The 2020-2021 NCAA Basketball season has been epic with tons of upsets, but one thing remained the same. The top three schools: Michigan, Baylor, and Gonzaga, were winning while other top schools faced some upsets. The question for rankings always came for seeds four-twenty five.
Gonzaga has been the top seed all season as they have yet faced defeat with their very talented roster. Baylor has been second because they were also undefeated but weren’t as good as Gonzaga. Michigan is right behind them at three since they have one loss compared to the other undefeated teams.
Now that Baylor lost to Kansas 71-58, the real debate starts. Baylor and Michigan are both 18-1 on the season. Let’s compare them step by step.
Baylor lost to eighteen-ranked Kansas after winning eighteen straight games, while Michigan lost to twenty-third ranked Minnesota. Both programs had many games postponed and canceled due to COVID. Baylor’s COVID break has been more recent, so the Bears look rusty and have not played the same way they started the season. Michigan has had time to build after their break and has been playing excellent basketball.
Michigan has had a challenging schedule as of late. They have beaten Wisconsin, Rutgers, Ohio State, Iowa, and Indiana. Iowa looked great early in the season, and Michigan beat them 79-57 and held off Luka Garza to sixteen points.
The Wolverines are currently on a seven-game win streak and have been playing incredible basketball. Franz Wagner, Isaiah Livers, and Hunter Dickinson are Michigan’s top three. They all contribute very well to the team, all averaging over thirteen points and six rebounds every game. Michigan will need to continue playing at this level to try and take down top-ranked Gonzaga.
Baylor had been playing well before their break. Since returning, they won a nail-biter against 2-16 Iowa State. They were trailing most of the game but came back to win. Their next game was their loss against Kansas.
Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, and Davion Mitchell average over thirteen points while adding some rebounding help and dishing some assists. The Bears will need to return to the level they were at before the break that had put them ranked number two for such a long time.
Baylor has wins against Illinois, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Texas.
Michigan has wins against Northwestern, Minnesota, Ohio State, Iowa, and Wisconsin twice.
They both play in very competitive conferences, the Big Ten and the Big 12. To even be considered a top school, you need to have impressive wins and play at a certain level. Both Baylor and Michigan fit that model.
Michigan has three games remaining: fifth-ranked Illinois and two games against Michigan State, who have been hot as of late.
Baylor also has three games remaining: tenth-ranked West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and eighteen-ranked Texas Tech.
Michigan has been the better team recently, and Baylor just suffered their loss. They both have impressive resumes, so it’s hard to compare the two, but since Baylor’s loss just happened this week, it will be considered more. But does it matter who is the two and who is the three? The answer is no. They will both be one seed in March Madness.