The Saxon Top 25: March 1, 2021

Riley Saxon

By Riley Saxon 

Mick Cronin has said several times that the PAC 12 and west coast, in general, get no respect from the national media. Here at the Saxon Top 25, we love Mick Cronin, and while calling us the National Media might be a slight stretch, we’re throwing our support behind the West Coast! We got your back, Mick!

(Please Note: Despite perceptions and reputations to the contrary, we are not complete idiots. Except for the nation’s best team, the West Coast Elite won’t appear in the top 20 any time soon). 

1. Gonzaga – First undefeated regular season in school history complete, tournaments next

2. Michigan – On a torrid pace; if you ask their fans, they are clearly the best team in the nation. We don’t quite feel that way… yet. 

3. Baylor – Michigan’s loss may be worse, but the eye test slightly favors Big Blue right now 

4. Illinois – What a week ahead: at Michigan on Tuesday, at Ohio St on Saturday

5. Alabama – Clinched the SEC, but want the big prize: the fourth 1 seed

6. Iowa – Getting better defensively; looked great against Ohio St yesterday

7. West Virginia – Avoided the chaos of the Big 12’s week by playing TCU and K State

8. Ohio St. – 3 game losing streak; a win over Illinois and appearance in the BIG 10 Champ game could be enough for a 1 seed (but they’ll need some help in the SEC and Big East tourneys

9. Villanova – Had a blurb about their path to the 1 seed, but that’s probably out the window with Sunday’s loss

10. Florida St. – Still the best team in the ACC

11. Texas Tech – Ended a quiet 3 game losing streak with win over Texas. Cupcakes lead them into Sunday showdown with Baylor

12. Texas – They will treasure the sweep of Kansas, but they want a lot more; time is running out

13. Houston – Handled Conference USA frontrunner Western Kentucky, then took USF out behind the woodshed

14. Oklahoma – Tough week brought tough losses, but they’ll be better for it come tourney time

15. Creighton – Another showdown with Villanova this week; chance to forget about the Xavier game

16. Arkansas – Coming on hot; the Muss Bus is in full force

17. Kansas – Officially “Back” after ruining Baylor’s dream season

18. Oklahoma St. – Great week, but have toughest week of the year with Oklahoma, Baylor and West Virginia

19. Loyola Chicago – Probably still in the Big Dance without a Conf. Tourney Champ, but important for seeding purposes

20. Wisconsin – Being ranked 20 in this polls means you’re the next one out

21. San Diego St. – Survived back-to-back games against Boise St.

22. Colorado – Swept the LA schools, clinched first round bye in Pac12 Tourney in the process

23. USC – Poor road trip likely made people forget about their shellacking of Oregon; Will need some help to win conference

24. Oregon – Won 7 of their last 8, have 3 games in 6 days after a stretch of 5 in 10

25. BYU – Hoping for another shot against the Zags in the WCC Champ

Dropped Out
(13) Virginia – I had more faith than others, but time to let go

(18) Missouri AND (19) Tennessee – Part of an overrated SEC 

(20) Belmont – Not easy to win without your leading scorer, but they need to win the conference tourney now

(24) Purdue – Even without West Coast Bias, Colorado and SDSU’s strong weeks likely bump them out

Riley Saxon can be reached at:
Twitter: @riley_saxon

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