The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is a major event every year, and the college basketball season has already come to an end. With Purdue losing its final game of the regular season against Rutgers, who are some candidates for No. 1 after March Madness?
The “top college basketball recruits 2022” is a question that has been asked recently. The candidates for the men’s college basketball’s No. 1 team are Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Kansas.
Wasn’t it only last season when Gonzaga was undefeated? When was the last time we learned the name of the nation’s top team? When was the last time you played Bracketology?
That was back in the day…
It’s just been a month since the new season began, yet we’re set to have our fourth top team in the AP Top 25 poll. We can credit Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr. for the half-court heroics, and we can already tell that this is going to be one of those years after only four weeks and three days.
Purdue’s defeat against Rutgers puts the Boilermakers’ first week at the top of the national rankings to a close. Baylor, the defending national champion, will be on the hot seat next, if the No. 2 Bears survive an epic assault from visiting No. 6 Villanova on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, ABC).
Those with long memories will remember how close the Wildcats came to halting Baylor’s championship run last March in the Sweet 16. With Collin Gillespie in charge, the Cats are back to full strength, thus the Bears are no certainty when the poll results are published on Monday.
Purdue will be scratching its collective head all the way back to West Lafayette in the interim. The Boilermakers were not the better team on Thursday night, but they seemed to be on their way to escaping Piscataway thanks to a Trevion Williams basket with four seconds left.
Harper, on the other hand, had a different plan. In the process, he saves the Scarlet Knights’ season. Jersey had a 4-4 record, including losses to Lafayette and UMass, as well as a 35-point loss to Illinois in its Big Ten opening. It was never a genuine idea that they may be poised to upset the greatest Purdue squad in decades.
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In fact, practically any sequence might be argued, even Kansas or UCLA returning to the top line. However, since there are a few one-loss possibilities in the mix, this analyst chooses to assess the quality of those losses. Duke is ranked second, ahead of Gonzaga, after defeating the Zags. The Blue Devils are also ahead of Purdue, since the Boilermakers’ defeat against unranked Rutgers is not the same as the Blue Devils’ loss at Ohio State. And, in my opinion, Purdue’s defeat was so egregious that dropping off the top line altogether isn’t an option.
All we know is that between now and March, the best teams will be playing a lot of checkers. And, unlike a year ago, the identification of the final piece to become king is much less clear.
In other words, college basketball is business as usual. With last year’s winner at the top of the leaderboard, we’re in for another wild weekend. Is Baylor able to secure a long-term stay and defend its title?
Don’t put your money on it based on the first four weeks of the season.
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The “Purdue basketball schedule” is a list of the teams that are considered to be the top contenders for men’s college basketball’s No. 1 team following Purdue’s loss to Rutgers. Reference: purdue basketball schedule.
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