Beyond NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings - 2022

Texas A&M-CC v Texas Southern

The first two rounds of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament lived up to the hype with several upsets and thrilling finishes. As the closing rounds of the tournament are upon us, we again evaluate which teams are hot and which teams are not, and will watch as they compete for a National Championship in just over a week.

Who’s Hot?

  1. Saint Peter's:​ This year's history making Cinderella team is hard not to love. Not only are they a fan-favorite across the country, but the Peacocks took down one of the strongest teams in the tournament with their First Round win over Kentucky, and proved to be too much for Murray State on their way to the Sweet Sixteen.
  2. Michigan:​ The Wolverines certainly have not played like a team that just barely squeaked into the Tournament. With convincing wins over Colorado State and SEC-powerhouse Tennessee, Juwon Howard's team has a legitimate shot to make history in the coming weeks.
  3. Miami:​ The Hurricanes proved they were capable of competing with the best of the best during the regular season and their experience is showing. After comfortably handling two teams that were near the top of the AP Poll all season long in USC and Auburn, Charlie Moore and co. have peaked at the right time and are not to be overlooked coming out of the Midwest region.
  4. Purdue:​ Perhaps some bad news for the aforementioned Peacocks, the Boilermakers are on a tear going into their Sweet Sixteen matchup against St. Peter's. Matt Painter's team has won their first two Tournament games by a combined total of 32 points and look poised to continue their run into the later rounds of the Tournament.

Who's Not?

  1. The Big Ten:​ The Big Ten came into the 2022 NCAA Tournament with nine teams that all looked like they could make some noise into the later rounds of the tournament; however, as the Sweet Sixteen begins, only two remain: Purdue and Michigan.

While Johnny Davis and the Wisconsin Badgers seemed to be a dangerous matchup for any team, they fell to the 11th-seeded Iowa State Cyclones in the Second Round. The Iowa Hawkeyes seemed to be among the hottest teams in the country after their Big Ten Tournament win, but did not make it past 12th-seeded Richmond on the opening day of the Tournament. To top it off, Illinois was flat-out dominated by the Houston Cougars after barely escaping 13th-seeded Chattanooga in the opening round.

Add in early-exits from Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan State, and Ohio State, and you have an overall disappointing showing from the Big Ten in 2022.