College basketball rankings: Duke a likely 1-seed, Michigan enters Top 25 (and 1)

Duke beat Notre Dame 75-69 late Saturday to win the ACC Tournament, at which point it became undeniable that the Blue Devils’ have a serious case to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Will the selection committee reward them properly?

I have no idea.

But the selection committee should. Because the Blue Devils now have eight top-25 RPI wins and 13 top-55 RPI wins. Both numbers lead the nation. And, yes, I know Duke is 27-8. And, yes, I know no school has ever received a No. 1 seed with eight losses. But only two of those eight losses are sub-50 RPI losses — and those two sub-50 RPI losses came by a total of six points. Kansas, by the way, also has two sub-50 RPI losses. So does North Carolina. And nobody has an issue with the Jayhawks or Tar Heels being a No. 1 seed. So I’m not sure why anybody would get caught up on Duke. And please don’t try to argue against this by mentioning that Duke finished fifth in the ACC standings. For the millionth time, the selection committee does not care where a team finishes in a league — especially in a league with an unbalanced schedule. What matters is a team’s total body of work. And Duke’s total body of work spans from the 11th day of November to the 11th day of March.

I have Duke fourth in the updated Top 25 (and one).

So you know where I stand.

And the fact that Duke’s top seven scorers have combined to miss 25 games — combined with the fact that Duke’s Hall of Fame coach, Mike Krzyzewski, missed seven games in January, which resulted in three of Duke’s eight losses — also supports Duke’s candidacy. Bottom line, when you factor in the quality and quantity of wins, and take Duke’s injury-plagued past into consideration, this is easy. The Blue Devils should be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Will the selection committee get it right? We’ll find out at 5:30 p.m. ET on CBS — America’s Most Watched Network.

(The network of stars!)

Meantime …

Kentucky moved up to eighth, which caused UCLA to drop to ninth. And Iowa State beat West Virginia 80-74 to win the Big 12 Tournament. So the Cyclones are now 9-1 in their past 10 games. I moved them up to 15th in the Top 25 (and one), which caused Butler, Florida and Virginia to each drop one spot, no fault of their own. And Michigan beat Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. So the Wolverines replaced the Golden Gophers in these rankings. They’re now 26th. 

The complete Top 25 (and one) is below.

Biggest Movers
6 Iowa State
4 West Virginia
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Villanova The Wildcats won the Big East regular-season title and the Big East Tournament title. Their resume features 12 top-50 RPI wins and just one sub-25 loss. -- 32-4
2 Kansas Josh Jackson's suspension contributed to KU losing its first game in the Big 12 Tournament. The Jayhawks' resume still features eight wins over schools also ranked in the Top 25 (and one). -- 31-5
3 Gonzaga The Zags will be 32-1 with five top-25 RPI wins on Selection Sunday. That'll likely be enough for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. -- 37-2
4 Duke The Blue Devils won the ACC Tournament and entered Selection Sunday with eight top-25 RPI wins and 13 top-50 victories. Both numbers lead the nation. -- 28-9
5 North Carolina The Tar Heels are 1-2 against Duke. But they're 11-5 against top-50 RPI opponents. -- 33-7
6 Arizona The Wildcats beat UCLA and Oregon on consecutive days to win the Pac-12 Tournament. They've only lost twice with Allonzo Trier in the lineup. 1 32-5
7 Oregon The Ducks lost Chris Boucher to a season-ending injury in the Pac-12 Tournament. They're 4-3 vs. top-50 RPI teams with two sub-25 losses. 1 33-6
8 Kentucky Kentucky won the SEC title outright. The Wildcats haven't lost to a sub-20 RPI team all season. 1 32-6
9 UCLA The Bruins missed 21 of 25 3-point attempts in Friday's loss to Arizona. They'll have six top-50 RPI wins on Selection Sunday. 1 31-5
10 Louisville The Cardinals' resume features seven top-50 RPI wins and just one sub-25 loss. They've beaten the SEC champs (Kentucky) and the Big Ten champs (Purdue). -- 25-9
11 Notre Dame The Irish are 8-2 in their past 10 games. The only losses in that stretch are to Louisville and Duke. -- 26-10
12 Baylor The Bears own nine top-50 RPI victories. But they are 5-6 in their past 11 games with two losses to Kansas State. -- 27-8
13 Florida State The Seminoles have 11 top-50 RPI wins. But they're 2-2 in their past four games. -- 26-9
14 Purdue The Boilermakers won the Big Ten by multiple games. But they've dropped two of their past four contests - both to Michigan. 1 27-8
15 Iowa State The Cyclones enter the NCAA Tournament having won eight of their past nine games. They own seven top-50 RPI wins. 6 24-11
16 SMU The Mustangs have won 25 of their past 26 games. The lone loss in that stretch is a 66-64 loss at Cincinnati. -- 30-5
17 Cincinnati The Bearcats will take a four-game winning streak into the AAC Tournament title game. They have three top-50 RPI wins and zero sub-70 losses. -- 30-6
18 West Virginia The Mountaineers are 6-2 in their past eight games. The only losses in that stretch are to Baylor and Iowa State. 4 28-9
19 Butler The Bulldogs squandered a chance to record a 10th top-50 RPI victory when they lost to Xavier in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. They'll enter the NCAA Tournament on a two-game losing streak. 1 25-9
20 Florida The Gators are 1-3 in their past four games. They're 0-3 vs. Vanderbilt. 1 27-9
21 Virginia The Cavaliers are 6-7 in their past 13 games. But all seven losses are to teams that could make the NCAA Tournament. 1 23-11
22 Oklahoma State The Cowboys will enter the NCAA Tournament on a three-game losing streak. But they haven't lost to a team unranked in the Top 25 (and one) since Jan. 18. -- 20-13
23 Wichita State The Shockers beat Illinois State 71-51 in the MVC Tournament title game. They'll take a 15-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. -- 31-5
24 St. Mary's The Gaels have wins over the MWC champ (Nevada) and the A-10 champ (Dayton). Three of their four losses are to Gonzaga. -- 29-5
25 Wisconsin The Badgers will take a three-game winning streak into the Big Ten Tournament title game. They're 5-6 vs. top-50 RPI teams. -- 27-10
26 Michigan The Wolverines are 6-1 in their past seven games. Their resume features six top-50 RPI wins and zero sub-100 losses. 1 26-12
CBS Sports Insider

Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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