College basketball rankings: Villanova vs. Xavier is biggest game of year in Big East
The Musketeers are No. 3 and the Wildcats are No. 4 in Saturday's Top 25 (and 1)
Xavier has a one-game lead in the loss column of the Big East standings with four games left to play -- among them Saturday's showdown with Villanova inside Cintas Center. So if the Musketeers win that, they'll have a two-game lead with three games left -- among them matchups against bottom-tier teams Georgetown and DePaul.
In other words, this is big.
Xavier, to be clear, can't win the Big East on Saturday. But Chris Mack's team can essentially clinch the Big East on Saturday because the Musketeers would not lose a two-game lead with three games left, I don't think. If nothing else, it's statistically unlikely. So Villanova, as a 1-point favorite, needs to win Saturday to keep a realistic hope of winning five straight Big East titles alive. Tip is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET. Xavier is No. 3 in Saturday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 (and one). Villanova is No. 4. The complete Top 25 (and one) is below.
Saturday's Top 25 (and one)
|1||Virginia||The Cavaliers' resume features 10 top-50 KenPom wins -- among them victories over Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Rhode Island. They own a three-game lead in the loss column of the ACC standings.||--||24-2|
|2||Michigan State||The Spartans' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-30 losses. They'll take a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Northwestern.||--||26-3|
|3||Xavier||The Musketeers' resume features eight top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-35 loss. They'll take a nine-game winning streak -- and one-game lead in the Big East standings -- into Saturday's game with Villanova.||--||24-4|
|4||Villanova||The Wildcats' resume features six top-50 KenPom wins - among them victories over Xavier, Gonzaga, Tennessee and Butler. Villanova is 1-2 in its past three games with multiple losses to sub-60 KenPom teams.||--||24-3|
|5||Texas Tech||The Red Raiders' resume features seven top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-45 loss. They own a one-game lead over Kansas in the Big 12 standings.||--||22-5|
|6||Duke||The Blue Devils' resume features seven top-50 KenPom wins and just three sub-10 losses. They'll take a two-game winning streak into Sunday's game at Clemson.||--||21-5|
|7||Auburn||The Tigers' resume features five top-50 KenPom wins and only one sub-40 loss. They own a two-game lead over Tennessee in the SEC standings.||--||23-4|
|8||Purdue||The Boilermakers' resume features seven top-50 KenPom wins and one sub-60 loss. They've lost three straight games since starting 12-0 in the Big Ten.||--||23-5|
|9||Cincinnati||The Bearcats had their 16-game winning streak snapped Thursday at Houston. They're 12-1 in the AAC and in possession of a two-game lead in the league standings.||--||23-3|
|10||Gonzaga||The Zags' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-35 loss. They'll take an eight-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Pepperdine.||--||25-4|
|11||Clemson||The Tigers' resume includes six top-50 KenPom wins and just two sub-25 losses. All five of their losses are to possible NCAA Tournament teams.||--||20-5|
|12||Kansas||The Jayhawks' resume features eight top-50 KenPom wins and just two sub-35 losses. Three of their six losses have come inside Allen Fieldhouse.||--||21-6|
|13||North Carolina||The Tar Heels' resume features eight top-50 KenPom wins and only two sub-40 losses. They've won four straight games since losing at Clemson.||--||21-7|
|14||Ohio State||The Buckeyes' resume features four top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-50 losses. They're 13-2 in the Big Ten and tied with Michigan State atop the league standings.||--||22-6|
|15||Tennessee||The Vols' resume includes four top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-45 losses. They've won seven of their past eight games.||--||19-7|
|16||Wichita State||The Shockers' resume includes three top-55 KenPom wins and only one sub-55 loss. They've won five of their six games since losing at Houston.||--||20-5|
|17||West Virginia||The Mountaineers' resume includes seven top-50 KenPom wins and just two sub-35 losses. They've beaten Virginia once and Oklahoma twice - and won three of their past four games.||1||19-8|
|18||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 four top-50 KenPom wins - among them a double-digit victory at Michigan State.||1||21-7|
|19||Arizona||The Wildcats' resume features five top-50 KenPom wins and four sub-50 losses. They're 11-3 in the Pac-12 and in possession of a two-game lead in the league standings.||1||21-6|
|20||Rhode Island||The Rams' 16-game winning streak was snapped Friday at St. Bonaventure. URI still owns a three-game lead in the Atlantic 10 standings.||3||21-4|
|21||Oklahoma||The Sooners' resume features seven top-50 KenPom wins and three sub-50 losses. Only one of their nine losses came at home.||--||16-10|
|22||Texas A&M||The Aggies' resume includes seven top-50 KenPom wins and only two sub-45 losses. They've won four of their past five games.||--||17-10|
|23||Nevada||The Wolf Pack's resume features six top-75 KenPom wins and just three sub-30 losses. Their only home loss came when their leading scorer (Caleb Martin) was sidelined.||--||23-5|
|24||Florida State||The Seminoles' resume features seven top-50 KenPom wins and just three sub-50 losses. They own road wins over Louisville, Virginia Tech and Florida.||--||18-8|
|25||Houston||The Cougars' resume features three top-50 KenPom wins and two sub-65 losses. Two of their wins are over teams also ranked in the Top 25 (and one).||--||20-5|
|26||Arizona State||The Sun Devils' resume features five top-50 KenPom wins and four sub-55 losses. They own away-from-home victories over Xavier, Kansas and Kansas State.||--||19-7|
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