College basketball rankings: Nevada passes toughest test left on schedule to stay undefeated and No. 5 in Top 25 And 1
The Wolf Pack rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Arizona State in Los Angeles
Nevada has forever been my pick to take a zero in the loss column deepest into this season. And though the Wolf Pack put that possibility in undeniable jeopardy late Friday/early Saturday, Eric Musselman's team ultimately rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Arizona State 72-66 at Staples Center and improve to 9-0 — but only after a good talking-to at halftime from their coach.
"Coach mentioned at halftime, 'You finally meet some talent and this is how you react?'" said Nevada's Caleb Martin, who finished with 15 points on 18 shots. "It kind of turned some guys up in the locker room."
Arizona State is, according to KenPom, both the best team Nevada has played and the best team the Wolf Pack will play at any point between now and Selection Sunday. That's why, like I wrote Friday morning, I will not be surprised if Nevada does nothing but win for a while and perhaps through the start of the NCAA Tournament. For what it's worth, the Wolf Pack will be at least 8-point favorites in every game left on their schedule, according to KenPom. So an amazing record is actually more probable than just possible.
Nevada is No. 5 in Saturday morning's updated Top 25 And 1.
Arizona State remains No. 21.
Saturday's Top 25 And 1
|1||Kansas||Dedric Lawson finished with 20 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday's win over Wofford. He's now averaging a team-high 19.0 points and a team-high 10.7 rebounds in 32.7 minutes per game.||--||8-0|
|2||Gonzaga||Rui Hachimura sank a game-winning jumper in the final seconds Wednesday to lift the Zags past Washington. The junior forward is averaging 22.3 points and 6.2 rebounds.||--||9-0|
|3||Duke||RJ Barrett finished with 27 points and 15 rebounds in Wednesday's win over Hartford. Zion Williamson added 18 points and 12 rebounds.||--||9-1|
|4||Tennessee||The Vols' lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Kansas in overtime. Grant Williams is averaging a team-high 20.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the reigning SEC champs.||--||6-1|
|5||Nevada||The Wolf Pack's resume features four wins over top-100 KenPom teams. Caleb Martin is averaging a team-high 19.3 points and 4.6 rebounds.||--||9-0|
|6||Virginia||The Cavaliers held Morgan State to just two field goals in the first 18 minutes of the second half of Monday's eventual 38-point win. Kyle Guy and De'Andre Hunter each scored 15 points.||--||9-0|
|7||Michigan||The Wolverines missed 15 of their 20 3-point attempts but still won Tuesday at Northwestern. They're 9-0 for the second time in 12 seasons under John Beilein.||--||10-0|
|8||Kentucky||The Wildcats trailed at the break Saturday before rallying to beat UNC Greensboro. Reid Travis finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds.||--||7-2|
|9||Auburn||Austin Wiley scored 14 points off the bench in Tuesday's win over UNC Asheville. Auburn's lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Duke.||--||8-1|
|10||Michigan St.||Nick Ward took 10 shots, made all 10 and finished with 26 points and nine rebounds in Monday's win over Iowa. Kenny Goins added 19 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.||--||8-2|
|11||N. Carolina||The Tar Heels handled UNC-Wilmington easily on Wednesday despite Coby White missing the game with a sore ankle. Nassir Little finished with 14 points and five rebounds off the bench.||--||7-2|
|12||Texas Tech||The Red Raiders are 8-0 for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. Jarrett Culver is averaging a team-high 18.3 points, a team-high 5.5 rebounds and a team-high 4.5 assists.||--||8-0|
|13||Florida St.||PJ Savoy finished with a game-high 16 points in Monday's win over Troy. The Seminoles' resume features three wins over top-50 KenPom teams.||--||8-1|
|14||Va. Tech||The Hokies have won two straight games since losing at Penn State. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is averaging a team-high 17.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists.||--||8-1|
|15||Kansas St.||The Wildcats missed 16 of 22 3-point attempts in Saturday's loss at Marquette. Their next three games are against sub-100 KenPom teams.||--||6-2|
|16||Wisconsin||Ethan Happ scored a game-high 20 points in Monday's win over Rutgers. Wisconsin's lone loss is a neutral-court loss by single-digits to Virginia.||--||8-2|
|17||Ohio St.||Keyshawn Woods got 18 points off the bench in Wednesday's win over Illinois in Chicago. The Buckeyes are 2-0 in the Big Ten for the second consecutive season.||--||8-1|
|18||Purdue||Carsen Edwards missed 11 of his 15 field-goal attempts but still finished with 20 points in Thursday's win over Maryland. Aaron Wheeler added 15 points and three rebounds off the bench.||--||6-3|
|19||Maryland||The Terrapins shot just 35.1 percent from the field in Thursday's loss at Purdue. Maryland's only other loss is a single-digit loss to Virginia.||--||8-2|
|20||Creighton||The Bluejays led Gonzaga through 29 minutes Saturday before ultimately losing by double-digits. Creighton made 14 3-pointers in the loss.||--||6-3|
|21||Arizona St.||The Sun Devils' lone loss is a neutral-court loss by single-digits to Nevada. Arizona State's next two games are road games at Georgia and at Vanderbilt.||--||7-1|
|22||Miss. State||Lamar Peters finished with 27 points and five assists in Tuesday's win over McNeese. Next up is Saturday's game with Clemson.||--||8-1|
|23||Iowa||Tyler Cook finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds in Thursday's win over Iowa State. The Hawkeyes' two losses are both to teams ranked above them -- specifically Michigan State and Wisconsin.||--||7-2|
|24||Buffalo||The Bulls are off to their best start since the 1930-31 season. Five of their next six games are on the road - and two of them are at Syracuse and at Marquette.||--||9-0|
|25||Houston||The Cougars have won 21 consecutive home games dating to last season. Corey Davis Jr. is averaging a team-high 16.9 points and 4.6 assists.||--||8-0|
|26||Oklahoma||The Sooners' lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Wisconsin. Oklahoma owns wins over Florida, Notre Dame and Dayton.||--||8-1|
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