First-year Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd is the frontrunner for national coach of the year with the Wildcats in position to win the Pac-12 and get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
But do you know who could make a strong argument for the second choice? Texas Tech’s Mark Adams. The Red Raiders, our NCAA Digital March Madness Men’s Basketball Team of the Week, just got a season sweep of Texas. The Red Raiders have beaten their former coach, Chris Beard, twice — first in front of their home fans in Lubbock and later, tons of fans infiltrated the venue in Austin. Texas Tech was announced as the second No. 3 seed, and No. 10 overall, by the men’s basketball selection committee last weekend, and has wins over Kansas, Baylor and Texas twice, as well as Tennessee in New York earlier in the season. The Red Raiders have been one of the best stories of the season.
And while Texas Tech is still a relative newcomer to the main stage, Villanova is returning to its rightful place as the top team in the Big East. The Wildcats had a great week with a win at Providence and a home win over Georgetown. Leading the Wildcats was super-senior point guard Collin Gillespie. He returned from a knee injury and has had a second senior season that continues to get better throughout the month of February. Gillespie scored 33 points in the win at Providence and he had nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the win over the Hoyas to be our NCAA Digital March Madness Men's Basketball Player of the Week.
And while there are significant changes in the Power 36, those alternations don’t begin until No. 4 with the top three — Gonzaga, Kentucky and Arizona — all looking the part of possible Final Four teams again last week.
MARCH IS COMING: 2022 men's NCAA tournament bracket predictions after the top 16 reveal
- Gonzaga (1): The Zags won the WCC — yet again.
- Kentucky (2): The Wildcats didn’t have their starting backcourt and still beat Alabama.
- Arizona (3): The Wildcats got pushed by Oregon but still prevailed.
- Kansas (5): The Jayhawks are the team to beat in the Big 12 again.
- Purdue (7): The Boilermakers are the best team in the Big Ten.
- Illinois (8): A healthy Illini that plays to their potential is right behind Purdue.
- Auburn (4): The Tigers were stunned at Florida in a one-possession loss.
- Duke (6): The Blue Devils rode a wire act to nip Wake Forest at home and then avenged their previous road loss to Florida State.
- Villanova (10): The Wildcats have been on a tear and will ultimately be the team to beat in New York at the Big East tournament.
- Texas Tech (13): The Red Raiders got the home-away-from-home sweep of Texas.
- Providence (9): The Friars had a double-digit comeback to beat Butler after losing to 'Nova earlier in the week.
- Baylor (11): The Bears have the numbers to be a No. 2 seed but need to be healthier to hold it.
- Wisconsin (14): The Badgers pulled away from Michigan to stay in the Big Ten title chase.
- Arkansas (16): The Hogs got Tennessee at home to show they have staying power.
- Tennessee (15): The Vols struggled to score in Fayetteville, but overall they are a top-four seed line team.
- Ohio State (12): The Buckeyes were stunned by Iowa at home, but that seems to be more of an anomaly.
- UConn (28): A healthy, locked-in Huskies team could make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
- USC (17): The Trojans got a last-possession win over Washington State and still are a threat to finish in the top two in the Pac-12.
- UCLA (21): The Bruins aren’t healthy and need to be focused for the stretch run.
- Rutgers (29): The Scarlet Knights' winning streak ended at Purdue, but the home win over Illinois was as impressive a win as any in the Big Ten this season.
- Houston (27): The Cougars are once again back atop the American.
- Texas (19): The Longhorns got swept by Texas Tech, but they are still a top-four team in the Big 12.
- Alabama (18): The Tide’s highs are as good as any team, but the lows make it a team that's very beatable.
- Murray State (23): The Racers have a chance to win multiple games in the NCAA tournament.
- Iowa (NR): The Hawkeyes and Keegan Murray put a beating on Ohio State in the second half for their biggest win of the season.
- Creighton (NR): The Bluejays have won five in a row, including against Marquette on Sunday.
- Wake Forest (NR): The Demon Deacons nearly got Duke in Durham but they did take down Notre Dame.
- Notre Dame (22): The Irish are still in the top two in the ACC and a likely NCAA tournament team.
- Wyoming (20): The Cowboys were stunned by New Mexico at The Pit, but they are still tied for first place in the loss column in the highly competitive Mountain West.
- Boise State (35): The Cowboys have the tiebreaker over the Broncos, but Boise State does have a half-game lead in the win column.
- VCU (32): The Rams are quietly putting together a late run for the NCAA tournament.
- Davidson (NR): The A-10 deserves to have a serious look at its teams earning multiple bids, led by the Wildcats.
- Saint Mary’s (NR): The Gaels are back in the Power 36 with an impressive win over BYU.
- Virginia (36): The Cavaliers get the season sweep of Miami to put them squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble.
- San Diego State (NR): The Aztecs have won five in a row and are positioned to make a late run for an NCAA tournament bid.
- North Texas (NR): The Mean Green have won 12 in a row and they are the team to beat again in Conference USA.
Dropped out: Miami (25), Michigan State (24), SMU (26), Memphis (30), Oregon (31), San Francisco (33), Colorado State (34).
Also under consideration: Kent State, Iowa State, Marquette.