Friday, June 9, 2023

College basketball rankings: Purdue nearly blows big lead, but holds on vs. Iowa to make case for No. 1

College basketball rankings: Purdue nearly blows big lead, but holds on vs. Iowa to make case for No. 1

The 8-0 Boilermakers are No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 and are expected to move to the top spot in Monday’s AP Top 25


The line quickly jumped to Purdue -15 after Iowa star Keegan Murray was ruled out of the Big Ten opener for both because of an ankle injury, making it even more likely than it previously was that the Boilermakers would improve to 8-0 and set themselves up for a historic Monday. So it was a bit surprising when Iowa nearly erased a 19-point deficit late Friday and trailed just 72-70 with a little less than three minutes remaining inside Mackey Arena.

Was Purdue really about to blow this?

Turns out, no.

Iowa never scored again, Purdue did, and the Boilermakers eventually escaped with a 77-70 victory. As a result, Purdue will now move to No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday for the first time in school history.

“It’s pretty cool for our fans and our players,” Purdue coach Matt Painter told the Big Ten Network’s Andy Katz in his postgame interview. “It’s a really neat thing if it does happen; it sounds like it will. I’m just happy for our fans and happy for our players.”

Considering Purdue has consistently had a really good men’s basketball program for decades and made multiple Final Fours, it’s kind of wild that the Boilermakers have never been No. 1 in the AP poll — but it’s true. That’ll change in two days, though, thanks to Purdue having another perfect week while this week’s No. 1, Duke, suffered its first loss of the season, a 71-66 defeat at Ohio State in which the Blue Devils blew a 15-point lead.

Purdue is led by a pair of sophomores who have taken massive jumps this season and emerged as legitimate NBA prospects — namely Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey. Both have gone from good to great. Ivey is averaging 15.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 27.5 minutes per game. Edey is averaging 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.5 minutes per game. They are arguably the best inside-outside duo in college basketball and clearly capable of leading Purdue in April to what would be the school’s first NCAA Tournament championship.

The Boilermakers remain No. 1 in Saturday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Based on how they’ve performed so far this season, KenPom currently projects them to be favorites in every remaining regular-season game.

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Top 25 And 1 rankings

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