Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

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From Chaos to Clarity: Revising College Basketball Rankings

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Ole Miss’s guard TJ Caldwell and forward Jaemyn Brakefield (Petre Thomas)

College basketball has been nothing short of entertaining this year, including some major upsets this week, shaking up the upper echelon of the AP rankings. Special players have made this college basketball season, and fans all over the country are awaiting this year’s March Madness tournament. However, with the chaotic play of college basketball, the AP Top 5 definitely needs some refining.

Current AP top 5:

  1. Purdue
  2. Kansas
  3. Houston
  4. Arizona
  5. UConn

The list isn’t accurate, but it’s better than it has been in past years. However, there are some corrections to be made.

#1. Purdue (AP ranking: 1) 11-1

It is pretty obvious to say that Purdue is the best team in college basketball. With 7’4 Center Zach Edey averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds, the Boilermakers have cemented themselves as the top team in college basketball. Despite an early season fluke loss to Northwestern the Boilermakers have stayed solid beating Arizona, Marquette, and Gonzaga (All top 15 teams) this year. When factoring in their AdjO, (Adjusted offensive efficiency: points scored per 100 possessions) Purdue is second in College basketball, only trailing Alabama, who they beat earlier this season. 

#2. Arizona (AP ranking: 4) 9-1

The Wildcats have had a great season so far and are too low on the AP ranking. Despite a small loss to Purdue, Arizona has held strong despite a very challenging schedule to start the year. Arizona has the 2nd best AdjD (Adjusted defensive efficiency: points allowed per 100 possessions) and 6th best AdjO in college basketball. The only possible worry about Arizona is that they have only played in 10 games so far compared to most teams’ 12. 

#3. Houston (AP ranking: 3) 12-0

The Cougars have displayed a perfect season going 12-0. Houston also has the best AdjD in all of college basketball and is statistically the most efficient team. The Cougars have a stellar backcourt with L.J. Cryer leading the charge, alongside Emanuel Sharp, and Jamal Shead. This team plays at a slower pace but their style of play has proved to work year after year. The major knock on Houston is their strength of schedule which is easily the worst on this list.

#4. Kansas (AP ranking: 2) 10-1

Kansas has had a great year with one of the hardest schedules in basketball. Kansas has, most notably, beat Uconn, Tennessee, and Kentucky (All top 10 teams). Statistically, Kansas does not stand out too much other than their 6th-best AdjD. Kansas has a dynamic guard-big man duo with Kevin Mccullar JR. and veteran Hunter Dickinson. Kansas has proven themselves in the past years but their loss to Marquette is a red flag on their near-perfect season.

#5. Ole Miss (AP ranking: 25) 11-0

Yes, putting Ole Miss at the number 5 slot may seem to be ridiculous, mainly because they are over reigning Champions UConn and this pick is certainly a hot take. However, fans all over the nation can’t doubt Ole Miss’s perfect season so far. While the team has had a very easy schedule I believe that putting Houston in the top 5 means that Ole Miss has to be in the top 5 because both teams are undefeated and haven’t competed against a real challenge this year. Despite a majority of my arguments being focused on statistics, surprisingly Ole Miss is not ranked highly in most categories. However, with one of the toughest backcourts on this list with senior Allen Flanigan leading the charge, combined with a fairly easy remainder of the season, there is no doubt in my mind that the Rebels will secure a prime spot in this year’s March Madness bracket. New Rebels coach Chris Beard has proved to succeed with his motion/off-ball offense dominating teams, and Ole Miss will continue to impress the college basketball world throughout their season.

Purdue’s star player, Center Zach Edey taking a free throw (Alexander Jonesi )
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