Siler’s Selections – Week 14

For the week of 2/15 – 2/21

Featured image via

Matthew Siler, Reporter

Every week it gets closer. March Madness. One day at a time, one game at a time, the season gets nearer and nearer to the final game. The last game. Who will get there? Beats me. My goal is to release a complete bracketology for all of the conference tournaments and for the NCAA tournament. Those articles will probably be in place of these selections but at that point rankings won’t be what matters; it will be the tournament. I will also try and create some way to track how my predictions do for each bracket, so be on the look out for a sheet or a link I post in my next few Siler’s Selections. Anyways, this week was a great week like always. A top-5 matchup happened, multiple unranked vs ranked upsets, and March became another week closer. Here are my top 25 for week 14 of the college basketball season:

Glossary of Statistics

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (22-0)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Saint Mary’s (CA) 87-65; Win vs. San Diego 106-69


Every week I get more and more upset that the Gonzaga vs. Baylor game got canceled. A 1 vs. 2 matchup rarely happens, and the one time there aren’t any bluebloods to be seen, it gets canceled. I digress, this Gonzaga team is legit. They’re in that weird spot where nobody is watching them because they just completely annihilate every team they play, but networks can’t not have the number one team in the country. So they’re either on ESPN at ungodly hours of the night or CBS Sports Network at normal times in the evening. They’re so good that not even BYU or Saint Mary’s (CA) could come within 15 points, and usually those teams give them a fight. If there’s ever a night where there isn’t anything to do, watch a Gonzaga game if they’re on! It’s not anything that will be regretted later.


Up next for Gonzaga: vs. Santa Clara 2/25

2. Baylor Bears (17-0)

THIS WEEK: No Games 🙁


No games this week for Baylor. I’ve said everything I can about this team. They’re incredible. I cannot wait for them to play again.


Up next for Baylor: vs. Iowa State 2/23

3. Michigan Wolverines (16-1)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Rutgers 71-64; Win @ #4 Ohio State 92-87


Wow. Just, wow. That’s the only word that comes to mind. Wow. I watched the entirety of the Michigan-Ohio State game and, even though I am a Notre Dame fan, I couldn’t help but enjoy the display of amazing basketball between the two teams. There is a lot of future NBA talent on this Michigan team. I can’t believe that this is Juwan Howard’s second season as a head coach at any level. Michigan is so lucky to have him. Not only that, but their best post-player in Hunter Dickinson is most definitely not leaving after this season (if he does I would be shocked). Michigan is a team. In my mind, if a team assists more than half as much as they rebound, they are a team. During the Ohio State game, Michigan had 30 rebounds and 19 assists. That’s a winning set of stats right there. I cannot wait for the Big 10 Tournament.


Up next for Michigan: vs. Iowa 2/25

4. Illinois Fighting Illini (16-5)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Northwestern 73-66; Win @ Minnesota 94-63


Ayo Dosunmu. That’s all I’ve got to say about Illinois. In a four game stretch, Ayo Dosumnu has two games where he has had 10+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 10+ assists. That’s called a triple-double. Three different stats in double digits. As of today, February 21st 2021, there have been a total of four triple-doubles by any player in Illinois history. That stat includes the two Ayo just got in a four game stretch. I’ve said multiple times in these articles that Dosunmu has to figure himself out if Illinois wanted to be good. What has he done? He’s gotten good, and Illinois just won by 31 at Minnesota. Unbelievable. This team is going to be scary in March.


Up next for Illinois: @ Michigan State 2/23

5. Ohio State Buckeyes (18-5)

THIS WEEK: Win @ Penn State 92-82; Loss vs. #3 Michigan 87-92


Yeah Ohio State only dropped one spot for that loss. I see no other team outside of those above Michigan who could beat them in a neutral court game; Ohio State has nothing to sulk about. I don’t have much to say about them other than they need more ball movement. I mentioned that Michigan had 30 rebounds and 19 assists. Well, Ohio State also had 30 rebounds but only 11 assists. I’m not saying Ohio State doesn’t work as a team, but they need to work more with each other if they want to score more efficiently.


