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Who are the candidates for men"s college basketball"s No. 1 team following Purdue"s loss to Rutgers?


Close Resident college basketball bracketologist zum ungkirke.com Contributor to SportsCenter, ungkirke.com Insider

Was it only tonnage season wie man Gonzaga winner every game? wie we constantly knew the benennen of ns nation"s No. 1 team? when Bracketology was easy?

Those were die days ...

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The neu season zu sein barely a month old und we"re about to have our fourth top team bei the ap Top 25 poll. We tun können thank Rutgers star Ron Harper Jr., weil das the half-court heroics, and we kann sein conclude -- after nur four weeks und three days -- that it"s going zu be one von those years.

Purdue"s loss hinweisen Rutgers bring a premature ende to the Boilermakers" first-ever week at ns top of the national rankings. Defending national champion Baylor will be next on ns hot seat, provided the No. 2 Bears make it through what figures to be bei epic challenge from visiting No. 6 Villanova top top Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

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Those with lang memories recall just how close die short-handed Wildcats came zu ending Baylor"s title turn in the Sweet 16 tonnage March. The Cats are back to full strength through Collin Gillespie running die show, deshalb the Bears are no guarantee wie Monday"s poll outcomes are released.

In die meantime, Purdue will be scratching its collective head all ns way zurück to west Lafayette. Ns Boilermakers were in no way ns better team Thursday night however looked ready to escape Piscataway on a Trevion Williams layup with 4 seconds to play.

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Harper, though, had actually other ideas. Und he resurrects die Scarlet Knights" season bei the process. Die guys indigenous Jersey to be bumping along punkt 4-4, losing to the likes of Lafayette und UMass und by 35 points in their huge Ten opener punkt Illinois. Die thought they might be ready kommen sie upset ns best Purdue team in decades was never a significant consideration.


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One might argue practically any order, an fact, or even Kansas or UCLA returning to the top line. But with a handful des one-loss candidates in the mix, this analyst prefers to measure die quality of those losses. Duke gets the nod at No. 2 over Gonzaga, having beaten ns Zags. Ns Blue Devils deshalb slot ahead of Purdue, as their loss punkt Ohio zustand isn"t die same as die Boilermakers losing at unranked Rutgers. And, for me, ns manner des Purdue"s loss ist such that falling off ns top line totally isn"t reasonable.

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All we really know zu sein that the top teams wollen be playing a lot of checkers betwee now and March. Und the identity des the last piece zu make king ist considerably more uncertain than it was a year ago.

In various other words, it"s unternehmen as usual in college basketball. We now head into one more topsy-turvy weekend with tonnage year"s champion at die top von the heap. Can Baylor publication a lang stay and defend its title?