The Circuit’s 2021-22 College Basketball 1st Quarter Polls
College basketball is a little over a quarter of the way through the season, so it’s time to take a look at where things stand, and how my predictions are looking! Getty Images/ Circuit Artwork Now that we’re a little over 25% done with the college basketball season, it’s time to look at the things I got right and the many, many things I got wrong before the season began! Let’s start with my updated top 25 polls: Top 25 Rankings 1- Baylor Bears 2- Duke Blue Devils 3- Purdue Boilermakers 4- Gonzaga Bulldogs 5- Kansas Jayhawks 6- UCLA Bruins 7- USC Trojans 8- Arizona Wildcats 9- Villanova Wildcats 10- Alabama Crimson Tide 11- Iowa State Cyclones 12- Michigan State Spartans 13- Auburn Tigers 14- Ohio State Buckeyes 15- Seton Hall Pirates 16- Houston Cougars 17- LSU Tigers 18- Kentucky Wildcats 19- Colorado State Rams 20- Texas Longhorns 21- Texas Tech Red Raiders 22- Tennessee Volunteers 23- UCONN Huskies 24- Arkansas Razorbacks 25- Wisconsin Badgers I still feel like Gonzaga is the best team in the land, but they certainly don’t deserve to be #1 this season so far. Baylor has wildly outperformed my expectations after they lost nearly every contributor from last year’s team. And props to Arizona for being undefeated at this point after everything they went through with Sean Miller. I don’t think they’re one of the best teams in the country, but they have certainly earned a top 10 ranking to this point. Player of the Year Predictions: 1- Drew Timme (Gonzaga Bulldogs) 2- Paolo Banchero (Duke Blue Devils) 3- Ochai Ogbaji (Kansas Jayhawks) 4- Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga Bulldogs) 5- Collin Gillespie (Villanova Wildcats) Even though Gonzaga has stumbled through the early parts of the season, Timme has been just as dominant as advertised. The biggest difference from these rankings and my preseason rankings is the absence of Hunter Dickinson; Michigan has been extremely disappointing this year, and it has cost him in this race. All-America Predictions 1st Team: G- Collin Gillespie (Villanova Wildcats) G- Ochai Ogjabi (Kansas Jayhawks) F- Paolo Banchero (Duke Blue Devils) F- Drew Timme (Gonzaga Bulldogs) C- Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga Bulldogs) 2nd Team: G- Jaden Shackleford (Alabama Crimson Tide) G- Johnny Juzang (UCLA Bruins) F- EJ Liddell (Ohio State Buckeyes) F- Trevion Williams (Purdue Boilermakers) C- Oscar Tshiebae (Kentucky Wildcats) 3rd Team: G- LJ Cyler (Baylor Bears) G- Marcus Sasser (Houston Cougars) F- Isaiah Mobley (USC Trojans) F- Jabari Smith (Auburn Tigers) C- Obinna Anochili-Killen (Marshall Thundering Herd) Final Four Predictions: It is nearly impossible to truly predict a Final Four without seeing brackets, nevermind at the beginning of the season. So these are the four teams I think will make deep runs in March, and if the stars align and they are all in different regions, this is what the Final Four will look like. Gonzaga Bulldogs def Kansas Jayhawks Kansas is always good for making a Final Four once every few years, and they have the talent to do it this season. But even with all their talent, Gonzaga has even more star power and they should have the hunger to avenge the failures of last season. Duke Blue Devils def Villanova Wildcats Duke is on a mission this season to win one for Coach K, and Paolo Banchero is one of the best players in the nation. Villanova has a great coach and a great leader in Gillespie, but Duke will win in the end. Duke Blue Devils def Gonzaga Bulldogs Third time is not the charm for Mark Few and the Bulldogs, as coach K gets the fairytale sendoff and wins his final game. I pick Duke almost every single year to win it all, but with Banchero leading the charge I will finally be right this season! There you have it! That’s where things stand in my eyes so far this college basketball season. Make sure to come back in a few weeks to check out my 2nd quarter polls, and make sure to continue to check out all of our great content here at The Circuit!