Up next for Ohio State: @ Michigan State 2/25

6. Oklahoma Sooners (14-5)

THIS WEEK: Win @ Iowa State 66-56


I’m pretty sure Iowa State’s terrible play is contagious. Oklahoma couldn’t hit anything except short shots, while Iowa State had a higher percentage from three than they did from anywhere else (including layups!). The rest of the schedule for Oklahoma is a little ambiguous because they shouldn’t struggle with Kansas State, but Oklahoma State twice will give very interesting results. I’m excited to see how the next few weeks impacts Oklahoma.


Up next for Oklahoma: @ Kansas State 2/23

7. West Virginia Mountaineers (15-6)

THIS WEEK: Win @ #12 Texas 84-82


What a comeback for West Virginia. I actually did not watch this game because I assumed it was over when Texas had an 18 points lead. At home. I’ll get more into the negative later when I talk about Texas, but for now all I can say is: must be nice to be on the winning side of a great comeback. The willpower of this team is unlike any other team I’ve seen this season. I’m not sure what Coach Huggins is saying to his players in the huddles but they come out looking alive in every possession and are aggressive and never give up. Props to them.


Up next for West Virginia: @ TCU 2/23

8. Creighton Bluejays (16-5)

THIS WEEK: No Games 🙁


I already know this is a hot take for putting them above Villanova. However, I stand firm in my belief that if Creighton and Villanova played again, Creighton would win again. I don’t care how good Creighton shot the ball or how many points per possession they had, even if it was the most they’ve had all season. Creighton won. Nova lost. As of right now, Creighton only has one Q1/Q2 loss, and that’s to Kansas by one point. The rest of their losses are Q3 which is absolutely ridiculous if you ask me but I still think they’re the better team.


Up next for Creighton: vs. DePaul 2/24

9. Villanova Wildcats (14-3)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. UConn 68-60


This was a good win for Villanova. Bouknight was out for UConn for a while which is why they fell as far as they did, so the close score doesn’t bother me for Villanova. What bothers me is how low the score is. The 68 points that Nova scored is tied for the lowest so far in the season. For a team who averages 77 points per game, this should be a little scary considering the game against Creighton they only scored 70. However, I wouldn’t worry too much if they do better in their next game. 


Up next for Villanova: vs. Saint John’s (NY) 2/23

10. Houston Cougars (18-3)

THIS WEEK: Loss @ Wichita State 63-68; Win vs. Cincinnati 90-52


Houston may be 18-3, but their three losses are all on the road to conference opponents. I no longer trust Houston on the road. At home though Houston is amazing. The game was close for about 10 minutes and then Houston kicked it into second gear like they usually do and completely embarrassed a Cincinnati hoping to at least keep it close. Look at Houston as one of the first round upsets this year in the brackets.


Up next for Houston: vs. South Florida 2/28

11. Iowa Hawkeyes (16-6)

THIS WEEK:  Win @ #21 Wisconsin 77-62; Win vs. Penn State 74-68


I’m not sold on Iowa yet. Their offense is doing really well but their defense is just so far behind everyone else that it makes for an easy upset if Iowa can’t hit a shot (which is what happened against Indiana). They had a close game against Penn State which isn’t very helpful to the “Iowa is a good team” cause, but I will give them credit for how dominant their offense has been. It’s one thing to have a fast-paced offense that chucks up threes every possession, but it’s another when your team can go at a moderate pace and also have the most efficient offense in the league.


Up next for Iowa: @ #3 Michigan 2/25

12. Florida State Seminoles (13-3)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. #7 Virginia 81-60; Win @ Pittsburgh 79-72


I genuinely believe Florida State would be higher if not for that Georgia Tech loss. I also think they have a great chance to go a long way in the NCAA tournament because of how deep they are. I bring up their depth every week because it’s something I hope every coach strives to accomplish: having a deep bench without constantly having playing time issues. Not everyone is Scottie Barnes and not everyone is going to play every minute, but the strategical lineups that Leonard Hamilton uses and the amount of work his teams put in every single game is absolutely phenomenal. This team will do great things in a few weeks.


