Making the final rankings of the 2012-2013 college basketball season is rather easy than making a top 25 during the season itself, as Louisville made it quite simple by beating Michigan in the NCAA Tournament final, claiming their third national championship, leading a group of four teams from the Big East in the final standings.
1. Louisville Cardinals (34-5, 31 First Place Votes) – The Cardinals finished the season as Big East regular season and tournament champions, winning their final 16 games, the last one being their 82-76 win over Michigan to claim their third national title.
2. Michigan Wolverines (31-7) – Michigan finished fourth in the Big Ten with an 11-7 record and lost in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. In the NCAA tourney they beat teams like Kansas, Florida and Syracuse to reach the final, losing to Louisville.
3. Syracuse Orange (30-10) – The Orange finished fifth in the Big East with an 11-7 record, reaching the tournament final before losing to Louisville. In the NCAA Tournament they beat California Indiana and Marquette before losing to Michigan in the Final Four.
4. Wichita State Shockers (30-9) – The Shockers finished second in the MVC with a 12-6 record, also losing to Creighton in the conference tournament final. They upset Pittsburgh in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, adding wins over Gonzaga and Ohio State before losing to Louisville in the Final Four.
5. Duke Blue Devils (30-6) – Finished second in the ACC with a 14-4 record, adding a loss in the opening round of the conference tournament to Maryland. Had one impressive win on their road to the Elite Eight, over Michigan State, before losing to Louisville.
6. Ohio State Buckeyes (29-8) – The Buckeyes were tied for second in the Big Ten after a 13-5 season, but did win the conference tournament with wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin along the way. In the tournament they beat Iowa State and Arizona before being upset by Wichita State
7. Indiana Hoosiers (29-7) – A team that probably peaked too early, winning the Big Ten with a 14-4 season, but lost to Wisconsin in the conference semifinals. Managed to beat James Madison and Temple before getting beat by Syracuse at the Sweet Sixteen stage.
8. Kansas Jayhawks (31-6) – Earned a share of the Big 12 title with a 14-4 record, but won the conference tournament, beating Kansas State in the final. In the NCAA tournament got past Western Kentucky and North Carolina before losing to Michigan at the Sweet Sixteen.
9. Florida Gators (29-8) – Won the SEC regular season title with a 14-4 record, losing to Ole Miss in the conference championship game. In the NCAA tournament they reached the Elite Eight, losing there to Michigan.
10. Miami Hurricanes (29-7) – The ‘Canes won the ACC regular season title and the championship after a 15-3 season. In the NCAA Tournament, they got past Pacific and Illinois before losing to Marquette in the Sweet Sixteen.
11. Marquette Golden Eagles (26-9) – Earned a piece of the Big East title with a 14-4 conference season, but lost in the opening round of the championship to Notre Dame. In the tournament, they got past Davidson, Butler and Miami before losing to Syracuse in the Elite Eight.
12. Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-3) – Won the WCC with a perfect season in the conference, which included also winning the conference championship. In the NCAA tournament got past Southern before being stunned by Wichita State in the round of 32.
13. Michigan State Spartans (27-9) – Tied for second in the conference with a 13-5 record, and lost to Ohio State in the championship’s semifinal. In the tournament, they beat Valparaiso and Memphis before losing to Duke in the Sweet Sixteen.
14. Arizona Wildcats (27-8) – Arizona finished behind UCLA in the Pac-12 with a 12-6 record, and also lost to them in the conference championship. In the tournament, they beat Belmont and Harvard before bowing down to Ohio State.
15. Oregon Ducks (28-9) – The Ducks finished second in the Pac-12 with a 12-6 record but entered the tournament on fire after claiming the conference championship against UCLA. They upset Oklahoma State and then Saint Louis before losing to Louisville.
16. Saint Louis Billikens (28-7) – Saint Louis won the A-10 title with a 13-3 record in the conference, including beating VCU for the conference championship. In the tournament, after beating New Mexico State, they lost to Oregon in the round of 32.
17. Georgetown Hoyas (25-7) – A constant source of disappointment, the Hoyas did win the Big East (shared) title before losing to Syracuse in the championship semifinal and were beaten by #15 seed Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA tournament opener.
18. Memphis Tigers (31-5) – Memphis had a perfect 16-0 season in the Conference USA, which included beating Southern Miss for the conference championship. In the tournament, they beat Saint Mary’s before bowing down against Michigan State.
19. New Mexico Lobos (29-6) – The Lobos won the MWC with a 13-3 season in the conference, including beating UNLV for the conference championship. In the tournament, they lost in the opening round to Harvard.
20. Kansas State Wildcats (27-8) – Earned a share of the Big 12 title after a 14-4 season, but lost to Kansas for the conference championship. In the tournament they lost in the opening round to La Salle.
21. Creighton Bluejays (28-8) – Creighton won the MVC title with a 13-5 record, going on to win the conference championship by beating Wichita State. In the NCAA tournament, they opened with a win over Cincinnati before losing to Duke in the round of 32.
22. Wisconsin Badgers (23-12) – Tied for third in the Big Ten with a 12-6 record, going on to reach the championship final, losing to Ohio State. In the NCAA tournament, the Badgers lost in the opening round to Ole Miss.
23. VCU Rams (27-9) – The Rams finished second in the Atlantic 10, also losing to Saint Louis in the conference championship. In the tournament, they did beat Akron to set themselves up with a game against Michigan, losing to the eventual national finalists.
24. La Salle Explorers (24-10) – Only had an 11-5 season in the Atlantic 10, but despite losing in the quarterfinals of the conference championship got into the first four, beating Boise State to enter the tournament, beating Kansas State, Ole Miss and reaching the Sweet 16, where they lost to Wichita State.
25. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (26-11) – The Eagles finished only second in the Atlantic Sun after a 13-5 season, but beat Mercer for the conference championship and the berth in the NCAA tournament, beating Georgetown and San Diego State before losing to Florida in the Sweet Sixteen.