Saturday, January 22, 2022

College basketball rankings: Auburn leaps Baylor in Top 25 And 1 after Bears suffer first loss of the season

The Tigers improved their winning streak to 12 games on Tuesday night with a win over rival Alabama

auburn-t26.jpg
CBS Sports Graphic

There were two undefeated teams remaining in Division I men’s college basketball Tuesday morning. By the end of Tuesday night, there were zero.

Yes, it was a wild day.

First, previously unbeaten USC lost at Stanford. Then previously unbeaten Baylor, the top-ranked team in the country, lost to Texas Tech. Consequently, there is a new No. 1 in Wednesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings — and the new No. 1 is Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers, who beat Alabama late Tuesday on the road inside Coleman Coliseum.

The victory extended Auburn’s winning streak to 12 games and improved the Tigers to 15-1 overall, 4-0 in the SEC. Their 9-1 record in the first two quadrants is the best such record in the nation. Auburn is also the sport’s only team that hasn’t lost in regulation. Bottom line, the resume is strong — so strong that the Tigers, provided they win at Ole Miss this weekend, should also move to No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday for the first time in school history (if enough AP voters know what they’re doing).

As for Baylor, I’m unconcerned.

Losing at home to a shorthanded Texas Tech team isn’t ideal, I acknowledge. But the Bears are still 7-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Michigan State and Villanova. In my opinion, they remain in possession of a top-two body of work — thus it wouldn’t make any sense to drop the Bears more than one spot. So Baylor is now No. 2 in the Top 25 And 1, followed by No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Gonzaga and No. 5 Michigan State. Meantime, the Texas Tech team that just beat Baylor jumped from No. 19 in the Top 25 And 1 to No. 16 in the Top 25 And 1, which caused Seton Hall, Ohio State and Xavier to be pushed down one spot each in the rankings, no fault of their own.

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Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers

3 Texas Tech

7 Southern California

IN: Texas, West Virginia

OUT: Miami, Oklahoma

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