College basketball rankings: Duke vaults to No. 1 spot in Top 25 And 1 with victory over UNC

Zion Williamson was college basketball's best player by a significant margin before he suffered a knee injury in the opening minute of Duke's first game with North Carolina. The freshman phenom then missed five full contests, and the bulk of six, before returning to the starting lineup. And now, somehow, he's even better — evidence being how in the two games since returning, Williamson is a combined 26 of 32 from the field. He averaged 30.0 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals in a pair of wins over Syracuse and North Carolina. And, I think, just one day before Selection Sunday, the Blue Devils are serious contenders to be the No. 1 overall seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament should they beat Florida State in Saturday night's championship game of the ACC Tournament.

Why?

Here's why: Duke will, with a win over Florida State, improve to 29-5 with an 11-4 record in Quadrant 1 opportunities and a 17-5 record in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities. More importantly, the Blue Devils have only lost once when their four freshmen starters are all healthy and available. And considering their four freshmen starters are all healthy and available right now, and figure to be heading into the NCAA Tournament, the selection committee is going to have to take that into account. If Duke beats Florida State in the ACC Tournament title game, this one-loss-when-healthy team will own two wins over the school ranked No. 2 (Virginia) in Saturday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings, a win over the school ranked No. 3 (North Carolina), a 34-point win over the school ranked No. 5 (Kentucky), two wins over the school ranked No. 10 (Florida State), a win over the school ranked No. 11 (Texas Tech) and a win over the school ranked No. 22 (Auburn). That's an incredible body of work. And all of this is why I decided to move the Blue Devils to No. 1 in the Top 25 And 1. When you consider everything that needs to be considered, it's the most sensible thing to do.

So I did it. 

My decision to jump Duke to No. 1 caused Gonzaga and Kentucky to drop one spot each, no fault of their own. Which means, right now, Gonzaga would be my fourth No. 1 seed. But if Kentucky or Tennessee wins the SEC Tournament, either will, at least in these rankings, jump Gonzaga. So keep that in mind as Saturday unfolds.

Biggest Movers
4 Duke
4 Texas Tech
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Duke The Blue Devils are 16-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over North Carolina. Duke has only lost once all season with its four freshmen starters available -- and the Blue Devils are 2-0 vs. Virginia. 429-5
2 Virginia The Cavaliers are 17-3 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to Florida State. Virginia is 0-2 vs. Duke. 129-3
3 N. Carolina The Tar Heels are 17-6 in Quadrant1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to Duke. North Carolina is 15-2 in its past 17 games with the lone losses in that stretch coming to Duke and Virginia. 127-6
4 Gonzaga The Zags are 10-3 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Tuesday's loss to Saint Mary's in the title game of the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga is 21-1 in its past 22 games. 131-3
5 Kentucky The Wildcats are 16-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over Alabama. Kentucky will play Tennessee for the third time Saturday in the SEC Tournament semifinals. 128-6
6 Tennessee The Vols are 14-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over Mississippi State. All four of UT's losses are to schools ranked in the Top 25 And 1. --29-5
7 Michigan St. The Spartans are 17-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over Ohio State. Michigan State is 8-1 in its past nine games heading into Saturday's game against Wisconsin. 129-6
8 Houston The Cougars are 15-2 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over UConn. Houston is 15-1 in its past 16 games heading into Saturday's game with Memphis. 231-3
9 Michigan The Wolverines are 18-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over Iowa. Michigan is 7-4 in its past 11 games heading into Saturday's game with Minnesota. 229-6
10 Florida St. The Seminoles are 14-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over Virginia. Florida State is 14-1 in its past 15 games heading into Saturday's game with Duke. 228-7
11 Texas Tech The Red Raiders are 16-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Thursday's loss to West Virginia. Texas Tech is 9-1 in its past 10 games heading into the NCAA Tournament. 426-6
12 LSU The Tigers are 16-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to Florida. LSU will enter Selection Sunday 1-1 without Will Wade as its head coach. 327-6
13 Kansas The Jayhawks are 17-8 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over West Virginia. Kansas is 8-2 in its past 10 games heading into Saturday's game with Iowa State. 426-9
14 Purdue The Boilermakers are 16-8 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to Minnesota. Purdue is 6-2 in its past eight games heading into the NCAA Tournament. 123-9
15 Va. Tech The Hokies are 11-8 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's OT loss to Florida State. Virginia Tech is 6-3 in its past nine games heading into the NCAA Tournament. --24-8
16 Nevada The Wolf Pack are 9-2 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to San Diego State. Nevada also has two Quadrant 3 losses. 229-5
17 Kansas St. The Wildcats are 14-8 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to Iowa State. Kansas State is 4-1 in its past five games heading into the NCAA Tournament. 125-8
18 Wisconsin The Badgers are 15-9 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over Nebraska. Wisconsin is 12-3 in its past 15 games heading into Saturday's game with Michigan State. 123-10
19 Buffalo The Bulls are 7-2 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities -- with one additional Quadrant 3 loss coming at Northern Illinois -- after Friday's win over Central Michigan. Buffalo will take an 11-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Bowling Green. 131-3
20 Wofford The Terriers are 9-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses to sub-40 KenPom teams. Wofford finished 21-0 against Southern Conference opponents en route to winning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 130-4
21 Cincinnati The Bearcats are 11-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities -- with one additional loss coming in a Quadrant 4 game at East Carolina -- after Friday's win over SMU. Cincinnati is 14-3 in its past 17 games heading into Saturday's game with Wichita State. 128-6
22 Auburn The Tigers are 15-9 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over South Carolina. Auburn is 8-1 in its past nine games heading into Saturday's game wtih Florida. 127-9
23 Miss. State The Bulldogs are 12-10 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to Tennessee. Mississippi State is 7-3 in its past 10 games heading into the NCAA Tournament. 123-10
24 Villanova The Wildcats are 17-9 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's win over Xavier. Villanova is 4-1 in its past five games heading into Saturday's game with Seton Hall. 126-9
25 Utah St. The Aggies are 4-2 in Quadrant 1 opportunities after Friday's win over Fresno State. Utah State will take a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's game with San Diego State. NR28-6
26 Marquette The Golden Eagles are 16-8 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Friday's loss to Seton Hall. Marquette is 1-5 in its past six games heading into the NCAA Tournament. --24-10

IN: Utah State
OUT: VCU

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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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