College basketball rankings: Why Virginia deserves to be the No. 1 team in the nation

It was nice to see the NCAA Tournament selection committee on Sunday identify Virginia as the No. 1 overall seed, at this moment, if only because it suggested my decision to leave the Cavaliers No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one) after Saturday's loss to Virginia Tech was wise and accurate.

Like I wrote Sunday morning, even with Saturday's loss on the resume, Virginia still has the nation's best body of work. Because Tony Bennett's team has nine top-50 KenPom wins -- among them four top-50 road wins. And their losses -- a single-digit loss at West Virginia, and an OT loss to Virginia Tech -- are better than the losses on the resume of any other reasonable candidate for the top spot. That's why Virginia is, and should be, No. 1. And Villanova has to be No. 2. And then a decent debate can begin about where any rankings should go from there.

Monday's Top 25 (and one)

Biggest Movers
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Virginia The Cavaliers' resume features nine top-50 KenPom wins -- among them victories over Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Rhode Island. They own a two-game lead in the ACC standings. --2-0
2 Villanova The Wildcats' resume features eight top-50 KenPom wins - among them victories over Xavier, Gonzaga, Tennessee and Butler. Villanova is tied in the loss column with Xavier atop the Big East standings. --2-1
3 Michigan St. The Spartans' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-30 losses. They'll take an eight-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Minnesota. --2-1
4 Xavier The Musketeers' resume features nine top-50 KenPom wins and one sub-70 loss. They've won eight straight games since losing at Villanova. --2-1
5 Purdue The Boilermakers' resume features eight top-50 KenPom wins and one sub-60 loss. They've lost two straight games since starting 12-0 in the Big Ten. --2-0
6 Cincinnati The Bearcats will take a 16-game winning streak into Thursday's game at Houston. They're 12-0 in the AAC and at least three games ahead of everybody in the league standings. --1-1
7 Texas Tech The Red Raiders' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-45 loss. They own a one-game lead over Kansas in the Big 12 standings. --3-0
8 Duke The Blue Devils' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins and just three sub-10 losses. Their best win is a victory over Michigan State. --3-0
9 Auburn The Tigers' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and only one sub-45 loss. They own a two-game lead over Tennessee and Florida in the SEC standings. --3-0
10 Gonzaga The Zags' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-30 loss. They'll take a seven-game winning streak into Thursday's game with Loyola Marymount. --2-0
11 Clemson The Tigers' resume includes six top-50 KenPom wins and just two sub-50 losses. They're 13-0 at home and 3-1 in neutral-court games. --3-0
12 Ohio St. The Buckeyes' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-50 losses. They're 13-1 in the Big Ten and alone atop the league standings. --2-0
13 Kansas The Jayhawks' resume features eight top-50 KenPom wins and two sub-35 losses. Three of their six losses have come inside Allen Fieldhouse. --2-0
14 N. Carolina The Tar Heels' resume features seven top-50 KenPom wins and two sub-50 losses. They've won three straight games since losing at Clemson. --3-0
15 Saint Mary's Gonzaga snapped Saint Mary's 19-game winning streak late Saturday. The Gaels' own four top-65 KenPom wins. --3-0
16 Tennessee The Vols' resume includes four top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-45 losses. Their six-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Alabama. --3-0
17 Wichita St. The Shockers' resume includes three top-50 KenPom wins and only one sub-55 loss. They've won four of their five games since losing at Houston. --1-1
18 Rhode Island The Rams have won 15 straight games since losing at Alabama. They have a four-game lead in the Atlantic 10 standings. --1-1
19 Texas A&M The Aggies' resume includes seven top-50 KenPom wins. Three of their eight losses came when they were down at least two starters. --1-1
20 W. Virginia The Mountaineers' resume includes six top-50 KenPom wins and just two sub-35 losses. They've beaten Virginia once and Oklahoma twice - but lost six of their past nine games. --0-1
21 Michigan Four of the Wolverines' seven losses are to schools ranked ahead of them in the Top 25 (and one). Michigan's resume is highlighted by a double-digit victory at Michigan State. --3-0
22 Oklahoma The Sooners' resume features seven top-50 KenPom wins and three sub-50 losses. OU is 6-6 in the Big 12 and tied for fourth in the league standings. --2-0
23 Butler The Bulldogs' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-45 loss. They are one of only two teams that have beaten Villanova. --2-0
24 Arizona The Wildcats' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and four sub-50 losses. They're 10-3 in the Pac-12 and at least two games ahead of everybody in the league standings. --3-0
25 Kentucky The Wildcats' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins -- among them a victory at West Virginia. They'll take a three-game losing streak into Wednesday's game at Auburn. --2-1
26 TCU The Horned Frogs' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and two sub-50 losses. They own road wins at Baylor and Oklahoma State. --2-0
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

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