The final week of the regular season had some wild moments in it which perfectly encapsulates what this season truly was. There were many ups and downs for pretty much every team, but you got to give it up for this season being able to be completed despite the looming threat of COVID-19. Fingers crossed that we can get through the postseason without any significant issues. With that said, check out the final Power 16 and Players of the Week of the regular season.
1. Gonzaga (24-0)
Gonzaga has now officially finished the regular season undefeated and are the clear-cut best team in the country heading into the postseason. We can pretty much chalk up the WCC conference tournament as yet another Gonzaga walkthrough. The Zags are going to be the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will be considered the overwhelming favorite to win the entire thing.
2. Baylor (21-1)
Baylor suffered its first loss of the season two weeks ago, but bounced back in the best way possible. The Bears closed the season off with three straight ranked wins this week over West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. This team is surely the second best.
3. Illinois (20-6)
Illinois has closed out the season on arguably the highest note of any team in the country. The Fighting Illini have now rattled off three straight wins over ranked opponents with this week adding Michigan and Ohio State to that list. Outside of Gonzaga, Illinois might be the best team in the nation right now.
4. Michigan (19-3)
The Wolverines lost two games this week, one by 23 points to Illinois and another by 6 points to Michigan State. This is definitely a bad look at this point in the season, but we shouldn’t throw out an entire year’s worth of success for one bad week. However, we should keep a close eye on the Big Ten tournament.
5. Arkansas (21-5)
The Razorbacks closed out the regular season with wins over South Carolina and Texas A&M. The SEC has been wide open for basically the entire year and Arkansas was able to swoop in late in the season and claim the top spot. Arkansas should be respected moving forward and be taken as a legit threat.
6. Virginia Tech (15-5)
Virginia Tech had the last couple games of the season cancelled and have not played a game since Feb. 27. The top of the ACC is relatively close together and, in my opinion, are one of the top two teams in the conference. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on the Hokies moving into the conference tournaments.
7. Iowa (20-7)
The Hawkeyes seem to be back in form. Iowa has won 7 of its last 8 games with the only loss coming to Michigan. This team is one of the best when playing at its best, and that might just be the case. Iowa is built extremely well for a postseason run and will be a dangerous team for anyone to face.
8. Florida State (15-5)
Florida State has all the tools to be a contender this season, the team just needs to put it together on a more consistent basis. The Seminoles are one of the dark horses that I could see making a real push in the NCAA Tournament, but at the same time could be a team to get bounced in the first round.
9. Oregon (19-5)
Oregon finishes the year with three wins over Arizona, UCLA and Oregon State. The Ducks have been the most consistent team in the Pac 12 this season, but the team hasn’t been tested too often. Oregon is a big wildcard moving forward and could just make a deep run at the title.
10. Oklahoma State (18-7)
The Cowboys had one of the most exciting ends to the season that I can remember. In the last two weeks alone, Oklahoma State beat Texas Tech, Oklahoma (twice) and West Virginia. The team did lose this week to Baylor, but it’s Baylor so that’s not too big of a deal. This team is on fire right now and if they keep it up, could possibly score a high seed in the tournament.
11. Virginia (17-6)
The Cavaliers finish the season 17-6 and are moving into conference play off of wins over Miami and Louisville. Virginia started the season with one of the more embarrassing losses of the year, but close on a decent note. We have to remember that Virginia is still Virginia and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
12. Alabama (21-6)
Alabama finishes the regular season with wins over Auburn and Georgia. The Crimson Tide are pretty much the only true competition to Arkansas in the SEC and with the recent loss to the Razorbacks, should be considered the second option in the conference.
13. Texas (17-7)
Texas was once considered a surefire No. 1 seed, but things have changed. However, with three wins this week over the likes of Iowa State, Oklahoma and TCU, the Longhorns might be back on track. Texas has a huge upside, but lacks consistency which makes the team very interesting for postseason play.
14. USC (21-6)
It’s no secret that I’m bigger on USC than the average person, but this team has been clearly disrespected in the national rankings. Sitting at 21-6 and undefeated against ranked teams, the Trojans should be taken more seriously.
15. West Virginia (18-8)
West Virginia had a rough end to the season, losing two of its last three games. Losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State are bearable, but beating TCU just doesn’t quite make up for it. The Big 12 tournament will be super exciting, and the Mountaineers open up with a chance to avenge the Oklahoma State loss.
16. Ohio State (18-8)
The Buckeyes lost their last four games of the season and are kind of reeling at the moment. Ohio State did have an incredible season besides these last couple of weeks and still deserve to be in the Power 16. With that said, this team needs a big bounce back performance in the conference tournament.
Next Five: Villanova, Creighton, Kansas, Houston, San Diego State
Players of the Week
Emanuel Miller – Texas A&M
Emanuel Miller capped off the regular season on a strong note. He went for 24 points and 13 rebounds against Mississippi State before going for 23 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists against Arkansas.
Charles Bassey – Western Kentucky
Charles Bassey had three games this week and went off in two of them which lands him on the list. Bassey tallied 22 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks in one game and 23 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks in another. He was only able to muster up 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks in the final game of the week, but it was still a spectacular week for the big man.
Sandro Mamukelashvili – Creighton
Sandro Mamukelashvili has had a strong season and finally makes his way onto this list. This week he recorded 20 points, 10 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals before finishing up the year with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
Cameron Thomas – LSU
I’ve had my doubts on Cameron Thomas as an NBA prospect, but there is no taking away what he was able to do this week. Thomas opened up with a 23-point and 10-rebound performance against Vanderbilt and closed with a 29-point outing against Missouri.
Jeremiah Robsinson-Earl – Villanova
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had a fantastic season and closed it off with just another great week. He tallied 14 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists before recording 11 points,13 rebounds along with a steal and a block.
Players of the Year
Luka Garza – Iowa
In my mind, Luka Garza was robbed of Player of the year honors last season. However, Garza should be able to receive the award this year after an impressive campaign. The Iowa big man averaged 23.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. He also shot 55.3% from the field as well as 45% from three-point range.
Ayo Dosumnu – Illinois
Ayo Dosumnu had an electric season and should be the runner-up for player of the year honors. Dosunmu averaged 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He shot 49.2% from the field and 40% from deep.
Drew Timme – Gonzaga
The popular pick for a Gonzaga player would probably be Kispert, but I think Drew Timme had the better season. He averaged 18.9 points, 7.1 boards, 1.9 assists and nearly a steal and block per game. Timme was very efficient, shooting 65.1% overall and 35.2% from three.
Trayce Jackson-Davis – Indiana
Trayce Jackson-Davis had a great season for Indiana. He averaged 19.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. He also shot a very respectable 51.7% from the field. Indiana didn’t have a great season, but Jackson-Davis did.
Jared Butler – Baylor
I don’t think that team success should result in players getting privilege in solo honors, but I also can’t diminish what Jared Butler has done this year. Butler is the second choice in terms of Vegas’ odds to win Wooden Player of the Year, but averaging 17.1 points, 5.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds doesn’t stack up against some others on this list. Butler shot 48.7% from the floor and 44.3% from behind the arc.
Play of the Week
I’m sure some of you guys have been thinking that my doubts of Houston are too extreme, and maybe you would be right. However, one thing we can all agree on is the half-court heave at the buzzer for the win was an incredible way to cap off a great season. Check out Tramon Mark’s game-winner below.