With less than a week left until March arrives, and the inconsistency at the top of the sport will not cease. Ranked teams are losing every night (we’ve had more days of unranked teams beating ranked teams this season than any other, according to ESPN Stats and Insights) and this looks like the bumpiest ride into February I can remember.
That’s why you’re about to read about a set of leaderboards that are so unlike any other you’ll find out there. As you’ll see below, I post a reminder every week about exactly what I’m doing with Hey Nineteen. But there’s a big shake-up here. Virginia lost to BC, Tennessee and Iowa State lost four of five, Baylor lost two in a row, Xavier lost three of four, Indiana lost two of three, and even a school like Pitt, at the edge of these rankings, has suffered a tough loss to Virginia Tech last week.
I made an executive decision to highlight small schools that have been in tears for the past month and more. After all, these rankings aren’t parenthetical projections, and they aren’t trying to explicitly tell you who are the best teams in the sport. I’m giving you a hot list of trendsetters. As you’ll see below, there are some mid-majors that play more consistently than most power conference programs. Let’s give them some recognition. So, consider this a quick crash course in Cinderella candidates who will become trendy talking points in a couple of weeks if they make their business in conference tournaments.
Most of the teams in the sport right now are struggling to build momentum in the postseason. If you want the exceptions, check out this week’s leaderboard.
Hey, nineteen power rankings
Reminder: My rankings aren’t just about who I think is “the best.” This is a weekly roundup of the 19 hottest, most successful and/or most *interesting* teams, combining team quality with win quality, but also unashamed of the recency bias and reward streaks significant. All records shown are against DI competition.