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Andy Katz | | April 25, 2022

College basketball rankings: North Carolina leads the Power 36 about 2 months out from the NBA Draft

UNC tops Power 36 after the NBA draft early entry deadline

We are officially in a new era of men’s college basketball. 

No more are players running to the NBA Draft unless they have some certainties. 

Name, image and likeness money means more players are willing to stay in school. The transfer portal has created freedom of movement without sitting out. The success of a fan-filled regular-season and March Madness was tantalizing for a slew of players to come back for next season. 

And that means there is a new No. 1 in our offseason Power 36 — the national runner-up. 

College basketball rankings: Andy Katz's Power 36

1. North Carolina (7): The return of Armando Bacot, Leaky Black, RJ Davis and Caleb Love makes the Tar Heels the 2023 favorite. 

2. Kentucky (3): Oscar Tshiebwe enters the season as one of the favorites to win the player of the year award again. Sahvir Wheeler returns and CJ Frederick is healthy. 

3. UCLA (9): The Bruins have a tremendous 1-2 punch returning with Tyger Campbell and a potential first-team all-American in Jaime Jaquez Jr. 

4. Baylor (4): LJ Cryer is coming back and the the addition of BYU transfer Caleb Lohner is a huge pickup. 

5. Michigan (5): Hunter Dickinson announced he is returning to Ann Arbor, meaning the Wolverines will be in the thick of the chase for the top of the Big Ten.

6. Arkansas (2): The Hogs were one of the winners in the transfer portal in picking up Jalen Graham from Arizona State. Jaylin Williams could still return to school and withdraw from the draft. 

7. Arizona (1): The Wildcats slide down after Christian Koloko and Bennedict Mathurin both announced they were staying in the draft. 

8. Duke (6): The Blue Devils do get Jeremy Roach back but lost five players — Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, Trevor Keels, Mark Williams and Wendell Moore Jr., — to the draft. 

9. Texas (16): The Longhorns got Marcus Carr and Timmy Allen back, meaning Chris Beard will have experience for a Big 12 run. 

10. Kansas (8): The Jayhawks did lose Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Christian Braun to the draft but bring in a top-five recruiting class led by Gradey Dick and MJ Rice. 

11. Michigan State (13): Joey Hauser is returning. Max Christie is on the fence. But the Spartans should be a Big Ten contender. 

12. Creighton (14): The key will be getting Ryan Nembhard and Ryan Kalkbrenner healthy. Trey Alexander and Arthur Kaluma can keep the Bluejays atop the Big East. 

13. Purdue (15): The major news was the return of Zach Edey. But without Trevion Williams, Edey will have to long more minutes. Still, this Boilermakers team will be a tough out. 

14. Houston (11): The Cougars won’t know their full roster for a while as Marcus Sasser tests the draft process. But Tramon Mack is returning and the Cougars have their best recruiting class under Kelvin Sampson. 

🏆 CHAMPS: Kansas wins its fourth national championship against North Carolina

15. TCU (28): Mike Miles announced he was withdrawing from the NBA Draft two weeks after declaring. That puts the Horned Frogs in contention in the Big 12. 

16. Alabama (18): The Tide is getting Jahvon Quinerly back and if healthy to be one of the top lead guards in the SEC. 

17. Dayton (25): The Flyers were the last team out of the field of 68. They won’t have to sweat on Selection Sunday. They return all five starters, including stars Malachi Smith and DaRon Holmes. 

18. Texas Tech (35): Kevin Obanor is coming back to the Red Raiders. This squad/program isn’t going anywhere. 

19. Indiana (NR): The Hoosiers will wait on Trayce Jackson-Davis but know Race Thompson and Jordan Geronimo are returning.

20. Providence (NR): The Friars picked up four transfers in the portal, led by South Carolina’s Devin Carter. PC is going to be in the chase again. 

21. San Diego State (23): Matt Bradley’s return means the Aztecs have their best scorer back to mount a Mountain West title chase. 

22. Gonzaga (12): The Zags still could get Drew Timme and Julian Strawther back but we know Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard are gone. That means this roster will be in flux for a bit. 

23. Villanova (10): The Wildcats have to drop initially with the news of Jay Wright’s retirement. Kyle Neptune may keep Nova right at the top of the Big East. But there has to be a bit of a dip with the news. 

24. Virginia (NR): The Cavaliers missed the NCAA tournament but don’t expect it again after Kihei Clark, Jayden Gardner and the rest of the starting five announced a return. Picking up Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas is another major addition. 

25. Miami (NR): The Canes picked up one of the top transfers, with a massive help from a six-figure NIL deal, in Kansas State’s Nijel Pack. 

26. Wyoming (36): The Cowboys could be a regular in the poll if Hunter Maldonado withdraws from the draft, Graham Ike is back to dominate his position and Jeff Linder picked up three transfers from USC/UCLA, including Ethan Anderson from the Trojans. 

27. Auburn (17): The backcourt will carry the Tigers with K.D. Johnson and Wendell Green Jr.

28. Texas A&M (21): The potential of four starters back from an NIT finalist means the Aggies will start the season with momentum.

29. Illinois (20): The Illini lost Kofi Cockburn but Coleman Hawkins should have a stellar season. Picking up Skyy Clark was a must for the perimeter. 

30. Ohio State (30): The Buckeyes have a healthy Justice Sueing, picked up Wright State’s Tanner Holden and West Virginia’s Sean McNeil. Malaki Branham is likely to stay in the NBA Draft. 

THE OTHER 67: Here's how season ended for the other 67 teams that didn't win it all

31. Saint Mary’s (27): Tommy Kuhse is gone but the return of Logan Johnson and Alex Ducas means the Gaels will once again be a top two WCC team. 

32. Xavier (19): The Musketeers get Jack Nunge, Colby Jones and KyKy Tandy back from an NIT championship roster for new coach Sean Miller. 

33. Memphis (29): The addition of Kendric Davis from SMU will give the Tigers star power after losing Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates. 

34. Wisconsin (32): Chucky Hepburn and Tyler Wahl will be the 1-2 punch for the Badgers. 

35. Oklahoma State (34): The Cowboys weren’t eligible for the NCAA tournament but return nearly the entire team. 

36. Rutgers (NR): There’s still a chance Ron Harper Jr. and Caleb McConnell return. But we know Cliff Omoruyi and Paul Mulcahy are back. The impact of Derek Simpson should give the Scarlet Knights a big-time scorer. 

Under consideration






St. John’s


Florida State


Colorado State





Saint Louis


Notre Dame

Wake Forest 

West Virginia

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