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The Circuit’s 2022-23 College Basketball 3rd Quarter Polls

The calendar has turned to February, which means there’s about one month left until the madness truly begins! Now it’s time to take a look at the college basketball landscape and predict who will be dancing well into March.

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The college basketball season is like a pressure-cooker. It’s essentially a three month sprint to March Madness, where it’s survival of the fittest. We’ve now approached the 3/4 point (roughly), so it’s time to check in and see who’s playing well and who isn’t.

Top 25

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1- Purdue Boilermakers

2- Houston Cougars

3- Alabama Crimson Tide

4- Kansas Jayhawks

5- Arizona Wildcats

6- Texas Longhorns

7- Tennessee Volunteers

8- UCLA Bruins

9- Virginia Cavaliers

10- Iowa State Cyclones

11- Marquette Golden Eagles

12- Baylor Bears

13- Kansas State Wildcats

14- Xavier Musketeers

15- Gonzaga Bulldogs

16- Indiana Hoosiers

17- TCU Horned Frogs

18- St. Mary’s Gaels

19- Miami Hurricane

20- UCONN Huskies

21- Duke Blue Devils

22- NC State Wolfpack

23- Illinois Fighting Illini

24- Providence Friars

25- San Diego State Aztecs

I will never believe in a team with Purdue written on the front of it, but it’s hard to deny them #1 in the rankings. I think Houston is better, but the Big Ten is still an elite basketball conference, plus Edey has been the best player in the country.

A sneaky team to watch here is Iowa State; they struggled in the 2010’s when they had a bunch of stars and sky-high expectations, but this 2023 team is staying under the radar and making me think they could make a deep run in March.

And where is North Carolina you may ask? That’s an excellent question. I have no idea what happened to the Tar Heels this season, and I’m not sure Hubert Davis does either. Which is a problem.

National Player of the Year Race

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1- Zach Edey (Purdue Boilermakers)

2- Jalen Wilson (Kansas Jayhawks)

3- Drew Timme (Gonzaga Bulldogs)

4- Marcus Sasser (Houston Cougars)

5- Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana Hoosiers)

Edey is the *pardon the inbound pun* slam dunk choice here. Wilson & Timme have been great, but Edey is dominating on the best team in the country. There’s no debate or doubt here.

National Freshman of the Year Race

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1- Brandon Miller (Alabama Crimson Tide)

2- Gradey Dick (Kansas Jayhawks)

3- Kyle Filipowski (Duke Blue Devils)

This race is getting pretty interesting. Milleris leading an Alabama team with Final Four aspirations, while Dickey is fitting in nicely as a second or third option on a Jayhawks squad looking to repeat. I think Miller wins out, but if Dick continues to elevate his play when it matters most, he may just steal this one.

National Coach of the Year Race

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1- Matt Painter (Purdue Boilermakers)

2- Kelvin Sampson (Houston Cougars)

3- TJ Otzelberger (Iowa State Cyclones)

You’ll never convince me Painter is a good coach, but someone has to win this award. And I actually think Houston has looked less dominant than I expected, so I guess give it to Painter. But I’m rooting for the Big Otzel.

1st Team All-America

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G- Marcus Sasser (Houston Cougars)

G- Brandon Miller (Alabama Crimson Tide)

F- Jalen Wilson (Kansas Jayhawks)

F- Drew Timme (Gonzaga)

C- Zach Edey (Purdue Boilermakers)

2nd Team All-America

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G- Antoine Davis (Detroit Mercy Titans)

G- Jordan Walker (UAB Blazers)

F- Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana Hoosiers)

F- Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona Wildcats)

C- Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky Wildcats)

3rd Team All-America

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G- Max Abmas (Oral Roberts Golden Eagles)

G- Kris Murray (Iowa Hawkeyes)

F- Emoji Bates (Eastern Michigan Eagles)

F- Armando Bacot (North Carolina Tar Heels)

C- Adama Sanogo (UCONN Huskies)

Final Four Predictions

Houston Cougars def Gonzaga Bulldogs

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I still believe that the Cougars are the team of destiny this year, with the Final Four being in Houston. And with Gonzaga, I think that the basketball gods have a sick sense of humor and will grace this version of the Dawgs with a Final Four berth, despite being vastly inferior to their last two teams. In a fun battle of mid-majors, give me the Cougars in a nail-biter.

Arizona Wildcats def Alabama Crimson Tide

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These are two teams I did not have on my Final Four bingo card in the preseason. I thought Alabama would be good but not great, and I thought losing Koloko and Mathurin would be too much for Arizona to overcome. But here we are! I think this matchup will come down to the backcourts, and I like the experience of Arizona over the raw, young talent of Alabama.

National Championship

Houston Cougars def Arizona Wildcats

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Team of destiny! Since being virtually forced off of my UNC pick, I’ve been firm on picking the Cougars. Would I like for them to beat their lesser opponents in a more soul-crushing fashion? Sure. But in the end, I think Sasser and Sampson will fulfill the prophecy and win the title.

There you have it! Make sure to check back in after Selection Sunday when I fill out my brackets! You’ll want to see what I go with, since last year I nailed the Kansas pick. And check out all of our other great content while you’re here!

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