Oklahoma State University LogoItsAesthus's Ballot for Week 18 of 2020-21

Submitted on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 9:40AM EDT
1 Baylor University Logo Baylor Months after a huge, blockbuster, 1-vs-2 showdown was cancelled, the Bears and Zags righted the wrong and duelled for the title.
2 Gonzaga University Logo Gonzaga Though Baylor came out ahead, Gonzaga's undefeated run up until the title game was still the longest in over four decades. Respect.
3 University of Michigan Logo Michigan In the fight for #3, UCLA had the best tourney run, Michigan the best regular season, and Houston some of each. You can't really go wrong.
4 University of Houston Logo Houston The Coogs faced the easiest F4 run ever, it's true, but that doesn't mean it was easy. They survived a region nobody expected them to win.
5 University of Arkansas Logo Arkansas Throughout Baylor's six-game march to the title, only one team played them within single digits. The Hogs deserve love for a great season.
6 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Logo Illinois A combination of factors—overblown hype, an underseeded Loyola, failure to play to potential—knocked out the Illini earlier than expected.
7 University of Alabama Logo Alabama It's hard to know what to say about the SEC champs, who dropped an OT showdown with F4-bound UCLA. A good season for the Tide, I suppose.
8 University of Southern California Logo USC USC vs UCLA is fascinating. Both lost to Gonzaga in different ways, and USC swept the season series while going 25-8 to UCLA's 22-10.
9 University of California, Los Angeles Logo UCLA I'll put USC ahead in the spirit of considering the whole season, but the beauty of UCLA's deep tourney run can't be understated.
10 Loyola University Chicago Logo Loyola Chicago Even outside the context of the tourney, I have no idea how to evaluate wins over GT and Illinois with a loss to Oregon State.
11 University of Oregon Logo Oregon Oregon became the first team in the modern tournament to go to the S16 with just one win, but in fairness, it was an upset of two-seed Iowa.
12 University of Iowa Logo Iowa And speaking of Iowa, an up-and-down season petered out in the round of 32 as the Ducks just made absolutely every shot they took.
13 University of Texas at Austin Logo Texas The Longhorns got knocked out so early they had time to go through an entire coaching cycle before in-state rival Baylor won it all.
14 Oklahoma State University Logo Oklahoma State Setting aside impartiality for a moment, I'm immensely proud of the season my own team had. The future's bright for Cowboy basketball.
15 Ohio State University Logo Ohio State The Buckeyes got taken down by 15-seed Oral Roberts, but the majority of the season (wins over UCLA, ILL, MICH) is still worth celebrating.
16 University of Kansas Logo Kansas Kansas snagged one of the Big 12's trio of three seeds, but struggled in the tournament, escaping EWU and getting blown out by USC.
17 University of Colorado Logo Colorado Colorado beat USC thrice and Oregon and UCLA once each. The Buffs couldn't overcome FSU, but newfound Pac-12 respect lifts them quite a bit.
18 Villanova University Logo Villanova While Arkansas finished the closest to Baylor, Nova *played* them the closest, with a 30-23 halftime lead before the Bears rolled late.
19 West Virginia University Logo West Virginia WVU ran into Jim Boeheim in March, putting an abrupt end to a season that solidified their spot at the Big 12's forefront once again.
20 Purdue University Logo Purdue The Boilermakers took an upset loss to North Texas in the first round, but rest assured they'll be back for plenty more next year.
21 Louisiana State University Logo LSU LSU stood at 25th in my poll entering the tournament, then beat a nine-seed handily and made a one-seed sweat. Solid stuff from the Tigers!
22 San Diego State University Logo San Diego State SDSU's first single-digit seed since 2014 offered some redemption for the loss of 2020's tournament, though they lost in the first round.
23 Florida State University Logo Florida State Remarkably, only 21% of ESPN brackets picked four-seed FSU to make the Sweet Sixteen. Still, that's how they concluded a mighty fine season.
24 Texas Tech University Logo Texas Tech Tech can't be blamed much for losing to an underrated Arkansas in the round of 32, but that's little consolation with Chris Beard departing.
25 Creighton University Logo Creighton Creighton didn't beat a single-digit seed in their S16 run, but they also didn't let Gonzaga embarrass them. More than I expected, honestly.