Is it really Gonzaga vs. the field? Gonzaga, Baylor and everyone else? That has been the conversation since Gonzaga began running roughshod over the rest of the country on Thanksgiving. The Zags haven't slowed down since, while Baylor has looked dominant in its biggest games of the season.
Had I written this on Saturday morning, I likely would've said the next tier consists of Villanova, Tennessee and maybe Kansas. Then Tennessee lost at home to Alabama and Kansas got walloped by Texas at Allen Fieldhouse.
So is Villanova the clear-cut third-best team in the country? The Wildcats have just one loss on their ledger, an overtime defeat to Virginia Tech in late November. The Wildcats haven't been seen in action since before Christmas due to a COVID-19 pause, but they're in the top three of both KenPom and the BPI and were a consensus top-three team in the preseason -- so our opinion of them probably hasn't changed too much. I think Tennessee will find its way into the conversation, but right now the fourth-best team in the country is Texas. The Longhorns' lone loss came against Villanova by four points, and that win over Kansas in Lawrence was eye-opening.
That's all subject to change, but we at least might have some teams that can potentially close the gap to Gonzaga and Baylor.