It wasn't like watching No. 1 Kentucky lose to Evansville or like watching No. 1 Duke lose to Stephen F. Austin -- or even like watching No. 1 Louisville lose to a Texas Tech team that was missing its best player. Those were all major surprises; what happened Saturday was not. But, still, the No. 1 team has indeed lost again. This time it was No. 1 Kansas losing 56-55 at Villanova.
"It's just one of those years," said Villanova coach Jay Wright. "There just isn't one team that's dominant."
Those are true words.
As I've explained before, the fact that top-ranked teams keep losing isn't the only indicator that dominant teams don't exist this season. It's also apparent when studying adjusted efficiency margins. Right now, according to KenPom, Ohio State has an adjusted efficiency margin of +27.69 that ranks No. 1 nationally. But +27.69 would've only tied for seventh nationally last season -- and what that means, in the simplest of terms, is that this season's best teams aren't as good as the best teams we're used to watching. In fact, if +27.69 were to finish as the best adjusted efficiency margin this season, it would be the lowest final best adjusted efficiency margin of the KenPom era that dates back to the 2001-02 season.
So keep that in mind going forward because it is the top explanation for why highly ranked teams keep losing to lower-ranked and unranked teams. And it's also why there's a new No. 1 in Sunday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings -- and the new No. 1 is Ohio State.
The Buckeyes, 11-1 after Saturday's win over Kentucky, are the only zero-loss or one-loss team with four top-40 KenPom victories -- among them a 25-point blowout of the nationally ranked Villanova team that just beat Kansas, a 32-point blowout of the nationally ranked Penn State team that's beaten Maryland, and a 25-point blowout of the North Carolina team that's beaten Oregon. Beyond that, the Buckeyes are No. 1 at KenPom. And Ohio State's lone loss came last weekend at Minnesota when the Buckeyes were missing their second-leading scorer (Duane Washington) because of a rib injury -- which means Ohio State has better wins than anybody with a comparable loss column, and the lone loss was a shorthanded loss in a road game. So, in my opinion, Ohio State has the nation's best body of work.
Let the record show that Villanova, Butler and San Diego State all recorded impressive wins Saturday and jumped into the top 14 of Sunday morning's Top 25 And 1 -- which pushed Maryland, Florida State and Washington down, no fault of their own. Meantime, Arizona and VCU both lost to unranked opponents and were removed from the Top 25 And 1. They've been replaced by West Virginia and Wichita State.
|D.J. Carton got 15 points and five rebounds off the bench in Saturday's 71-65 victory over Kentucky. The Buckeyes own four wins over top-40 KenPom teams.||2||21-10|
|Filip Petrusev finished with 24 points and nine rebounds in Saturday's 112-77 victory over Eastern Washington. The Zags have won five straight games since losing to Michigan.||--||31-2|
|Devon Dotson missed a late free throw that would've tied things, then missed a potential game-winning runner at the buzzer in Saturday's 56-55 loss at Villanova. The sophomore guard finished 5-of-15 from the field.||2||28-3|
|Dwayne Sutton finished with eight points and 15 rebounds in Wednesday's 70-46 win over Miami of Ohio. The Cardinals used a 17-0 run in the second half to pull away.||--||24-7|
|Joey Baker made five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in Thursday's 86-57 victory over Wofford. The Blue Devils cruised even though Tre Jones missed the game with what Duke officials called a minor foot injury.||1||25-6|
|Kihei Clark finished with 14 points, six assists and five rebounds in Wednesday's 56-44 win over Stony Brook. Virginia has held eight of its 10 opponents to 47 or fewer points.||1||23-7|
|Payton Pritchard finished with 29 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals in Saturday's 84-78 victory over Texas Southern. Oregon owns four top-35 KenPom wins.||1||24-7|
|Precious Achiuwa finished with 20 points and nine rebounds in Saturday's 77-49 win over Jackson State. The Tigers are now 8-0 without James Wiseman, who quit the team last week.||1||21-10|
|Jon Teske finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 86-44 win over Presbyterian. Michigan's body of work includes five victories over top-50 KenPom teams.||1||19-12|
|J'Von McCormick finished with 18 points and four assists in Saturday's 74-51 victory over Lehigh. The Tigers are one of just four remaining undefeated teams but still have zero wins over ranked opponents.||1||25-6|
|Davion Mitchell finished with 19 points, four assists and four steals in Wednesday's 91-63 victory over UT Martin. The Bears have three wins over top-20 KenPom teams.||1||26-4|
|Jermaine Samuels buried the game-winning 3-pointer with 20.5 seconds remaining, and finished with 15 points, in Saturday's 56-55 victory over Kansas. The Wildcats' only losses are to Ohio State and Baylor.||4||24-7|
|Bryce Golden finished with 14 points, two rebounds and two assists in Saturday's 70-61 win over Purdue. The Bulldogs' lone loss is a one-point defeat at Baylor.||5||22-9|
San Diego St
|Malachi Flynn finished with 16 points and eight assists in Saturday's 80-52 victory over Utah. The Aztecs are 7-1 in their past eight games against the Utes.||5||30-2|
|The Terrapins shot 26.9% from the field in Thursday's 52-48 loss to Seton Hall. Maryland lost despite the fact that the Pirates were missing their top two scorers.||2||24-7|
|The Flyers allowed Colorado to grab 17 offensive rebounds in Saturday's 78-76 overtime loss. Obi Toppin was just 1-of-6 from 3-point range in defeat.||11||29-2|
|RaiQaun Gray finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals in Saturday's 66-60 win over South Florida. FSU is 3-0 in neutral-site games.||2||26-5|
|Isaiah Stewart finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday's 81-59 win over Seattle. The five-star freshman is averaging 18.0. points and 8.4 rebounds per game.||1||15-17|
|Myreon Jones finished with 21 points and five assists in Friday's 87-58 victory over Central Connecticut. This was the first time in 23 seasons that Penn State has won while being ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.||2||21-10|
|Aaron Henry finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists in Saturday's 101-48 victory over Eastern Michigan. The Spartans have won four straight games since losing to Duke.||2||22-9|
|Bakari Evelyn had 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists in Saturday's 77-70 victory over Cincinnati. The Hawkeyes won despite turning the ball over 24 times.||2||20-11|
|Jahmi'us Ramsey finished with 15 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 68-58 victory over UT Rio Grande Valley. The Red Raiders have only lost once with Ramsey in the lineup.||2||18-13|
|Tyrell Terry finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists in Saturday's 62-59 win over San Diego. Stanford's lone loss is a one-point defeat to Butler.||2||20-12|
|Mitch Ballock made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points in Saturday's 67-60 victory over Arizona State. The Bluejays only losses are to Michigan and San Diego State.||2||24-7|
|Oscar Tshiebwe finished with 14 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 75-64 victory over Youngstown State. West Virginia outscored the Penguins 40-26 in the second half.||NR||21-10|
|Grant Sherfield got 14 points, two rebounds and two assists off the bench in Saturday's 73-63 victory over VCU. Wichita State's lone loss is to West Virginia.||NR||23-8|
IN: West Virginia, Wichita State
OUT: Arizona, VCU