There's one week to go in the regular season, and for the 20 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, that means a handful of final opportunities to impress voters. With that in mind, ESPN.com's panel of college basketball experts offered a look at what their current Wooden ballots would look like, as well as what could alter their order here in March. Who's going to take home the Wooden hardware?
With one week of the regular season to go, what's your Wooden top 5 look like? What would have to happen for you to rethink your current No. 1?
Myron Medcalf, senior college basketball writer: At the top, for me, is Dayton's Obi Toppin. Since the 2006-07 season, Kevin Durant and Trey Burke have been the only two Wooden Award winners who've played for teams that finished with anything lower than a 3-seed (Texas and Michigan were both 4-seeds) on Selection Sunday. The national player of the year race tends to reward winners. That's why I put Toppin, who is averaging 19.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG for a Dayton team that has lost only twice (both in overtime, to a pair of NCAA tournament teams in Colorado and Kansas), ahead of Iowa's Luka Garza, who is right there with Toppin in what is clearly a two-man race. From there, I've got a pair of Kansas guys.
I'll take Kansas guard Devon Dotson in that third spot. He's amazing and underrated. His 8-for-11 effort in the win at Kansas State helped the Jayhawks avoid a bad loss. At No. 4, I've got his teammate Udoka Azubuike, who is averaging a double-double and 2.6 BPG. He's an unstoppable force who has changed the best team in the country (the Jayhawks make 58.6% of their shots inside the arc with him on the floor). Then, I'll take Seton Hall's Myles Powell (54.3% inside the arc in Big East play) at No. 5. Marquette's Markus Howard has incredible numbers (27.7 PPG), but Wooden voters have rarely given top honors to any member of a struggling team.
Jeff Borzello, college basketball insider: I'm still riding with Garza in the No. 1 spot. Even though the Hawkeyes have been inconsistent of late, Garza is still putting up numbers: 26 and 12 against Purdue, 25 and 17 against Penn State, 20 and 9 against Michigan State. He has expanded his offensive game in Big Ten play, stepping out and shooting 3s, while shouldering more of the load -- and still being one of the most efficient offensive players in the country. I do think it's mostly a Garza vs. Toppin race down the stretch, and Toppin would be my No. 2. If Toppin dominates the end of the season and Garza falters, I would reconsider. I think it's close.
I don't think Dotson is getting nearly enough attention for the award, and he remains in my top 3. The Kansas point guard is No. 1 in KenPom's KPOY race and is still the only player in the country who is at least 5.0 adjusted points above replacement player at both ends of the floor -- one of just nine players to accomplish that since 2009. Give me Oregon's Payton Pritchard at No. 4; scoring 38 in a key road win at Arizona was convincing. Might not be a better late-game player in the country this season. I'll round things out with Howard. Marquette has fallen off over the last month, but Howard is still putting up outrageous scoring numbers.
John Gasaway, college basketball writer: Just wait until Obi Toppin starts wreaking havoc against teams outside the Atlantic 10 for a change, then everyone will see why he's still my No. 1 choice. Opposing defenses just don't have many answers for a 6-foot-9 guy who can score virtually at will in the paint (his 2-point percentage borders on being Zion-like) but can also step out and hit one 3 per game with accuracy. Past Toppin, certainly Azubuike made an unmistakable statement both on offense and on defense at Baylor, and I really do think his "buzz" suffers and his impact is underrated just because his particular player type isn't where the cool kids hang out for intensive draft speculation in 2020.
Of course, there's no rule that says you can't have two nationally preeminent guys on the same team, so I'll second everything my colleague Mr. Borzello just said about the amazing Mr. Dotson. The sophomore's skill and decision-making at high velocities is unequaled, plus he adds significant value on defense. As for Garza, he only happens to be the alpha and omega of the best offense in the strongest and deepest conference in Division I. In rounding out my list, let the record show that Markus Howard has made 115 shots from beyond the arc this season, and no other major-conference player is even in triple digits. Give me these five stars and I'll win some games.