LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — There will more news than usual in college basketball this week.
All conference teams will be announced. Conference tournaments will be played. All-American ballots will be collected. A coach or two or more will be asked to leave the arena.
But, first, here is my penultimate ballot in the AP Top 25 -- with 3 Big Ten teams in the Top 5 and 5 in the Top 20.
1. Gonzaga (24-0) — Anything less than a Final Four would be a massive letdown.
2. Baylor (21-1) — Bounced back from the Kansas loss with 3 terrific wins.
3. Illinois (20-6) — The Illini looked national championship good while beating Michigan.
4. Iowa (20-7) — The Hawkeyes will be a fascinating team to watch in the tournament because they really don’t seem concerned about both ends of the court.
5. Michigan (19-3) — The Wolverines have lost 2 of 3 and now Eli Brooks might have a bad ankle.
6. Houston (21-3) — The Cougars better hope they didn’t burn too much of their luck against Memphis.
7. Alabama (21-6) — The Crimson Tide will be waiting for Kentucky in the second round of the SEC Tournament. Could be an interesting moment.
8. Arkansas (21-5) — The Razorbacks have won 11 straight SEC games.
9. West Virginia (18-8) — Everybody has a bad week in the Big 12 — except Baylor.
10. Kansas (19-8) — Almost burped against UTEP.
11. Villanova (16-5) — The Wildcats will have to scramble to replace Collin Gillespie.
12. Virginia (17-6) — Show some respect to the ACC regular-season champs.
13. Texas (17-7) — Three road wins in six days is an impressive way to finish the regular season.
14. Creighton (18-7) — The Bluejays’ players rose above the disturbing words of Doug McDermott and beat Butler.
15. Florida State (15-5) — That was a very shaky effort at Notre Dame.
16. San Diego State (20-4) — The Aztecs were the real deal last season. They’ve been a surprise this season.
17. Oklahoma State (18-7) — No penalty for losing to Baylor.
18. Purdue (18-8) — The gritty Boilermakers will be a Final Four threat next season.
19. Ohio State (18-8) — I know the Buckeyes are good. I also know they have lost 4 straight — with two losses to Purdue prior to that.
20. Loyola (24-4) — Porter Moser to Notre Dame or Minnesota, right?
21. Virginia Tech (15-5) — The Hokies have not played since Feb. 27.
22. BYU (19-5) — I hope Mark Pope and the Cougars get a third crack at Gonzaga.
23. Oregon (19-5) — Look who won the Pac-12 title.
24. Wichita State (15-4) — Yes, I know the Shockers are No. 72 in Ken Pomeroy’s formula.
25. St. Bonaventure (15-4) — When in doubt, I always side with Mike Vacarro and Adrian Wojnarowski. #Unfurl.
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