Tuesday, June 25, 2024

College basketball rankings: Why Purdue deserves to be No. 1 and could be staying at the top for a while

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Purdue moved to No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings last Wednesday, the morning after the Boilermakers beat Florida State while Duke lost at Ohio State. Now, thanks to Friday’s 77-70 win over Iowa, Matt Painter’s program will also move to No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll (when it updates later Monday) for the first time in school history.

It’s quite an achievement.

Purdue has accomplished many things as a men’s basketball program — made two Final Fours, won three Big Ten regular-season titles in the past 12 seasons, produced First Team All-Americans and even a No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. This is a consistently good Big Ten program. But No. 1 in the AP poll has somehow evaded the Boilermakers all these years despite the fact that the school has employed multiple National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famers as coach.

That’ll change Monday, though.

Purdue should get all 61 first-place votes.

So how long will Purdue stay No. 1? That’s a question without a clear answer, obviously. But, based on the schedule, it could be several weeks and, perhaps, even more than a month considering KenPom currently gives the Boilermakers at least an 82% chance to win each of its next seven games. They will not play another team currently ranked in the Top 25 And 1 until they host Wisconsin on Jan. 3. They will not play another team currently ranked in the Top 25 And 1 on the road until they visit Michigan State on February 26. For what it’s worth, KenPom projects the Boilermakers as favorites in every remaining regular-season game. So they could stay ahead of Duke, UCLA, Villanova, Baylor, Gonzaga and all of the other legit title contenders in the rankings for an extended period of time.

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Top 25 And 1 rankings

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