culture of winning, defense and toughness. 

2. Michigan: Hunter Dickinson should be back as the best center in the Big Ten. Juwan Howard will have a loaded roster. 

3. Baylor: The Bears still could have a stellar roster after winning the national title. 

Final Four MOP Jared Butler commands Baylor towards a national title

4. Gonzaga: Let’s see who returns but there’s a good chance the Zags have one of the top three freshmen next season again. 

5. Kansas: Jalen Wilson could be a star and the Jayhawks will be ready to challenge the Bears again for the title. 

6. Purdue: Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey, let alone Trevion Williams, could make the Boilermakers Big Ten champs.

7. Ohio State: Duane Washington Jr. will be even more of a stat stuffer. 

8. Maryland: The biggest news came during the Final Four with transfers Fatts Russell (Rhode Island) and Qudus Wahab (Georgetown) choosing Maryland.

MORE: These are the college basketball teams with the most national championship 

9. Villanova: Justin Moore could be the next big thing at Nova. 

10. Alabama: Nate Oats has this program ready to roll, regardless of who returns. 

11. Houston: Kelvin Sampson has ensured the Cougars have arrived and aren’t going anywhere.

12. Arkansas: Eric Musselman will have the Hogs in place for another SEC run. 

13. West Virginia: Deuce McBride will make a run at Big 12 player of the year. 

14. Illinois: The roster is in flux through the draft and transfers but the faith exists that Brad Underwood will have it figured out for the Illini to remain relevant.

Suggs, Gonzaga beat UCLA at the buzzer in overtime

15. Florida State: The roster changes and Leonard Hamilton always has the Seminoles in play. 

16. Michigan State: The Spartans have a stellar recruiting class coming in and likely will retain a number of key pieces. 

17. Oregon: The roster turnover happens every year, but Dana Altman always comes through with a Pac-12 title contender. 

18. North Carolina: Hubert Davis is the new coach. Caleb Love is returning. The Tar Heels are going to be just fine.

19. Syracuse: Four words — Buddy Boeheim is back.

20. Duke: Not sure yet on who will return, but the recruits coming in should ensure a Blue Devils return to the tournament. 

RANKED: Katz share his 10 best college basketball national championship teams since 2000

21. Wichita State: If the AAC co-player of the year Tyson Etienne is returning then the Shockers will be AAC title contenders. 

22. Memphis: Penny Hardaway won the NIT and if he can keep the core together they should be in the NCAA tournament in 2022.

23. Kentucky: The Wildcats had a disappointing season, but already the offseason is off to a great start with the addition of Kellan Grady (Davidson), Oscar Tshiebwe (came in during the season from West Virginia). 

24. LSU: The Tigers could still get gutted by early-entry decisions, but if not then they will be in the thick of the SEC race. 

25. USC: Evan Mobley will likely be gone, but enough returns for the Trojans to be back in the chase in the Pac-12. 

26. Indiana: The Hoosiers will have potentially the best player in the Big Ten back in Trayce Jackson-Davis. That’s a good start for new coach Mike Woodson.

27. Texas: Chris Beard. That’s all the information you need. He will put together a winning roster.

Final minutes and full OT of Gonzaga-UCLA classic

28. Florida: The Gators return Colin Castleton and Tyree Appleby. The rest of the roster should be enough to keep the Gators in the mix. 

29. Oklahoma State: Mike Boynton has the Cowboys as a threat in the Big 12 — even without Cade Cunningham (expected to be a top three pick). 

30. Iowa: No Luka Garza, but let’s see what happens with Joe Wieskamp and others. Keegan Murray could end up being the next Iowa star, too. 

31. St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies should have the 1-2 punch of Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi back to be in the chase for the A-10 title. 

32. Virginia: Tony Bennett will have this team in play, regardless of how this roster shakes out. 

33. Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets got one of their seniors back in Bubba Parham and more could follow, allowing them to get back to the NCAA tournament. 

FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: Every milestone in the 2020-21 DI men's hoops season

34. VCU: The Rams were not a senior-laden team. If they come back, they should get the chance that avoided them this year and play in the NCAA tournament. 

35. Oral Roberts: This is a big if — Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas return then Paul Mills has himself a top 25 team.

36. Colorado State: The Rams played in the NIT semifinals with a roster that should be strong enough to compete for the top of the MWC. 

Under consideration

Notre Dame
Virginia Tech
Oregon State
San Diego State
Boise State
Seton Hall
Missouri State

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