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College basketball power rankings: Illinois, Auburn rising entering NCAA Tournament

Four of the top seven teams in the final CBS Sports college basketball power rankings of the 2023-24 season are in the NCAA Tournament’s East Region. UConn reclaimed the top spot after winning the Big East Tournament, and several other conference tournament champions are also represented this week.
Among them is No. 3 Iowa State, which jumped five spots following an impressive tear through the Big 12 Tournament. The Cyclones may have been disrespected by the selection committee by landing at No. 8 on the overall seed list. But there certainly aren’t seven teams in college basketball that could have defeated ISU with the way it played against Houston in the conference tournament championship game.
Illinois and Auburn are also surging this week after winning their respective conference tournaments. The Illini are a wagon offensively and seem to have a firm grasp of their identity, which revolves around dynamic scorers Terrence Shannon Jr. and Marcus Domask. Auburn is one of the nation’s deepest teams and beat three NCAA Tournament teams on its way to the SEC Tournament title.
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Power rankings are meant to be more sensitive to recent outcomes than a typical full-season assessment would. They are as much about who is playing well now as opposed to who was playing well two months ago and has merely been surviving since. Thus, teams who survived the gauntlet of their league tournaments are well-represented here.
With that, here are the last CBS Sports power rankings of the 2023-24 season.
College basketball power rankings

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