We don't get many nights like what happened Tuesday, college basketball fans, so I hope you enjoyed it.
In fact, if you want to get down to the facts, I had never experienced something like what went down last night. And if you're younger than 40, you hadn't either. Because the last time the No. 1 team, the No. 2 team and the No. 4 team in the Associated Press' top 25 poll all lost on the same day came in 1979.
With No. 1 Villanova's road loss to Marquette, and No. 2 Kansas' road loss to West Virginia, and No. 4 Kentucky's road loss to Tennessee, it marked only the third time since 1948 -- the history of the AP poll -- that those three team rankings took L's on the same date. Credit to ESPN Stats & Information for that amazing nugget.
If you want to look at it a different way, the last time we had three of the top four teams in the AP poll lose on the same day, that was in 2012, when Syracuse, Baylor and Duke were all felled by foes. Do you remember that day?
Let's keep digging. The last time the top two teams lost? It hasn't even been a full year. Oklahoma was downed by Kansas State, and North Carolina fell to Notre Dame on Feb. 6 of last year. Tuesday marked the 21st time in AP poll history that 1 and 2 dropped on the same date. That's a higher number than I would have guessed.
How about this: Nova's No. 1 in the AP poll. Kansas is No. 1 in the Coaches poll. So when's the last time those polls not only had a split on the top team, but that both teams at No. 1 in each poll lost on the same night and without any losses prior in the week? Check it out: in 2013, Michigan and Kansas got got on the same day. I can't believe it was that recent.
You're getting my message here. Tuesday was historic. And it was great for college basketball. Every season we get some shakeup in the polls on a monthly basis, but this felt different. This was Marquette going on a 17-2 run, stunning the lords of the Big East, and launching their NCAA Tournament campaign in the process.
Get a load of the Marquette home radio call as the Golden Eagles won the game.
"And they SHOULD be on the floor! All the students should be on the floor!"
Considering Marquette didn't have its first lead in the game until the margin that would wind up being the final score, then yeah, it certainly -- and automatically -- goes down as one of the truly best victories in the history of the program. The only other time Marquette knocked off a team with a 1 next to its name came in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. A coach named Tom and a player name Dwyane were pushing MU to a Final Four.
Kansas is king of the Big 12, and will forever be, but the Jayhawks cannot solve West Virginia when in Morgantown. Bob Huggins has defeated Bill Self's team in four consecutive years, earning him 100 grand in bonuses in the process. The Mountaineers have won those four games by an average of 8.5 points. Kansas was riding the nation's second-longest winning streak, but now the 18-2 Jayhawks must turn around and play another tough road game -- against a team who took a worse hit to its resume on Tuesday night.
Kansas' next tilt comes against Kentucky, which got tripped up at Tennessee. How about that? Kentucky and Kansas' much-anticipated game takes on even more urgency this weekend. Love it. A 1 seed on the line, perhaps? Perhaps. The Cats' loss on Tuesday qualifies as a stunner, even with the road-game factor. Given the Wildcats' dominance of the SEC this season, and Tennessee fighting for a right to make the NIT, and the talent gap, nobody really expected a good game.
The Vols beating the Wildcats amounted to the night's second-most shocking result; nothing is topping Pittsburgh taking its worst loss since 1906. Good for Rick Barnes, in just his second year in Knoxville. With Kentucky, we'll wait until the Kansas game to further diagnose. It's obviously very far from a Duke-level situation right now.
Love nights like this, though. Yeah we get upsets regularly, and No. 1 teams drift in and out every season, but this set up perfectly for chaos, and still nobody saw all of it coming. It's good for college basketball to get a shock to its senses every now and again. Best not to get too comfortable; things can get a little stale that way. Now you'll have Villanova, Kentucky and Kansas with some character flaws.
Yet all are still among the five or six best teams in college basketball. I'm confident in that right now. And I'm anxious to see how Villanova rebounds against Virginia on Sunday. The Cavaliers, who won at 14th-ranked Notre Dame on Tuesday night, are probably, once again, quietly building themselves into one of the nation's best teams.
So don't think Tuesday was the high point of the week. That probably won't be the case. Saturday and Sunday are loaded on games, and would you look at that. With Nos. 1, 2 and 4 losing on Tuesday, No. 5 (Baylor) and No. 6 (Florida State) are next up on Wednesday. If both those teams lose, unlikely as it seems right now, then this would become one of the goriest weeks in regular-season history in the top 10.