Up next for Florida State: @ Miami (FL) 2/24

13. Alabama Crimson Tide (18-5)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Vanderbilt 82-78


I don’t think I’ve ever cheered so hard for Vanderbilt before. Not that I would root against Alabama, but come on they have football does their basketball team really need to be this good too? Anyways, Alabama is really good right now and even when they don’t play as well as they usually do, they still come out on top. Even if that team is Vanderbilt, the fact that they won is a testament to how good this team is. I’m excited to see how they do in their conference tournament later next month.


Up next for Alabama: @ #24 Arkansas 2/24

14. Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-7)

THIS WEEK: Loss @ #23 Kansas 61-67


I’m glad that Texas Tech was able to actually get out of Texas. Most of the Big 12 games got postponed this week due to the amount of power outages within Texas. Aside from that, I think Texas Tech needs to find more of an offensive rhythm. Mac McClung transferred from Georgetown because he wanted a better team, but it seems like right now he needs a better offensive system around him. He doesn’t have anyone else who can back him up on days like this where he’s not his best. Without Mac, Texas Tech isn’t ranked and isn’t even in the tournament.


Up next for Texas Tech: @ Oklahoma State 2/22

15. Texas Longhorns (13-6)

THIS WEEK: Loss vs. #13 West Virginia 82-84


There are some chokes that are unexplainable. There are some chokes that simply were bound to happen. Then there’s this game. A completely unacceptable, uncalled for, and simply embarrassing 22 point swing. Texas was up 18 and then lost by 2. As a Notre Dame fan, I’m used to blowing leads like this. In fact, Notre Dame just blew a 20 point lead against Syracuse. But Texas isn’t Notre Dame. Texas has Matt Coleman, Greg Brown, Andrew Jones, and other players who should be playing as a team and not fighting among each other like middle school basketball players who are mad they didn’t get the ball passed to them. Absolutely ridiculous. Now, that’s not to say all hope is lost for Texas. They still have a good team and a good coach, so their fate is in their hands. It’s going to be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes for them.


Up next for Texas: vs. #23 Kansas 2/23

16. Virginia Cavaliers (15-5)

THIS WEEK: Loss @ #16 Florida State 60-81; Loss @ Duke 65-66


Yikes. I knew Virginia struggled at winning the big game, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. Losing is one thing. Losing by 21? That’s too much. I dropped Virginia a whopping 11 spots this week because I’ll admit it: I was wrong about them. I was really high because I have such respect for Tony Bennett and for the slow tempo of Virginia, but after watching that dumpster fire of a last possession against Duke I just can’t bring myself to keep them in the top 15. I apologize if I’m being harsh, but it’s what I truly think of the past few games for Virginia. It just keeps getting worse and worse for them. At this point I’m not sure they’ll even win the tournament.


Up next for Virginia: vs. NC State 2/24

17. San Diego State Aztecs (17-4)

THIS WEEK: Win @ Fresno State 67-53, Win @ Fresno State 75-57


These back-to-backs are, again, much harder than they look. I say it every time it comes up. The second game is just as up in the air as the first. San Diego State looks very good on defense as they usually do, and their offense has been showing up as well. I don’t know a whole lot about their team but from the stats I know that they are thriving in the Mountain West this season.


Up next for San Diego State: vs. Boise State 2/25

18. Arkansas Razorbacks (17-5)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Florida 75-64


Arkansas is on a four game winning streak right now, and their offense looks as good as ever. Sure their schedule hasn’t been the greatest (Mississippi Valley State is single-handedly dragging it down) up to this point, but their record is still really good, and finding a team with five losses or less is very difficult in the power 6 conferences. Their wins at Missouri and at Kentucky are aging very well, and the rest of their schedule will be a test to see if they truly deserve this spot.


