College basketball rankings: Tennessee remains No. 1 in Top 25 And 1 for 43rd straight day
Rick Barnes' Vols are 20-1 on the season with a school-record 16-game winning streak
Tennessee won 93-76 at Texas A&M on Saturday to improve to 20-1 overall, 8-0 in the SEC and extend its winning streak to a school-record 16 games. So there's a lot of good stuff happening in Knoxville. But ...
"We have a long way to go," UT forward Grant Williams said after finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 36 minutes. And he's obviously right. But that doesn't mean it's wrong, or bad, to pause for a moment and appreciate exactly how incredible the Vols have been so far this season.
The lone defeat on the resume is an overtime loss to Kansas -- meaning Tennessee is the nation's only team that hasn't lost in regulation. Seventeen of the Vols' 20 wins are by double digits. And their eight SEC victories have come by an average of 18.4 points. Impressive stuff all-around. So it should come as no surprise that Tennessee is No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings for the 43rd consecutive morning.
And before you ask, yes, I strongly considered including Baylor because the Bears are on the short list of the sport's hottest teams. They've gone from 9-6 to 15-6 thanks to a six-game winning streak featuring a 30-point win at Oklahoma and a 26-point win over TCU. They're tied for first in the Big 12 standings. Scott Drew is now the frontrunner for Big 12 Coach of the Year. It's a great story that's still unfolding. But if you follow these rankings regularly, you likely know I'm more of a "body of work" guy than a "hottest team right now" guy -- which is why I've kept Baylor out ... for now. The Bears are super-hot and playing well, undeniably. But their resume still features losses to the schools ranked 193rd (Texas Southern) and 272nd (Stephen F. Austin) at KenPom. And, simply put, nobody else with multiple losses like that is even sniffing the Top 25 And 1.
So that's my explanation for omitting Baylor. But I totally understand why AP Top 25 voters might not when they submit this week's ballots. And let the record show that nobody ranking Baylor will be the target of Monday's #PollAttacks column -- because it's a reasonable thing to do even if I'm not doing it.
|1||Tennessee||The Vols' 20-1 record features five wins over top-50 KenPom teams -- most notably neutral-court victories over Gonzaga and Louisville. UT will take a 16-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with Missouri.||--||23-2|
|2||Virginia||The Cavaliers are 10-1 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with the lone loss coming at Duke. Virginia will have a chance to avenge that loss when it hosts the Blue Devils on Saturday.||--||23-2|
|3||Gonzaga||The Zags have won 12 straight since losing back-to-back games to Tennessee and North Carolina. Gonzaga's resume features seven wins over top-100 KenPom teams -- most notably a neutral-court victory over Duke.||--||25-2|
|4||Duke||The Blue Devils are 12-2 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-40 losses. Duke will take a five-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with Boston College.||--||23-2|
|5||Michigan||The Wolverines are just 3-2 in their past five games after Friday's loss at Iowa. Michigan is 12-2 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-30 losses.||1||23-3|
|6||Kentucky||The Wildcats' eight-game winning streak features victories over Kansas, Mississippi State, Auburn and Florida. Kentucky is 7-3 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-65 losses.||1||21-4|
|7||N. Carolina||The Tar Heels are 9-1 in their past 10 games with wins over Virginia Tech and Louisville. UNC is 12-4 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-40 losses.||2||20-5|
|8||Nevada||Nevada's resume features seven wins over top-100 KenPom teams with the lone loss coming at New Mexico. The Wolf Pack will take a seven-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Colorado State.||--||24-1|
|9||Michigan St.||The Spartans have lost consecutive games to Purdue and Indiana after starting 9-0 in the Big Ten. Michigan State is 12-4 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-50 losses.||4||21-5|
|10||Marquette||The Golden Eagles extended their winning streak to eight games with Wednesday's victory at Butler. Marquette is 11-3 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-50 losses.||--||21-4|
|11||Va. Tech||The Hokies held NC State to 24 points on Saturday while extending their winning streak to three games. Virginia Tech is 8-3 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with just one loss to a school outside of the top 10 of the Top 25 And 1.||--||20-6|
|12||Kansas||The Jayhawks beat Texas Tech by double-digits Saturday to snap their two-game losing streak and improve to 12-5 vs. top-100 KenPom teams. KU is 5-4 since losing Udoka Azubuike to a season-ending hand injury with wins over Texas Tech, Iowa State and Baylor.||3||20-6|
|13||Houston||The Cougars have won six straight games since losing at Temple. Houston is 8-1 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-75 losses.||--||25-1|
|14||Louisville||The Cardinals' six-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday by North Carolina. Four of Louisville's six losses are to schools ranked in the top 10 of the Top 25 And 1.||--||18-8|
|15||Texas Tech||The Red Raiders are 9-5 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with zero sub-40 losses. Four of their five losses are to schools also ranked in the Top 25 And 1.||3||21-5|
|16||Iowa||Iowa improved to 10-5 vs. top-100 KenPom teams after Friday's blowout of Michigan. Four of the Hawkeyes' five losses are to schools also ranked in the Top 25 And 1.||--||20-5|
|17||Wisconsin||The Badgers will take a five-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Minnesota. Wisconsin is 11-5 vs. top-100 Kenpom teams with one additional sub-100 loss that came at Western Kentucky.||--||18-8|
|18||Maryland||The Terrapins are 9-6 vs. top-100 KenPom teams heading into Wednesday's game at Nebraska. Four of Maryland's six losses are to schools also ranked in the Top 25 And 1.||--||19-7|
|19||Villanova||The Wildcats have won nine consecutive games since losing at Kansas. Villanova is 10-3 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with one sub-100 loss.||--||20-6|
|20||Iowa St.||The Cyclones are 5-1 in their past six games with the lone loss coming at Kansas. Iowa State is 7-5 vs. top-100 KenPom teams heading into Monday's game at Oklahoma.||--||19-6|
|21||Purdue||The Boilermakers are 9-1 in their past 10 games with wins over Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin. Five of Purdue's six losses are to top-35 KenPom teams.||2||18-7|
|22||Kansas St.||The Wildcats are 6-1 in their past seven games with wins over Texas Tech and Iowa State. Kansas State has only lost three times in games in which Dean Wade played.||2||20-6|
|23||Miss. State||The Bulldogs are 9-4 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with one sub-100 loss after Saturday's win at Ole Miss. Four of Mississippi State's five losses are by five-or-fewer points.||2||18-7|
|24||Florida St.||The Seminoles are 8-4 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with one sub-100 loss. Florida State will take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Syracuse.||NR||20-5|
|25||LSU||The Tigers' 10-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at home by Arkansas. LSU is 7-3 vs. top-100 KenPom teams with one sub-100 loss.||4||21-4|
|26||Buffalo||The Bulls are 2-2 in their past four games with losses to Northern Illinois and Bowling Green. Buffalo is 5-3 vs. top-125 KenPom teams with the biggest wins coming over Syracuse and San Francisco.||--||22-3|
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