Way-too-early 2024-25 men’s basketball Power 36 rankings

Way-too-early 2024-25 men’s basketball Power 36 rankings

I know it’s educated guessing, but so be it! Coaching changes still loom along with NBA decisions, and of course, the transfer portal. All are due to shake up teams across the country. Nevertheless, here is my way-too-early Power 36 for the 2024-25 season following UConn’s second-straight and sixth national championship win. 

🏆 UCONN WINS 2024 TITLE: How it happened

  1. Houston: J’Wan Roberts and L.J. Cryer are both expected to return and keep Houston near the top of the Big 12 and the nation’s best. 
  2. Duke: Despite a few losses, the Blue Devils have the nation’s No. 1 recruit in Cooper Flagg. 
  3. UConn: The back-to-back defending champs look to make it three in a row.
  4. Alabama: Nate Oates is poised to continue the momentum for the Crimson Tide after leading Alabama to its first Final Four. 
  5. Creighton: The Big East is loaded but Creighton always seems to find a way near the top under Greg McDermott. 
  6. North Carolina: Replacing the production of Armando Bacot and Cromac Ryan will be key, but Hubert Davis added five players from the portal last year and will likely be active again. 
  7. Iowa State: T.J. Otzelberger led the Cyclones to a second-place finish in the Big 12 in 2023-24 and has taken Iowa State to the Sweet 16 in two of his first three seasons as head coach. The Clones are in good hands.  
  8. Gonzaga: The Zags return most of their roster including their leading scorer in Graham Ike. 
  9. Kansas: Bill Self admitted to looking ahead to the 2024-25 season following KU’s exit in the Round of 32. Look for Self to be active in the portal and the Jayhawks to have a bounce-back season. 
  10. Clemson: Ian Schieffelin is expected to return this fall and the Tigers look to build on the success from the 2023-24 season
  11. Tennessee: The Volunteers finished fifth in both the final AP poll and coaches poll of the season. Expect them to be near the top of the SEC again next season. 
  12. Arizona: Under Tommy Lloyd, the Wildcats have finished in the top 15 in offensive efficiency in each of Lloyd’s first three seasons at the helm. 
  13. Purdue: The national runner-ups lose the national player of the year in Zach Edey, but do return key players in their backcourt such as Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith who made up one of the most dynamic backcourts in the country.  
  14. Auburn: Perhaps the biggest question mark for the Tigers is whether Johni Broome will declare for the NBA draft. If he returns to Auburn, look out. 
  15. Illinois: The 2024 Big Ten tournament champs are in good hands under Brad Underwood who has rebuilt the program. 
  16. Baylor: The Bears have a good incoming freshmen class headlined by five-star VJ Edgecombe. 
  17. Florida: The biggest question mark is Walter Clayton Jr. who is testing NBA waters. 
  18. Texas A&M: Aggies return Wade Taylor who was named to the Naismith Player of the Year midseason team. 
  19. Dayton: The Flyers ranked 25th in the final AP poll of the 2024 season and starters Javon Bennett, Enoch Cheeks and Nate Santos all expected to return. 
  20. Boise State: A record six teams from the Mountain West got into the 2024 NCAA tournament including Boise State. Leon Rice has guided the Broncos to 10, 20-win seasons and has the program in good shape to build off of a strong 2023-24 season.
  21. Wisconsin: A.J. Storr entered the portal and Wisconsin will have to replace the production from the guard, but incoming freshman Daniel Freitag might see significant time and help returning Chucky Hepburn in another solid Greg Gard-led backcourt. 
  22. Xavier: The Musketeers had six freshmen who logged over 30% of the minutes played this season. That will pay dividends next season. 
  23. Ohio State: A new era for Ohio State (sort of) with former assistant Jake Diebler having his interim tag removed following the season. 
  24. Marquette: The Golden Eagles are expected to lose Tyler Kolek, but with Kam Jones and David Joplin back, Marquette will still be a very good team. 
  25. Michigan State: Tom Izzo always seems to find a way into the tournament. 
  26. Oregon: Will be interesting to see who makes it out of a tough Big Ten with realignment taking its shape in the fall, but Oregon has something to build on after winning the Pac-12 tournament in its final year.
  27. Seton Hall: The 2024 NIT champs return three starters under Shaheen Holloway who went 25-12 in his first year with a solid conference record of 13-7. 
  28. San Diego State: Brian Dutcher lost five key players following their run to the 2023 title game but that didn’t stop them from putting together a solid 2023-2024 campaign. Look for them to do the same next season. 
  29. UCLA: Mick Cronin labeled 2023-24 as a “rebuilding year” for the Bruins but the foundation has been set once again and Cronin returns star sophomore Dylan Andrews and will likely be active in the portal. 
  30. Texas: The Longhorns bring in a good freshman class that ranked in the nation’s top 75. 
  31. Saint Mary’s: Star guards Augustas Marčiulionis and Aidan Mahaney should be back next season. 
  32. Nebraska: Fred Hoiberg brought the Huskers back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014 and returned two key starters Juwan Gary and Brice Williams.  
  33. Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons went 11-9 in what was a loaded ACC, and were an incredible 17-2 at home. I expect them to have a good offseason and be able to compete once again. 
  34. NC State: Kevin Keatts has a lot of work to do replacing DJ Horne and DJ Burns, but the Wolfpack should be able to continue to build off of 2023-24’s tremendous tournament run to the Final Four.
  35. BYU: Looking to build off a successful first season in the Big 12 with the Cougars finishing 23-11 and earning a trip to the tournament. 
  36. Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have two of the top five players in the freshmen class in Ace Bailey and Dylan Harper.

NCAA men’s basketball champions from 1939 ➡️ today

Under consideration: Cincinnati, Villanova, Mississippi State, Maryland, Providence, Indiana, UNLV, New Mexico, Kansas State, Syracuse, Memphis, Minnesota, St. John’s, Colorado, Loyola-Chicago, VCU, Pitt, Northwestern, UAB, South Florida, Colorado State, Kentucky, Arkansas, Princeton, Vermont, Saint Louis, Miami, Georgia, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Richmond, Bradley, Northern Iowa.

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