Up next for Arkansas: vs. #8 Alabama 2/24

19. Virginia Tech Hokies (14-4)

THIS WEEK: No Games 🙁


With close games against Pittsburgh and Miami, the rest of the schedule for Virginia Tech is just trap games. They should be taking things one game at a time, but my worry is that they will look ahead to the ACC tournament and lose a few games they should have won. We’ll see I guess.


Up next for Virginia Tech: vs. Georgia Tech 2/23

20. USC Trojans (18-4)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Arizona State 89-71; Loss vs. Arizona 72-81


Not all hope is lost for this USC team. Arizona is a great basketball team this season, and as I’ve said before, the PAC-12 needs more love in the polls than it’s getting. Many of their games are extremely late and the east coast doesn’t see many of them which is unfortunate because there is a lot of good basketball being played in this conference. These late starts also means that people are missing out on the top tier commentary of Bill Walton, who is unironically one of my favorite color commentators.


Up next for USC: vs. Stanford 2/22

21. Kansas Jayhawks (17-7)

THIS WEEK: Win @ Kansas State 59-41; Win vs. #15 Texas Tech 67-61


The death of bluebloods was greatly exaggerated. Kansas is back! Their defense is looking better than ever and their offense is looking as stagnate as ever. I’m putting them here reluctantly this week because, well, there was nobody else to put in the ranks. Kansas has definitely played an extremely tough schedule this year. The fact that they have 17 wins means they’re doing something right. I’m still not exactly sure what they’re doing right, but for now they’re going to keep playing this ugly basketball and they’re going to keep winning if they can. The rest of the season is going to be interesting to watch for them.


Up next for Kansas: @ #12 Texas 2/23

22. Oklahoma State Cowboys (14-6)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Kansas State 67-60; Win vs. Iowa State 76-58


Ranked Oklahoma State is back on the menu, everyone. I’m not really sure they did anything to get ranked, it’s more the fact that they didn’t lose. Kansas State and Iowa State are, in the best way possible, the worst teams the Big 12 has seen in a long time, if ever. Oklahoma State beat both and even though it wasn’t very convincing it convinced me to ranked them.


Up next for Oklahoma State: vs. #15 Texas Tech 2/22

23. LSU Tigers (14-6)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Auburn 104-80


LSU is definitely one of the most improved teams this week. After getting completely annihilated by Alabama in one of the previous weeks, LSU has gone on a tear and won their last three games by an average of 17 points. I’m not sure what has gotten into them or why they’re winning so dominantly, but they are definitely worthy of their rank. I’m not sure who else would go in this place if they hadn’t won their game, but for right now I see nothing wrong with LSU being number 23.


Up next for LSU: @ Georgia 2/23

24. Missouri Tigers (14-6)

THIS WEEK: Loss @ Georgia 70-80; Win @ South Carolina 93-78


Missouri’s hopes at being ranked are hanging on by a very, very thin thread at the moment. They do have some outstanding wins, but their losses are really confusing. I watched the Georgia game and they were ahead by about 10 until it looked like the team collectively decided that they weren’t going to make any of their shots and completely stop any offensive rhythm they might have previously had. If Missouri wants a chance at an SEC title this season they need to play a full game.


Up next for Missouri: vs. Ole Miss 2/23

25. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (19-4)

THIS WEEK: Win vs. Valparaiso 54-52


Loyola is lucky they played Valpo this week. If they had played anyone else it would be a loss for sure. I don’t know what it is about these Missouri Valley Conference teams who have been ranked this year, but Valpo seems to be their kryptonite. If this had been a back-to-back I’m sure that Valpo would have won the second match. I’m a little concerned about the offense of Loyola-Chicago at the moment, too, because Krutwig is doing everything he can to create opportunities and to score, but the rest of his team just isn’t backing him up. I’m sure they’ll be better come tournament time but I don’t know if they’re going to the final four again like they did in 2018.


Up next for Loyola-Chicago: vs. Southern Illinois 2/26