College basketball rankings: Why Gonzaga deserves to be No. 1 in the Top 25 And 1

I've now had Gonzaga No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings for nine straight days. The AP and Coaches polls should catchup Monday -- at which point a slew of not-so-smart people will tweet that the Zags don't deserve to be No. 1 based on little more than their conference affiliation. So, with that in mind, I decided to provide bullet points about Gonzaga to highlight why Mark Few's team is a reasonable No. 1. Please forward them to any dummies you know.

  • Gonzaga is 27-2 with 11 wins over top-100 KenPom teams -- among them a neutral-court victory over the Duke team that's spent much of this season No. 1 thanks to Mike Krzyzewski and four projected lottery picks.
  • Gonzaga's adjusted efficiency margin of 34.68 ranks second nationally -- and is 2.63 points higher than the adjusted efficiency margin of 32.05 the Zags had two seasons ago when they played in the title game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
  • Gonzaga's only losses are to the schools ranked No. 5 (North Carolina) and No. 6 (Tennessee) in the Top 25 And 1.
  • Gonzaga is undefeated at home.
  • Gonzaga is No. 1 in the NCAA's NET ranking.
  • Gonzaga has won 18 straight games by an average of 31.3 points.
  • Gonzaga has the nation's best offensive-efficiency rating.
  • Gonzaga's rotation features a projected lottery pick (Rui Hachimura), a junior with the second-best Player Efficiency Rating in the nation (Brandon Clarke), the school's all-time assists leader (Josh Perkins) and five players shooting at least 38 percent from 3-point range.

How could you read that and think Gonzaga is undeserving of its No. 1 ranking? No, the Zags don't spend January and February facing challenges the same way an ACC or Big Ten school does. But that's also not their fault. (I'm sure they'd join the Pac-12 if offered a spot.) Beyond that, it's not like the Zags are just squeaking by in some of these WCC games. Again, they've won every league game by double-digits and are currently on an 18-game winning streak with the wins coming by an average of 31.3 points. So, with no apologies, Gonzaga is No. 1 in Monday morning's updated Top 25 And 1. And because I don't believe the Zags will lose again before Selection Sunday, I suspect they'll stay No. 1 for the rest of the season.

Monday's Top 25 And 1

Biggest Movers
1 Washington
4 Michigan
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Gonzaga The Zags are 10-2 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses to schools ranked outside of the top seven of the Top 25 And 1. Gonzaga has won 18 straight games by an average of 31.3 points. --30-3
2 Duke The Blue Devils are 15-3 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with just one loss in games in which they were not missing a starter. Duke's resume features two wins over Virginia -- plus victories over Kentucky, Texas Tech and Louisville. --29-5
3 Virginia The Cavaliers are 14-2 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with both losses coming to Duke. Virginia will take a four-game winning streak into Wednesday's game with Georgia Tech. --29-3
4 Kentucky The Wildcats are 14-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with nine of those wins qualifying as Quadrant 1 victories. Kentucky is 13-1 in its past 14 games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to LSU. 127-6
5 N. Carolina The Tar Heels are 12-5 in Quadrant1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with victories over Gonzaga and Duke. North Carolina is 10-1 in its past 11 games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Virginia. 127-6
6 Tennessee The Vols are 10-3 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with victories over Gonzaga and Louisville. Tennessee is 1-2 in its past three games, but still has zero losses to sub-25 KenPom teams. 129-5
7 Michigan St. The Spartans are 14-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with wins over Michigan, Purdue, Maryland, Iowa and Wisconsin. Michigan State will take a four-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Indiana. 129-6
8 Michigan The Wolverines are 15-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Sunday's loss at home to Michigan State. Michigan is 4-3 in its past seven games heading into Thursday's game with Nebraska. 428-6
9 Houston The Cougars are 14-1 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over LSU and Cincinnati. Houston will take an 11-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at East Carolina. --31-3
10 Marquette The Golden Eagles are 13-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Wisconsin, Louisville, Kansas State, Villanova and Buffalo. Marquette will take a four-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Villanova. --24-10
11 Texas Tech The Red Raiders are 12-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Kansas and Kansas State. Texas Tech will take a five-game winning streak into Wednesday's game with Oklahoma State. --26-6
12 LSU The Tigers are 14-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Kentucky and Tennessee. LSU is tied with Kentucky and Tennessee atop the SEC standings. --27-6
13 Purdue The Boilermakers are 14-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Michigan State, Maryland and Iowa. Purdue will take a three-game winning streak into Wednesday's game with Illinois. --23-9
14 Maryland The Terrapins are 12-7 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Purdue, Iowa and Wisconsin. Maryland is 4-1 in its past five games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Michigan. --23-10
15 Nevada The Wolf Pack are 8-1 in Quadrant 2 opportunities, but still in search of a first Quadrant 1 win. Nevada's first chance to get a Quadrant 1 win will come next month at Utah State. --29-4
16 Kansas The Jayhawks are 13-7 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Tennessee, Michigan State, Marquette and Texas Tech. Kansas lost by 29 points Saturday at Texas Tech. --26-9
17 Iowa The Hawkeyes are 11-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Michigan and Iowa State. Iowa is 5-1 in its past six games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Maryland. --22-11
18 Wisconsin The Badgers are 11-8 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Michigan, Maryland and Iowa. Wisconsin is 8-2 in its past 10 games, with the lone losses in that stretch coming to Michigan and Michigan State. --23-10
19 Va. Tech The Hokies are 9-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Purdue and Washington. Virginia Tech is 3-1 in its past four games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Virginia. --24-8
20 Kansas St. The Wildcats are 10-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with wins over Texas Tech and Kansas. Kansas State is 6-1 in its past seven games. --25-8
21 Florida St. The Seminoles dropped to 10-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Saturday's loss at North Carolina. Florida State has only lost twice this season to schools not ranked in the Top 25 And 1. --28-7
22 Louisville The Cardinals dropped to 8-10 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities after Saturday's double-digit loss at home to Virginia. Seven of Louisville's 10 losses are to schools ranked ahead of the Cards in the Top 25 And 1. --20-14
23 Buffalo The Bulls are 6-2 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with one additional loss coming in a Quadrant 3 game at Northern Illinois. Buffalo will take a five-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with Akron. 131-3
24 Cincinnati The Bearcats are 8-3 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with one additional loss coming in a Quadrant 4 game at East Carolina. Cincinnati is 11-1 in its past 12 games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Houston. 128-6
25 Wofford The Terriers are 7-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities, with zero losses to sub-40 KenPom teams. Wofford will take a 15-game winning streak into Thursday's game at Chattanooga. 129-4
26 Washington The Huskies are 6-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses to sub-60 KenPom teams. Washington is 15-1 in its past 16 games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Arizona State. NR26-8

IN: Washington

OUT: Villanova

CBS Sports Insider

Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories