On the latest March Madness 365 podcast (#MM365), March Madness correspondent Andy Katz was joined by ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg, UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell, Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler. You can listen to the latest #MM365 podcast below.
On the podcast, Katz ranked his top 10 teams that have lived up to the hype, through the first week of the season. Here's his top 10:
Following their Final Four run in April, the Bruins started the season at No. 2 in the preseason AP poll and they quickly justified that ranking with an 86-77 win over then-No. 4 Villanova last Friday in Westwood. They're 3-0 on the season, with their wins over Cal State Bakersfield and Long Beach State coming by a combined 58 points.
For the second year in a row (and just the second time ever), Gonzaga started the season ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP poll and the 'Zags seem worthy of the title after dispatching then-No. 5 Texas on Saturday, 86-74. National Player of the Year contender Drew Timme scored a career-high 38 points on 15-of-18 shooting, while Iowa State transfer Rasir Bolton (16 points) and reserve Anton Watson (10 points) provided secondary scoring.
Gonzaga's offensive efficiency ranks No. 1 nationally, per kenpom.com.
The country got its first glimpse of Kansas on the opening night of the season, when Kansas handled Michigan State 87-74 in the Champions Classic, behind Ochai Agbaji's career-high 29 points. Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Remy Martin, a transfer from Arizona State, didn't even take a shot in the first half but he finished with 15 points and six rebounds.
Duke, coming off of its first missed NCAA tournament appearance since 1995, seemed to have righted the ship quickly, with a 79-71 win over then-No. 10 Kentucky in the Champions Classic. Freshmen Trevor Keels (25 points) and Paolo Banchero (22 points, seven rebounds) were both standouts, and the latter's scoring in his debut appears sustainable.
Through three games, Banchero's averaging a team-high 19.3 points and Duke has three other players who average double figures.
Villanova is the only team on this list that has suffered a loss this season, as of Nov. 15, but that's only because the Wildcats went on the road to UCLA and lost in overtime. They beat Mount St. Mary's by 40 points in their season opener and they led the Bruins for longer than they trailed in the second half, while shooting 45 percent from three for the game and only committing seven turnovers in 45 minutes.
The Wolverines, which are coming off of a 2021 season in which they earned a No. 1 seed, and jumped two spots in the latest AP Top 25 poll to No. 4, following wins over a quality Buffalo team, 88-76, and Prairie View A&M, 77-49. Through Nov. 15, Michigan ranks second nationally on kenpom.com, with the No. 5 offensive efficiency and No. 2 defensive efficiency.
Reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Hunter Dickinson is averaging a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds per game and three other players are averaging in double figures, including talented freshman Caleb Houston (12 points per game).
Led by the nation's second-most efficient offense, per kenpom.com, Purdue is ranked No. 6 in the AP poll and No. 4 on kenpom.com following its 2-0 start. In opening-week wins over Bellarmine and Indiana State, Purdue scored more than 90 points, while holding each opponent to 67.
The Boilermakers are trotting out a new starting lineup this season, with 7-4 center Zach Edey starting and first-team All-Big Ten forward Trevion Williams coming off the bench, while sophomore guard Jaden Ivey appears to have made the second-year leap that many expected. He's averaging 19 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game through Purdue's first two wins.
Led by talented freshmen Emoni Bates (16 points and four rebounds per game) and Jalen Duren (12.5 points and eight rebounds per game), Memphis won each of its first two games against Tennessee Tech and North Carolina Central by at least 20 points. The Tigers' defensive efficiency ranking is third nationally, per kenpom.com, which is a metric they led the country in last season, and they have a healthy combination of productive veterans and high-upside freshmen.
Oregon senior guard Will Richardson could be having a fourth-year breakout, as he's averaging a team-high 19 points per game through the Ducks' first two wins over Texas Southern and SMU. Five players are averaging double figures in points per game, while the team is grabbing 42 percent of its missed shots, per kenpom.com, which maximizes its second-chance opportunities.
Maryland, ranked No. 20 in the latest AP poll, is 3-0 with wins over Quinnipiac, George Washington and Vermont, and Rhode Island transfer Fatts Russell is leading the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game. Another transfer, center Qudus Wahab, who played for Georgetown last season, is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.