After the conclusion of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Monday night, the final USA Today college basketball coaches poll was released on Tuesday afternoon.
Locked in a No. 2 for the entirety of the 2020-21 season, the Baylor Bears finally made the jump over the Gonzaga Bulldogs when it mattered most. Taking down the previously undefeated Zags with a 86-70 wire-to-wire blowout in the national championship game, Scott Drew’s squad claims the final No. 1 spot.
With only one loss on the year coming in the national title game, Gonzaga fell only one spot into No. 2.
The Final-Four Houston Cougars claimed the No. 3 spot while Elite-Eight Michigan and Sweet-Sixteen Alabama rounded out the top five.
Here’s the full top-25 list:
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- West Virginia
- Oklahoma State
- Oregon State
- Texas Tech
It should come as no surprise that UCLA made the biggest jump in the final poll. Previously unranked, the Bruins proved themselves as a top team during their improbable First Four to Final Four run — moving all the way up into the No. 7 position.
With a surprising run of their own, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers also made a solid leap. Defeating the No. 1 seeded Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round, Porter Moser’s former squad moved up to No. 12 in the end-of-season poll.
Claiming the final position on the list at No. 25, Syracuse made quite the run to finish with a top-25 ranking. As one of the last teams in off the bubble, the No. 11 seeded Orange notched upset wins over San Diego State and West Virginia to earn an improbable Sweet Sixteen appearance.