College basketball season is sneaking up on us, with a start date set for later this month. College hoops expert Ken Pomeroy just put out his preseason rankings, which are among the most respected in the industry.
When we last saw KenPom, he put out his final 2019-20 rankings after the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament in March. Kansas came out at No. 1 in his metric, followed by Gonzaga, Baylor, Dayton, and Duke. We were unfortunately robbed of a very intriguing March Madness, with no concrete favorite, and a true mid-major upstart contender in Dayton. Hopefully the NCAA gets it together this year with a concrete plan to have this season played safely.
Baylor comes in with the top spot in the preseason rankings. The Bears were a very consistent force in the Big 12 last year, and enter this season with the No. 3 offense and No. 8 defense in KenPom’s efficiency rankings.
They’re followed by Gonzaga, Duke, Villanova, and Kansas to round out the top five. Four of the top five from the end of last season are there again to start 2020-21, with Nova sliding in for the Dayton Flyers, who come in at No. 49 after losing a lot off of last year’s incredible roster.
Significant data news just landed. Breaking: 2020-21 KenPom rankings are live. Here’s the top 30. pic.twitter.com/aOvNu73kzx
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) November 4, 2020
Wisconsin comes in at No. 7, as the top preseason team out of the Big Ten. SEC power Kentucky pops up at No. 11, while Oregon is the top team out of the Pac-12 at No. 21 in the rankings.
Gonzaga starts the year as the top ranked offense in the country, a spot in which it finished in last season. Virginia, unsurprisingly, has the top defense. The Hoos, technically still the defending national champions dating back to the 2019 NCAA Tournament, were also the top defense at the end of 2019-20, but a very disappointing offense led to a pretty underwhelming title defense season. They finished at No. 42 overall in KenPom’s final 2020 rankings.
There is still a ton of scheduling and jostling to be done before we see this college basketball season tip off, and there’s a lot of frustration around the country about the uncertainty with everything. Finger’s crossed that we get the year underway in a few weeks.