As NCAA Basketball enters the new year of 2021, which teams have put themselves in a great position for the rest of the season?
Happy New Year to everyone! Hopefully, you all had a good time during the holidays with your loved ones and enjoyed the great slate of NCAA Basketball games on Saturday. It marked the first time where most of the conferences started league play, with over 100 games being played, despite the expected postponements after players were able to go home last week.
On Saturday alone, there were a ton of eye-popping results. There was a historic comeback win for Colorado State over San Diego State, Tennessee and Arkansas both lost their first games of the season to SEC foes, while Texas beat Kansas by a whopping 25 points to open the day.
With so many NCAA Basketball teams in the top-25 losing, what will Busting Brackets’ own ranking look like? After taking a week off, eight of us are back to put up our own lists. There was a near consensus on which teams should be in the conversation, with just 31 programs getting at least one vote. Where they should be placed, however, was another question entirely.
Here are the contributing writers for this weeks ranking;
Tristan Freeman – @hoopsnut351
Adam Berstein – @AdamBernstein18
Benjamin Zacher – @beezacher
Joe Casey – @Joe_Casey1
Chris Thedinga – @CThedinga
Jacob Zinkula – @1Perfectbracket
Karl Heiser – @karlheiser17
Drew Schmelzer – @DrewSchmelzer
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Spiders, losing to both Hofstra and Saint Bonaventure at home. The losses individually aren’t bad but for a mid-major program looking for an at-large bid, this been a setback.
The Bruins are off to a 3-0 start in Pac-12 play after a pair of close wins over Utah and Colorado. But the biggest loss came via injury, with Chris Smith (12.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg) out for the season. There now will be pressure on Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang to step in and be a major source of offense going forward.
San Diego State Aztecs
They destroyed Saint Mary’s by 25 points right before the holiday break and were on the path to a similar blowout against Colorado State this weekend, up by over 20 points in the first half. Unfortunately for them, the Rams came back to win, 70-67. That’s a tough loss for the Aztecs, who now has to face Nevada twice next week.
After not playing for nearly two weeks dealing with the Keyontae Johnson medical situation, the Gators showed little signs of rust, beating both Vanderbilt and LSU to open SEC play. Michigan transfer Colin Castleton was the star this past week, scoring 44 points combined in the two victories.
Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils were the victims of the covid results this week, with both Pittsburgh and Florida State postponing games. They hope to get back on the floor with a pair of home matchups against Boston College and Wake Forest.
After losing by 23 points to the No. 1 juggernaut Gonzaga Bulldogs, the Cavaliers and their defense rebounded to beat Notre Dame on the road, 66-57. Kihei Clark led the team with 19 points, while Sam Hauser had a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds).