College basketball rankings: Once No. 2, Arizona State is now in a nasty free-fall
The Sun Devils started 12-0, but since then are 2-4 after Wednesday's loss to Stanford
Arizona State started 12-0 with double-digit wins over Xavier and Kansas, at which point the Sun Devils were college basketball's biggest surprise. They were ranked as high as No. 2 in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one). But that seems like a million years ago now. Because ASU lost again late Wednesday -- to a Stanford team that is, yes, playing better. But it's still a Stanford team that's 11-8 with losses to Eastern Washington (No. 170 at KenPom), Portland State (No. 122 at KenPom), Long Beach State (No. 216 at KenPom) and California (No. 221 at KenPom). So this was not a "quality" loss. And when you consider it represented the fourth loss in Arizona State's past six games, and the third time in the past five games that the Sun Devils lost as favorites, it's hard not to conclude things are going the wrong way.
Arizona State never lost as a favorite, and actually won three times as an underdog, in its first 12 outings, crazy as that sounds. So the season has undeniably flipped. Taking all of this into account, and other things as well, the Sun Devils are ranked 23rd in Thursday's updated CBS Sports Top 25 (and one). But the good news is that their next five games are all against sub-75 KenPom opponents. So the schedule is conducive for getting things right, which is ideal.
Thursday's updated Top 25 (and one) rankings
|1||Villanova||The Wildcats have won four straight games since losing at Butler. They own victories over Gonzaga, Xavier and Tennessee.||--||36-4|
|2||Virginia||The Cavaliers have won eight straight games since losing at West Virginia. Their resume includes wins over North Carolina and Rhode Island.||--||31-3|
|3||Duke||The Blue Devils' own five wins against top-40 KenPom teams. Both of their losses came in true road games.||1||29-8|
|4||Purdue||The Boilermakers have won 14 straight games since losing to Tennessee and Western Kentucky. Fourteen of Purdue's 18 total wins shave come by double-digits.||1||30-7|
|5||Texas Tech||The Red Raiders own wins over Kansas, West Virginia and Nevada. But they're just 1-2 since losing Zach Smith to a broken foot.||2||27-10|
|6||Kansas||The Jayhawks have won four straight games since losing at home to Texas Tech. Their lone loss to an unranked team was a December loss to Washington.||--||31-8|
|7||W. Virginia||The Mountaineers have lost two straight games since starting the season 15-1. They're 5-3 against top-50 KenPom teams.||1||26-11|
|8||Oklahoma||The Sooners' resume features four wins over schools also ranked in the Top 25 (and one). But they are only 2-2 in their past four games.||1||18-14|
|9||Michigan St.||The Spartans have lost two of their past three games. They have a 3-3 record vs. top-50 KenPom teams.||1||30-5|
|10||Gonzaga||The Zags will take a six-game winning streak into Thursday's game with Saint Mary's. Their resume features wins over Ohio State, Creighton and Texas.||1||32-5|
|11||Xavier||The Musketeers are 6-3 against top-60 KenPom teams. Chris Mack is now the winningest coach in Xavier history.||2||29-6|
|12||N. Carolina||The Tar Heels' resume features six top-40 KenPom wins - among them a victory over Clemson. UNC is now 59-0 all-time against Clemson in Chapel Hill.||2||26-11|
|13||Cincinnati||The Bearcats beat UCF by double-digits Tuesday despite scoring just 15 points in the first half. They'll take a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's game with East Carolina.||2||31-5|
|14||Wichita St.||The Shockers' were upset Wednesday at home by SMU. Their resume features three top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-35 losses.||7||25-8|
|15||Arizona||The Wildcats have won 12 of the 13 games they've played since losing three straight at the Battle 4 Atlantis. But only three of those wins are top-50 KenPom wins.||1||27-8|
|16||Clemson||The Tigers are 1-2 in their past three games with losses at NC State and North Carolina. Their resume features wins over Ohio State, Florida, Miami and Louisville.||1||25-10|
|17||TCU||The Horned Frogs handled Iowa State on Wednesday despite the loss of Jaylen Fisher. Their four losses have come by an average of 2.8 points.||3||21-12|
|18||Ohio St.||The Buckeyes have won 11 of the 12 games they've played since losing consecutive games to Butler and Clemson. The lone loss in the stretch is a loss to North Carolina.||4||25-9|
|19||Michigan||The Wolverines have won nine of their past 10 games. The lone loss in that stretch is a single-point loss to Purdue.||4||33-8|
|20||Auburn||The Tigers' 14-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday at Alabama. The best win in that stretch was a win at Tennessee.||2||26-8|
|21||Tennessee||The Vols' resume features zero sub-45 KenPom losses and three top-35 wins. They're one of only two teams to beat Purdue.||2||26-9|
|22||Creighton||The Bluejays have won five of their past six games. Two of their four losses on the season are to teams also ranked in the Top 25 (and one).||3||21-12|
|23||Arizona St.||The Sun Devils own wins over Kansas, Xavier and Kansas State. But they're just 2-4 in their past six games.||11||20-12|
|24||Kentucky||The Wildcats are 0-2 against schools currently ranked in the Top 25 (and one). Their resume also includes two losses to sub-50 KenPom teams.||--||26-11|
|25||Nevada||The Wolf Pack own a win over Rhode Island and will take a six-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Boise State. Two of their three losses are to teams also ranked in the Top 25 (and one).||1||29-8|
|26||Rhode Island||The Rams will take a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Dayton. Two of their three losses are to schools also ranked in the Top 25 (and one).||1||26-8|
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