Gonzaga and Baylor both paused all basketball activities earlier this month because of COVID-19 issues within their programs. Consequently, Gonzaga went 17 days between games. Baylor went 10. But when they returned to the court Saturday, both looked anything but rusty.
Top-ranked Gonzaga had no issues with third-ranked Iowa in an eventual 99-88 victory while second-ranked Baylor cruised to a 100-69 win over Kansas State. So now the Zags and Bears are a combined 9-0. And it seems pretty clear, based both on the computers and so-called eye test, that these two teams have established themselves as favorites to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
And they're probably co-favorites.
There was a lot of talk Saturday about Gonzaga being "far and away" the best team in the country after the Zags looked great against Iowa — but Baylor now actually ranks ahead of the Zags at KenPom and Torvik. So while it's true that Gonzaga would definitely be the No. 1 overall seed if the NCAA Tournament started today based on a resume that already includes victories over Iowa, Kansas and West Virginia, the idea that Gonzaga is definitely better than Baylor isn't backed by data. For what it's worth, according to the computers, these are comparable teams. Both are undeniably fantastic.
Gonzaga remains No. 1 in Sunday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Baylor remains No. 2. And, yes, Iowa remains No. 3 even after that 11-point loss to Gonzaga because losing by 11 to the top-ranked team in the country does not necessarily mean you shouldn't be the third-ranked team in the country. Beyond that, if I dropped the Hawkeyes even one spot, I'd be dropping them below a Kansas team that suffered a 12-point loss to Gonzaga. So, for now at least, I'll just keep the one-loss team that lost by 11 points to Gonzaga one spot ahead of the one-loss team that lost by 12 points to Gonzaga and let Michigan State round out the top five.
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Sunday's Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Jalen Suggs finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in Saturday's 99-88 victory over Iowa. The Zags' perfect record also includes wins over Kansas and West Virginia.||--||31-1|
|MaCio Teague finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 100-69 victory over Kansas State. The Bears' perfect record also includes a double-digit win over Illinois.||--||28-2|
|The Hawkeyes missed 18 of the 22 3-pointers they attempted in Saturday's 99-88 loss to Gonzaga. Iowa's next scheduled game is Tuesday against Purdue.||--||22-9|
|Ochai Agbaji finished with 23 points and five rebounds in Thursday's 58-57 victory at Texas Tech. The Jayhawks' lone loss is a season-opening loss to top-ranked Gonzaga.||--||21-9|
|Gabe Brown made five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points in Sunday's 109-91 victory over Oakland. The Spartans' perfect record also features wins over Duke and Notre Dame.||--||15-13|
|Jaden Springer finished with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists in Friday's 103-49 victory over Tennessee Tech. The Vols' perfect record also includes wins over Colorado and Cincinnati.||--||18-9|
|Jeremiah Robinson-Earl finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists in Saturday's 88-68 victory over Saint Joseph's. The Wildcats own wins over Texas and Arizona State with their lone loss coming in overtime to Virginia Tech.||--||18-7|
|Derek Culver finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds in Friday's 70-65 victory over Iowa State. The Mountaineers' lone loss is a single-digit loss to top-ranked Gonzaga.||--||19-10|
|Virginia's lone loss is a one-point loss to San Francisco. The Cavaliers have temporarily suspended basketball activities because of COVID-19 issues.||--||18-7|
|Houston's perfect record features a double-digit win over Texas Tech. The Cougars have temporarily suspended basketball activities because of COVID-19 issues.||--||28-4|
|Greg Brown finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday's 79-63 victory over Sam Houston State. The Longhorns' 6-1 record also included wins over Indiana and North Carolina.||--||19-8|
|The Red Raiders missed 17 of the 23 3-pointers they attempted in Thursday's 58-57 loss to Kansas. Texas Tech's two losses are to Kansas and Houston.||--||18-11|
|Micah Potter finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 85-48 victory over Louisville. The Badgers' lone loss is a final-second loss at Marquette.||--||18-13|
|Xavier Pinson finished with 17 points and five assists in Saturday's 81-78 victory over Illinois. Missouri's 5-0 record also includes a win over Oregon.||--||16-10|
|Marcus Zegarowski finished with 20 points and five assists in Thursday's 94-76 victory over St. John's. The Bluejays have scored at least 93 points in four of their seven games.||--||22-9|
|Kofi Cockburn finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday's 92-65 victory over Minnesota. The Illini's two losses are away-from-home losses to Baylor and Missouri.||--||24-7|
|Ron Harper Jr. finished with 27 points, five rebounds and four assists in Monday's 74-60 victory at Maryland. The Scarlet Knights' perfect record also features a win over Syracuse.||--||16-12|
|Matthew Hurt finished with 18 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 75-65 victory at Notre Dame. The Blue Devils' two losses are both to teams ranked ahead of them in the Top 25 And 1.||--||13-11|
|Armando Bacot finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 75-63 victory over Kentucky. The Tar Heels' two losses are to Iowa and Texas.||--||18-11|
|Hunter Dickinson finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in Sunday's 62-58 victory over Penn State. The Wolverines' perfect record also features wins over Toledo and UCF.||2||23-5|
|Duane Washington Jr. finished with 14 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 77-70 victory over UCLA. The Buckeyes' next scheduled game is Wednesday against Rutgers.||2||21-10|
|Javonte Perkins finished with 20 points and five rebounds in Thursday's 80-69 victory over NC State. The Billikens' perfect record also includes a win over LSU.||2||14-7|
|Javonte Smart finished with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists in Monday's 88-66 victory over Sam Houston State. The Tigers' lone loss is a single-digit loss at Saint Louis.||2||19-10|
|Chris Duarte finished with 21 points and four rebounds in Saturday's 80-41 victory over Portland. Oregon's lone loss is a single-digit loss to Missouri.||2||21-7|
|JD Notae finished with 22 points and six assists in Saturday's 100-75 victory over Central Arkansas. The Razorbacks have won their six games by an average of 33.8 points.||NR||25-7|
|McKinley Wright finished with 17 points and eight assists in Wednesday's 91-49 victory over Omaha. The Buffaloes' lone loss is a single-digit loss to Tennessee.||NR||23-9|
IN: Arkansas, Colorado. OUT: Louisville, Florida State