NCAA Tournament power rankings: UConn the clear No. 1 entering Final Four – The Athletic

By Jesse Temple2h agoSupported By

The Athletic has live coverage of the NCAA Tournament.

(Editor’s note: This is part of the Bracket Central Series, an inside look at the run-up to the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments, along with analysis and picks during the tournaments.)

The Final Four is set. Two No. 1 seeds, a No. 4 seed and a No. 11 seed that has worn a Cinderella slipper of sorts for the past three weeks. It’ll be No. 1 seed Purdue against No. 11 seed NC State followed by No. 1 seed UConn against No. 4 seed Alabama on Saturday in Phoenix for the right to play for a national championship.

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Any team that reaches the Final Four has put together a memorable run, and these four teams are no different. The Crimson Tide have never been here, the Boilermakers and Wolfpack have waited since the 1980s and the Huskies were at this stage just last year when they won the national title.

With the Final Four upon us, here are our latest NCAA Tournament power rankings for the remaining teams. Which one has the best chance to emerge with the crown? Here’s a look at where things stand.

Conference ACC Big East Big Ten SECRegion East Midwest South WestExpand allCollapse allLoadingTry changing or resetting your filters to see more.1

Connecticut Huskies

2Last Rank

Purdue had to live with a first-round NCAA Tournament loss to a No. 16 seed for an entire year. But, just as Virginia did following a catastrophic loss to a 16 seed in 2018, the Boilermakers responded from that setback with a trip to the Final Four. That 2019 Virginia team won a national title. Can Purdue do the same? The team has all the pieces to pull it off, reaching its first Final Four since 1980 thanks to 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey’s career-high 40 points in a 72-66 Elite Eight victory against Tennessee. Purdue has played its best against the best competition. The Boilermakers are 10-0 this season against nationally ranked teams. Those 10 wins without a loss against AP top 25 teams are tied for the most in NCAA history with Kentucky’s 2011-12 team, which won a national title.

Seed1Record34-4GamesNo. 16 Grambling State78-50No. 8 Utah State106-67No. 5 Gonzaga80-68No. 2 Tennessee72-66Big TenMidwest3

Alabama Crimson Tide

8Last Rank

NC State has defied the odds since it trailed Louisville 23-11 early in the first game of the ACC tournament. So the fact the Wolfpack are listed fourth here won’t make the slightest difference to them. NC State has now won nine consecutive games, the latest coming in a 76-64 Elite Eight victory against Duke, advancing the Wolfpack to their first Final Four since 1983. DJ Burns Jr. continued his outstanding run by scoring a season-high 29 points and earning the South Region MVP. NC State shot a ridiculous 73.1 percent in the second half to take over the game against Duke. A matchup with No. 1 seed Purdue is on tap.

Seed11Record27-14GamesNo. 6 Texas Tech80-67No. 14 Oakland79-73 (OT)No. 2 Marquette67-58No. 4 Duke76-64ACCSouth

 

The Bracket Central series is part of a partnership with E*TRADE.

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(Top photo of Cam Spencer: Winslow Townson / USA Today)

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Jesse Temple is a staff writer for The Athletic covering the Wisconsin Badgers. He has covered the Badgers beat since 2011 and previously worked for FOX Sports Wisconsin, ESPN.com and Land of 10. Follow Jesse on Twitter @jessetemple

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