The 2022-23 college basketball season has been a rollercoaster ride, but one thing has remained constant: the dominance of the Houston Cougars and the Alabama Crimson Tide. As of February 15, 2023, the two teams sit atop the Power 36 college basketball rankings, which rank the top 36 teams in the country.
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A panel of experts compiles the Power 36 rankings from various media outlets, including ESPN, CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated. The rankings take into account a variety of factors, including overall record, the strength of schedule, and the quality of wins.
The rankings are updated weekly throughout the season and provide a snapshot of which teams are the best in the country at any given time.
Houston has been a force to be reckoned with this season, boasting an impressive record of 22-1, including a perfect 12-0 record in conference play. As a result, the Cougars have been ranked in the top five of the AP Poll for much of the season and have a legitimate chance at making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Led by head coach Kelvin Sampson, Houston has one of the top defenses in the country, allowing just 57.7 points per game. Their offense has also been potent, averaging 80.3 points per game.
With the Houston cougars topping the table, Alabama has also been dominant this season, boasting a 21-2 record and a perfect 12-0 record in SEC play. The Crimson Tide has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for most of the season and has one of the top offenses in the country, averaging 85.4 points per game.
Head coach Nate Oats has done a tremendous job building a program that can compete with the best teams in the country. They are no doubt a force to look out for in the league.
Behind Houston and Alabama, the Power 36 rankings feature some familiar names, including Purdue, the Kansas Jayhawks, and the UCLA Bruins. Purdue has been one of the top teams in the country for the past few years, has a record of 23-3, and has been ranked in the top five of the AP Poll for much of the season.
UCLA Bruins, which made it to the Final Four last season, has a record of 21-4 and has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for most of the season.
Other notable teams in the Power 36 rankings include the Baylor Bears, Indiana, Texas, and Virginia. Baylor, which won the NCAA Tournament in 2021, has a record of 19-6 and has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for much of the season.
Virginia, which has been one of the surprise teams of the season, has a record of 19-4 and has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for several weeks. On the other hand, Arizona, which has been rebuilding under head coach Tommy Lloyd, has a record of 22-4 and has a legitimate chance at making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Overall, the 2023 college basketball season looks like it will be a thrilling one, with Houston and Alabama leading the way. However, as we approach the March Madness event, it's anyone's guess which team will ultimately come out on top.
As we look ahead to the March Madness event in 2023, there are a few key storylines to keep an eye on. One is the ongoing rivalry between Houston and Alabama. The two teams are in the same conference (the American Athletic Conference), which makes it more competitive.
Their games determine which team wins the conference and earn a high seed in the NCAA tournament. Another storyline to watch is how the top freshmen perform. If they can live up to the hype, they could be critical pieces in helping their teams make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.