NCAA Basketball: 5 surprising 2020-21 Final Four contenders entering league play

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NCAA Basketball Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Over a month into the 2020-21 season, which NCAA Basketball programs have emerged from middling expectations to Final Four contention?

The 2020-21 NCAA Basketball season was always going to be one for the ages, with all of the unique circumstances surrounding it. And yet, some of the top teams are living up to preseason expectations.

Gonzaga is the best team in the country, looking virtually unbeatable. Baylor is right there with them without a loss to their name. Iowa looks dominant with Player of the Year frontrunner Luka Garza, with their only loss coming to the aforementioned Bulldogs prior to an overtime defeat at the hands of Minnesota.

There have also been a number of teams that have shocked with how putrid they’ve been. No need to look further than the tire fire blazing in Lexington, Kentucky.

It’s the holiday season, though, so let’s take a more chipper look at the world of college basketball by asking a simple question. Who can reach the Final Four nobody would’ve honestly expected before the season began?

Gonzaga and Baylor are clear frontrunners for the Final Four, but that’s to nobody’s surprise. The same goes with Kansas, Iowa, and Villanova, among others.

The top four teams in the country at the beginning of the season are the obvious Final Four choices, but the top 16 teams are all expected to make the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, making a Final Four trip far from impossible. So no teams ranked in the Top 16 of the first AP poll of the season are on this list.

Lastly, the order of these selections is not significant, don’t read into it. Let’s get it going.

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