March Madness is going to be complete chaos.
Let’s just accept that it will be mad, with brackets busted right and left.
It was a historic Saturday, as seven teams in the Associated Press top 10 fell — all on the road. It may not mean much for the NCAA tournament bracket, given the chaos across the board. The only major change is that Baylor is a likely No. 1 seed for now ahead of Auburn. What happens to the AP poll on Monday afternoon may not be as altering either.
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That’s the case here in the Power 36 rankings. Penalizing teams that lost on the road in crazy environments wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
Instead, let’s celebrate Baylor as the NCAA Digital March Madness Team of the Week with an overtime, road win over Oklahoma State and a home win over Kansas to catapult the Bears to the No. 1 seed line. Arkansas senior guard J.D. Notae is the National Player of the week for his 30 points and eight assists in the win over Kentucky after scoring 22 in a win over Florida. The Hogs are rolling right now behind his leadership.
On to the rankings:
- Gonzaga (1): The Zags lost at Saint Mary’s. One loss. In the WCC. And everyone else in the top six lost. So, no one moves the Zags out of this perch.
- Arizona (3): Yes, the Wildcats lost at Colorado. But once again, the Wildcats look the part of a No. 1 seed.
- Kansas (4): The Jayhawks lost at Baylor. No shame in that at all.
- Baylor (12): The shorthanded Bears got the best of Kansas and should be a No. 1 seed for now.
- Duke (8): The Blue Devils have a chance for their first ACC regular-season title since 2010.
- Wisconsin (13): The Badgers won at Rutgers and they are in position to win the Big Ten outright with a home win over Purdue Tuesday.
- Providence (11): The Friars beat Creighton for their first Big East regular-season title — ever.
- Arkansas (14): The Hogs have an amazing home court at Bud Walton Arena, where they swallowed up another top SEC team in Kentucky.
- Tennessee (15): The Vols took down Auburn and they are primed for a March run.
- Kentucky (2): The Wildcats need to get to neutral-court games. Once there, they can win it all.
- Purdue (5): The Boilermakers have had multiple last-possession losses, the latest at Michigan State. Still, they are a formidable Final Four contender.
- Auburn (7): The Tigers need to get the ball to Jabari Smith late. Full stop.
- Texas Tech (10): The Red Raiders lost at TCU. They are still a Final Four threat.
- Illinois (6): The Illini bounced back after the disappointing home loss with a road win at Michigan.
- UConn (17): The Huskies had quite the week with the home win over 'Nova and a road win at Georgetown. Look out for this sleeper in March.
- Villanova (9): The Wildcats can sweep the Friars Tuesday but have already lost out on the Big East regular-season title.
- Ohio State (16): The Buckeyes stunned the Illini in Champaign in an epic game that saw a monster Illinois comeback before the Buckeyes held them off. But then they followed that up with a no-show at Maryland.
- Saint Mary’s (33): The Gaels took it to the Zags behind Tommy Kuhse and Logan Johnson. Randy Bennett has a squad again.
- USC (18): The Trojans got a late-possession win at Oregon. Drew Peterson has become their money player.
- Houston (21): The Cougars beat SMU to prove yet again Houston is the team to beat in the American.
- Texas (22): The Longhorns are one of the more intriguing teams entering March. They still haven’t come close to their potential.
- Alabama (23): The Tide at their best can compete with any team. Let’s see if that happens in the SEC tournament.
- Iowa (25): Keegan Murray is making a strong push for national player of the year in the final few weeks of the season.
- Murray State (24): The Racers finished the OVC 18-0 and are 28-2 overall.
- UCLA (19): The Bruins haven’t been healthy this season. If, if, if they ever get there, then they can make a real run.
- Michigan (NR): The Wolverines did beat Rutgers at home and nearly got Illinois. This team did beat Purdue and won at Iowa. If they just get into the NCAA tournament, they can win a game or two.
- TCU (NR): The Horned Frogs beat Texas Tech and get two games with Kansas this week to try to secure an NCAA tournament bid.
- SMU (NR): The Mustangs have a win over Memphis that will stand large.
- Memphis (NR): The Tigers are sneaking back into the NCAA tournament field and Power 36 rankings.
- VCU (31): The Rams have won seven in a row and should be an at-large team.
- Davidson (32): The Wildcats will still enter the A-10 tournament as the favorite.
- Boise State (30): The Broncos hold a two-game lead in the Mountain West standings.
- Notre Dame (28): The Irish are still holding second place in the ACC.
- Iowa State (NR): The Cyclones are back after winning four in a row.
- Colorado State (NR): The Rams are surging again after beating Wyoming.
- North Texas (36): The Mean Green have won 14 in a row and it is making a strong case for an at-large berth even without a C-USA tournament title.
Dropped out: Rutgers (20), Creighton (26), Wyoming (29), Virginia (34), San Diego State (35).
Under consideration: San Francisco, Oregon, Virginia Tech, Miami, Northern Iowa, Loyola-Chicago, Seton Hall, Kent State, BYU, Colorado, Florida, South Dakota State, Colgate, Texas State.