11. UCF (11-5, 2-2)
When they were added to the Big 12, UCF wasn’t exactly expected to be a big name in basketball. In fact, the Knights’ only trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last 15 years was with Tacko Fall back in 2019, where they came extremely close to upsetting Duke in the second round. Each of the last four seasons saw UCF finish at or below .500 in conference play in the AAC and they frankly entered year one in the Big 12 without any reasonable expectations.
Losing at Miami in the opening week is understandable, though home losses to Stetson and Ole Miss in the later weeks were less digestible. UCF didn’t exactly play a tough schedule, and looked like a conference doormat when they lost their Big 12 opener by 25 points to Kansas State. However, the Knights have since upset Kansas and beat Texas on the road, sitting at 2-2 in the league and in much better shape than anyone imagined.
We’ve learned that Jaylin Sellers and company can win games in this league, though it’s certainly premature to call them any kind of contender, even with that monster win against the Jayhawks. Limiting Kansas to just 60 points shows that UCF’s defense might be better than expected and they have the potential to pull more upsets in the weeks to come. We’ll just have to see that type of play more consistently, though they were close to another one against BYU last weekend.