College basketball rankings: Michigan State takes top spot; SEC supremacy up for grabs
There are four SEC schools in Sunday's Top 25 (and one) -- and two more just on the outside looking in
The SEC has turned into one of the nation's most interesting leagues in the sense that it has lots of good teams, but perhaps no great ones. And how wild is it that a Texas A&M team that was in the top 10 just two weeks ago has lost three straight games and is currently sitting at the bottom of the conference standings?
Yep, Texas A&M is 0-3 in the SEC.
Florida is 3-0.
Auburn is 2-0.
And the fact that there are six SEC schools -- those three plus Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas -- slotted between 17th and 31st at KenPom right now suggests the league is totally up for grabs. The updated CBS Sports Top 25 (and one) also reflects that reality with Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and Kentucky ranked 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th. And Tuesday's game between Texas A&M and UK suddenly sets up as crucial for both schools -- because if the Aggies lose they'll drop to 0-4 in the SEC, and if the Wildcats lose their light resume will look even more suspect.
UK is 12-3.
On the surface, that's fine.
But the Wildcats are just 2-3 against top-50 KenPom opponents after Saturday's 76-65 loss at Tennessee. They own zero top-35 KenPom wins and are 0-2 against schools ranked in the Top 25 (and one). Which doesn't mean Kentucky isn't good -- or that it can't be great. It just means that, as of this moment, there's not much substance to UK's record. But the good news is that games later this month against Texas A&M, Florida and West Virginia will provide opportunities for Kentucky to greatly enhance its resume.
Either way, for now, 24th is about right.
And, yes, I know Kentucky dropping nine spots after a road loss to a good team might seem harsh. But you should know I almost never concern myself with "how far" a team drops relative to "how far" another team drops for a similar, better or worse loss. I simply wake up every morning, start at the top, work my way down and try to list teams in an order that reflects some combination of thei resumes and ability. And, again, right now, 24th seems appropriate for what this talented but young Kentucky team has accomplished to date.
Auburn and Tennessee going from unranked to 22nd and 23rd in the Top 25 (and one) pushed Baylor and Creighton down one spot each, no fault of their own. And, yes, Michigan State is the new No. 1 thanks to Duke's loss at NC State. It was the Blue Devils' second sub-70 KenPom loss. They're now No. 7 in the Top 25 (and one).
|1||Michigan St.||The Spartans have won 14 straight games since losing to Duke in Chicago. All 15 of MSU's wins have come by double-digits.||1||30-5|
|2||Villanova||The Wildcats' only loss is a single-digit loss at Butler. Their resume features wins over Gonzaga and Tennessee.||1||36-4|
|3||W. Virginia||The Mountaineers will take a 14-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with Baylor. Their resume features wins over Virginia and Oklahoma.||1||26-11|
|4||Virginia||The Cavaliers' only loss is a single-digit loss at West Virginia. They'll take a six-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with Syracuse.||1||31-3|
|5||Texas Tech||The Red Raiders are 3-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since 2004. Their resume features wins over Kansas, Baylor, Nevada and Kansas State.||5||27-10|
|6||Oklahoma||The Sooners' 10-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at West Virginia. Their resume features wins at Wichita State and TCU.||--||18-14|
|7||Duke||The Blue Devils are 2-2 in their past four games. The losses are to Boston College and North Carolina State.||6||29-8|
|8||Arizona St.||The Sun Devils have lost two straight games since starting 12-0. Their resume is highlighted by double-digit wins over Xavier and Kansas.||--||20-12|
|9||Wichita St.||The Shockers' 81-61 win over Houston was their first AAC home victory. Their resume features four top-55 KenPom wins.||2||25-8|
|10||Purdue||The Boilermakers have won 11 straight games since losing to Tennessee and Western Kentucky. Their resume features four top-40 KenPom wins.||2||30-7|
|11||Kansas||The Jayhawks avoided a two-game losing streak by winning at TCU on Saturday. Their only loss to an unranked team is a loss to Washington.||7||31-8|
|12||TCU||The Horned Frogs have gone 1-2 since starting the season 12-0. But both of their losses are to teams ranked ahead of them in the Top 25 (and one).||5||21-12|
|13||Xavier||The Musketeers' 10-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Providence. Next up is Wednesday's showdown with Villanova.||4||29-6|
|14||Florida St.||FSU backed its loss at Duke with a win over North Carolina. The Seminoles' other good win is a double-digit victory at Florida.||--||23-12|
|15||Gonzaga||Two of Gonzaga's three losses are to teams also ranked in the Top 25 (and one). The Zags own wins over Creighton, Texas and Ohio State.||4||32-5|
|16||N. Carolina||The Tar Heels are 2-3 in their past five games with losses to Wofford, Florida State and Virginia. Three of their next four games are at home.||--||26-11|
|17||Seton Hall||The Pirates have won five straight games since losing at Rutgers. Their resume features four top-40 KenPom wins -- most notably a victory over Texas Tech.||3||22-12|
|18||Cincinnati||The Bearcats' resume features wins over UCLA, Mississippi State and Temple. They'll take a six-game winning streak into Sunday's showdown with SMU.||3||31-5|
|19||Clemson||The Tigers will take a 10-game winning streak into Thursday's game at North Carolina State. Their resume features wins over Florida, Ohio State and Louisville.||3||25-10|
|20||Arizona||The Wildcats' nine-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Colorado. They are 2-2 against top-50 KenPom teams with two sub-75 losses.||7||27-8|
|21||Florida||The Gators have won five straight games since losing to Clemson. Their resume features three top-30 KenPom wins.||2||21-13|
|22||Auburn||The Tigers will take a 12-game winning streak into Tuesday's game against Ole Miss. Their resume features wins over Tennessee and Arkansas.||5||26-8|
|23||Tennessee||Three of the Vols' four losses are to teams ahead of them in the Top 25 (and one). They own wins over Purdue and Kentucky.||4||26-9|
|24||Kentucky||The Wildcats are 2-3 against top-50 KenPom teams after Saturday's loss to Tennessee. They're also 2-3 in games played away from Rupp Arena.||9||26-11|
|25||Baylor||All four of the Bears' losses are to teams ahead of them in the Top 25 (and one). They own wins over Creighton and Texas.||1||19-15|
|26||Creighton||All three of the Bluejays' losses are to teams ahead of them in the Top 25 (and one). They'll take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with Butler.||1||21-12|
IN: Auburn, Tennessee
OUT: Texas A&M, Arkansas
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