Sunday, January 23, 2022

College basketball rankings: Iowa’s Keegan Murray outscores Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis, but Badgers get big win

Wisconsin remains No. 10 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 after topping Iowa in a game featuring the top two scorers in the nation

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USATSI

Is the Big Ten scoring race doubling as the national scoring race?

After another fun night in the league, it seems so.

Iowa’s Keegan Murray scored 27 points in Thursday’s 87-78 loss at Wisconsin, which was led by Johnny Davis, who scored 26. Meantime, IllinoisKofi Cockburn got 23 points and 18 rebounds in Thursday’s 76-64 win over Maryland. And now, as of Friday morning, those three players rank first (Murray), second (Davis) and third (Cockburn) nationally in points per game.

It breaks down like this:

  1. Keegan Murray (Iowa): 24.7 ppg
  2. Johnny Davis (Wisconsin): 22.6 ppg
  3. Kofi Cockburn (Illinois): 22.5 ppg

Again, those three players don’t just rank first, second and third in the Big Ten in scoring, they rank first, second and third in the nation in scoring. They’re also second (Cockburn), fifth (Davis) and sixth (Murray) in the KenPom.com National Player of the Year standings. And what’s wild is that six of the top seven players in the KenPom.com National Player of the Year standings actually play for Big Ten schools — with the others being Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell (first), Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis (fourth) and Purdue’s Zach Edey (seventh).

What a league!

From a computer perspective, the Big 12 still ranks as the nation’s best men’s basketball conference. But from a fun perspective, give me the Big Ten thanks to the individual talent that’s flourishing this season. If we were doing All-America teams right now, they’d be filled with Big Ten players — and Davis would, in my opinion, headline them.

The 6-foot-5 guard is having the kind of breakout season nobody saw coming, and the fact that he’s doing it for a team that is 10th in Friday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings only enhances his player of the year candidacy.

Will he be the favorite come March?

We’ll see.

But I do think he’s the favorite right now.

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Top 25 And 1 rankings

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