San Diego State beat Fresno State 61-52 on Wednesday to improve to 14-0 and remain one of only two undefeated teams in Division I men's basketball despite starting the season ranked 97th at KenPom. The Aztecs, if you're wondering, are now 21st at KenPom. So they've improved 76 spots in less than two months. And, perhaps more importantly, they're currently No. 1 in the NCAA's NET rankings thanks in part to three Quadrant 1 victories -- among them a neutral-court win over Iowa and road win at BYU.
"Someone asked me if I wanted to lose a game to take the pressure off, and I said `Are you insane?'" Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher said after Wednesday's win "I want to win them all. We like the pressure."
Next up for the Aztecs is Saturday's trip to Utah State in what will be the first of two scheduled games between the teams picked first and second in the preseason Mountain West Conference poll. KenPom made San Diego State a slight favorite after the Aggies lost at UNLV late Wednesday. So, on paper, this will be an undeniably tough, but also winnable, game for San Diego State -- which is currently projected by KenPom to be favored in every contest it'll play between now and the NCAA Tournament.
Can the Aztecs keep a zero in the loss column deep into January?
But if they do, and finish strong, Brian Dutcher will deserve to be in any conversation about National Coach of the Year candidates. He's starting three players who had never played a minute for San Diego State before this season started. And yet he's already got them operating at a level the program hasn't enjoyed since Kawhi Leonard led the Aztecs to a 34-3 record in the 2010-11 season.
San Diego State is No. 13 in Thursday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Meantime, Gonzaga remains No. 1 for the fourth consecutive day. The Zags' next game is Thursday night at Portland.
Thursday's Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Filip Petrusev finished with 22 points and six rebounds in Monday's 93-72 victory over Detroit Mercy. Gonzaga's 31-game winning streak at home is the longest in the nation.||--||7-1|
|Isaiah Moss made four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points in Sunday's 72-56 win at Stanford. The Jayhawks opened on an 11-0 run and were never threatened in the game.||--||8-1|
|Matthew Hurt scored a career-high 25 points in Tuesday's 88-49 victory over Boston College. Tre Jones played for the first time in three games and added 10 assists in 24 minutes.||--||5-3|
|The Buckeyes committed 22 turnovers in Sunday's 67-59 loss to West Virginia. Ohio State is 2-2 in its past four games after starting the season 9-0.||--||8-1|
|Chris Duarte scored a season-high 31 points in Sunday's 98-58 victory over Alabama State. The Ducks will take a five-game winning streak into Thursday's Pac-12 opener at Colorado.||--||5-2|
|Jordan Nwora was 2-of-10 from the field in Saturday's 78-70 overtime loss at Kentucky. The All-American candidate has gone just 6-of-26 from the field in Louisville's two losses.||--||4-4|
|Lester Quinones made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points in Monday's 84-73 victory over Tulane. The Tigers are 10-0 without James Wiseman, who quit the team the week before Christmas.||--||6-2|
|Jon Teske finished with 25 points and eight rebounds in Sunday's 86-60 win over UMass Lowell. The Wolverines cruised despite the absence of Isaiah Livers, the team's leading scorer who is out indefinitely with a groin injury.||--||4-5|
|Danjel Purifoy finished with 17 points and nine rebounds in Sunday's 86-59 win over Lipscomb. The Tigers are one of only two undefeated teams remaining.||--||5-2|
|Freddie Gillespie finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds in Monday's 83-57 victory over Jackson State. The Bears will take a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's Big 12 opener against Texas.||--||9-0|
|Collin Gillespie got 16 of his 24 points in the second half of Monday's 68-62 victory over Xavier. Villanova's only losses are to Ohio State and Baylor.||--||6-4|
|Christian David sank a game-winning 3-pointer with 43 seconds left in Tuesday's 60-58 victory at St. John's. The Bulldogs needed to come from behind in the final minute despite leading by 21 points at halftime.||--||7-2|
San Diego St.
|Malachi Flynn finished with 16 points in Wednesday's 61-52 victory over Fresno State. The Aztecs are 14-0 for the first time since the 2010-11 season.||--||7-2|
|Miles McBride came off the bench and got 21 points in Sunday's 67-59 win over Ohio State. Bob Huggins is now 3-0 vs. the Buckeyes since becoming West Virginia's coach.||--||3-5|
|Immanuel Quickley made big free throws in overtime and finished with 18 points in Saturday's 78-70 win over Louisville. UK's resume features two top-5 KenPom wins and two sub-100 KenPom losses.||--||6-2|
|Chol Marial made his college debut and finished with six points and five rebounds in 14 minutes in Sunday's 84-70 win over Bryant. The victory snapped Maryland's two-game losing streak.||--||5-4|
|Obi Toppin finished with a career-high 31 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 77-59 victory over North Florida. The Flyers' effective field goal percentage of 61.2 leads the nation.||--||6-2|
|Patrick Williams got 12 points and four rebounds off the bench in Tuesday's 70-58 victory over Georgia Tech. Florida State has won 15 consecutive games at home.||--||4-3|
|Mike Watkins finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday's 90-59 win over Cornell. Penn State has won 13 straight games at home.||--||4-5|
|Foster Loyer got his first start and scored a career-high 16 points in Sunday's 95-62 win over Western Michigan. The Spartans cruised despite the absence of Cassius Winston, who missed the game with a bone bruise in his left knee.||--||4-4|
|Ryan Kriener finished 9-of-9 from the field and scored a career-high 20 points in Sunday's 93-51 win over Kennesaw State. The Hawkeyes will take a four-game winning streak in Saturday's game against Penn State at the Palestra.||--||5-3|
|Braxton Key finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in Sunday's 65-56 victory over Navy. Virginia has the best adjusted defensive efficiency rating in the nation.||--||8-1|
|Kyler Edwards scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half of Sunday's 73-58 win over Cal State Bakersfield. Texas Tech has won 54 straight non-league games at home.||--||6-2|
|Ty-Shon Alexander finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and six steals in Wednesday's 92-75 victory over Marquette. Creighton's only losses are to Michigan and San Diego State.||--||7-1|
|Eric Stevenson finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Wednesday's 75-69 victory over East Carolina. The Shockers' lone loss is a neutral-court loss to West Virginia.||--||7-2|
|Isaiah Joe made six 3-pointers and finished with 24 points in Sunday's 71-64 victory at Indiana. Arkansas held the Hoosiers to three points in the final eight minutes.||--||6-3|