College basketball rankings: Notre Dame will have all the motivation against Duke

NEW YORK -- Notre Dame came from 21 points down Wednesday night to beat Virginia Tech 71-65 and inch closer to an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. But the Irish still aren't there yet, according to CBS Sports bracketology expert Jerry Palm. Which means they probably need to beat Duke on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament to avoid the NIT.

So this should be fun.

It's essentially a play-in game for the finally healthy Irish -- a play-in game against a Duke team that's improved drastically over the past month, especially on the defensive end. It's Marvin Bagley and Bonzie Colson on the court together with Notre Dame trying to prove it's significantly better with its All-American forward, who missed 15 games with a broken left foot before returning on the final day of February.

Notre Dame is 14-4 with Colson, 6-9 without him. But the issue is that the Irish lost to Ball State (No 170 at KenPom) and Indiana (No. 78 at KenPom) before Colson actually got hurt -- point being the selection committee can't reasonably assume Notre Dame would've avoided the bad losses they took without Colson had Colson been healthy because Notre Dame's resume does in fact feature multiple bad losses with Colson in the lineup. So therein lies the problem. But it's a fixable problem. And beating Duke -- which is No. 4 in Thursday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 (and one) -- is the way to fix it. Because a win over Mike Krzyzewski's team should be enough to convince the selection committee that Notre Dame deserves an at-large bid.

Thursday's Top 25 (and one)

Biggest Movers
1 Creighton
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Teams
 
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1 Virginia The Cavaliers own 11 top-50 KenPom wins -- among them victories over Duke, North Carolina and Clemson. They won the ACC regular-season title by four games. --31-3
2 Villanova The Wildcats' resume features 10 top-50 KenPom wins -- including a regular-season sweep of Xavier. Villanova has only lost to two sub-30 KenPom teams. --36-4
3 Xavier The Musketeers' resume features 10 top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-40 loss. They finished 15-3 in the Big East and won their first Big East regular-season title in school history. --29-6
4 Duke The Blue Devils' five-game winning streak was snapped Monday at Virginia Tech. Duke owns nine top-50 KenPom wins and has lost to a sub-40 KenPom opponent only twice. --29-8
5 Michigan St. The Spartans' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins -- including victories over Purdue and North Carolina. All four of their losses are to teams also ranked in the Top 25 (and one). --30-5
6 Kansas The Jayhawks own 13 top-50 KenPom wins -- including a regular-season sweep of West Virginia. Kansas this season became the first school to ever win 14 straight league titles. --31-8
7 Purdue The Boilermakers' resume features 10 top-50 KenPom wins and just two sub-20 losses. They finished tied for second in the Big Ten standings. --30-7
8 Gonzaga The Zags' resume features four top-40 KenPom wins -- among them victories over Ohio State and Creighton. Gonzaga has won at least 30 games in three of the past four seasons. --32-5
9 Cincinnati The Bearcats finished 16-2 in the AAC and won the league title by two games. They're 3-4 vs. top-50 KenPom teams, 24-0 against everybody else. --31-5
10 Michigan The Wolverines' resume features nine top-50 KenPom wins and three sub-50 losses. They'll take a nine-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. --33-8
11 Texas Tech The Red Raiders own 10 top-50 KenPom wins -- among them victories over Kansas and West Virginia. They finished tied for second in the Big 12. --27-10
12 N. Carolina The Tar Heels' resume features 10 top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-45 loss. They're 7-2 in their past nine games. --26-11
13 W. Virginia The Mountaineers have won three of their past four games and compiled a total of 11 top-50 KenPom wins. Five of their nine losses are to teams also ranked in the Top 25 (and one). --26-11
14 Wichita St. The Shockers resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and just two sub-45 losses. They're 7-1 in their past eight games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Cincinnati. --25-8
15 Tennessee The Vols own six top-50 KenPom wins -- among them victories over Purdue and Kentucky. UT finished 13-5 in the SEC to share the league title with Auburn. --26-9
16 Auburn The Tigers' resume features five top-50 KenPom wins and three sub-50 losses. Auburn finished 13-5 in the SEC to share the league title with Tennessee. --26-8
17 Clemson The Tigers own eight top-50 KenPom wins -- among them victories over North Carolina and Ohio State. Seven of their eight losses are to teams currently projected to make the NCAA Tournament. --25-10
18 Ohio St. The Buckeyes' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-35 losses. Three of OSU's eight losses are to Penn State. --25-9
19 Arizona The Wildcats' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and four sub-50 losses. Arizona finished 14-4 in the Pac-12 and won their fourth league title in the past five seasons. --27-8
20 Florida The Gators own nine top-50 KenPom wins -- among them victories over Gonzaga, Auburn, Cincinnati and Kentucky. They'll take a three-game winning streak into the SEC Tournament. --21-13
21 Kentucky The Wildcats' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins -- among them a road victory over West Virginia. They finished tied for fourth in the SEC standings. --26-11
22 TCU The Horned Frogs' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins and only one sub-50 loss. Their four-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Texas Tech. --21-12
23 Nevada The Wolf Pack's resume features five top-70 KenPom wins and just four sub-25 losses. Their only home loss came when their leading scorer (Caleb Martin) was sidelined. --29-8
24 Miami (Fla.) The Hurricanes own eight top-50 KenPom wins -- among them road wins over North Carolina, Virginia Tech and NC State. They'll take a four-game winning streak into the ACC Tournament. --22-10
25 Arkansas The Razorbacks' resume features five top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-65 losses. Arkansas is 6-2 in its past eight games. 123-12
26 Creighton The Bluejays' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins -- among them a victory over Villanova. Nine of their 10 losses are to top-50 teams. 121-12

In: Creighton
Out: Virginia Tech

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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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