Purdue has won lots of Big Ten titles, made multiple Final Fours, and generally been a very good college basketball program for basically my entire life. But one thing the Boilermakers have never done, believe it or not, is sit atop the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
That could change Monday, though.
The only thing between Purdue and history is Friday night's home game against Iowa. If the Boilermakers win, they'll move to No. 1 when the AP poll updates Monday. It's a big deal and not something Matt Painter is trying to hide from his players or minimize as a possible accomplishment.
Does he want to be ranked No. 1 in the AP poll?
Yes, of course he does.
"It's like getting into the NCAA Tournament and saying, 'Hey, we want to go to the Final Four.' No shit. … Everybody wants to go to the Final Four," Painter said, his point being that just as everybody wants to make a Final Four, everybody wants to someday be ranked No. 1. "But you have to win the first game to get to the second game [of the NCAA Tournament]. It's process-based. It's not results-based. [You can't] think about, 'Hey, I want to go to the Final Four.' You better think about transition defense and ball-screen defense and taking care of the basketball. So it's just really important for us to stay process-based, keep our focus right there, and have fun."
The Boilermakers moved to No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings on Wednesday morning and obviously remain there in Friday morning's updated rankings. They're listed as 12.5-point favorites over Iowa, which is 7-0 and led by sophomore Keegan Murray. The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging a Big Ten-best 24.6 points in 26.1 minutes per game. If the Hawkeyes are to challenge Purdue inside Mackey Arena, they'll likely need a massive effort from the three-star high school recruit who has, in less than two years, developed into a legitimate NBA prospect.
Friday's tipoff is set for 9 p.m. ET.
You can watch it on the Big Ten Network.
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Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Jaden Ivey finished with 18 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 93-65 win over Florida State. The Boilermakers' next game is Friday against Iowa.||--||15-2|
|Duke was outscored 14-1 in the final five minutes of Tuesday's 71-66 loss at Ohio State. The Blue Devils' next game is Tuesday against South Carolina State.||--||14-3|
|Chet Holmgren finished with 15 points and nine rebounds in Monday's 64-55 win over Tarleton State. The Zags' next game is Saturday against Alabama.||--||14-2|
|Tyger Campbell finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Wednesday's 73-61 win over Colorado. The Bruins' next game is Sunday at Washington.||--||11-2|
|Collin Gillespie made four 3-pointers and finished with 26 points in Wednesday's 71-56 win at Penn. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Saint Joseph's.||--||13-4|
|James Akinjo finished with 15 points, five assists and three steals in Friday's 75-58 win over Michigan State. The Bears' next game is Saturday against Arkansas Pine Bluff.||--||16-2|
|Marcus Carr finished with 19 points and four assists in Monday's 73-57 win over Sam Houston State. The Longhorns' next game is Friday against UT Rio Grande Valley.||--||13-5|
|Stanley Umude finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday's 97-60 win over Central Arkansas. The Razorbacks' next game is Saturday against Little Rock.||--||13-5|
|Oscar Tshiebwe finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds in Monday's 85-57 win over Central Michigan. The Wildcats' next game is Tuesday against Southern.||--||14-3|
|Azuolas Tubelis finished with 22 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 105-59 win over Sacramento State. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday against Washington.||--||14-1|
|Kennedy Chandler finished with 15 points, seven assists, seven steals and zero turnovers in Tuesday's 86-44 win over Presbyterian. The Vols' next game is Saturday at Colorado.||--||12-5|
|Ochai Agbaji finished with 17 points and five rebounds in Sunday's 96-83 win over Iona. The Jayhawks' next game is Friday against St. John's.||--||15-2|
|Malik Hall finished with 15 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 73-64 win over Louisville. The Spartans' next game is Saturday against Toledo.||--||14-3|
|R.J. Cole finished with 25 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 72-63 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Huskies' next game is Saturday against Grambling State.||--||12-4|
|Walker Kessler finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks in Wednesday's 85-68 win over UCF. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against Yale.||--||16-1|
|Isaiah Mobley finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds in Wednesday's 93-73 win over Utah. The Trojans' next game is Saturday at Washington State.||--||14-2|
|Marcus Sasser finished with 26 points and four steals in Tuesday's 99-58 win over Northwestern State. The Cougars' next game is Friday against Bryant.||--||16-2|
|Gabe Kalscheur finished with 30 points and eight rebounds in Friday's 78-59 win over Memphis. The Cyclones' next game is Wednesday against Arkansas Pine Bluff.||--||14-4|
|Caleb Love finished with 22 points and four assists in Wednesday's 72-51 win over Michigan. The Tar Heels' next game is Sunday at Georgia Tech.||--||12-5|
|Florida missed 20 of the 24 3-pointers it attempted in Wednesday's 74-67 loss at Oklahoma. The Gators' next game is Monday against Texas Southern.||--||10-6|
|E.J. Liddell finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in Tuesday's 71-66 win over Duke. The Buckeyes' next game is Sunday at Penn State.||--||12-4|
|Keon Ellis finished with 22 points and four rebounds in Sunday's 96-64 win over Miami. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday against Gonzaga.||--||11-6|
|Jared Rhoden finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's 85-63 win over Wagner. The Pirates' next game is Saturday against Nyack.||--||11-5|
|Tari Eason finished with 20 points and five steals in Wednesday's 66-51 win over Ohio. The Tigers' next game is Dec. 11 against Georgia Tech.||--||15-2|
|Brad Davison finished with 27 points and three assists in Wednesday's 70-66 win at Georgia Tech. The Badgers' next game is Saturday against Marquette.||--||15-2|
|Nate Johnson finished with 24 points and two assists in Wednesday's 78-45 victory over Central Michigan. The Musketeers' next game is Sunday at Oklahoma State.||--||13-3|