It’s been two days since the Oklahoma Sooners were ranked No.1 in the AP Top 25 poll. Hours after becoming the top-ranked team, the Sooners lost to Iowa State. The loss wasn’t a shock, but the Sooners could have made a statement with a road victory. However, Tuesday showed just how close the gap is in college basketball this season.
Two more top five teams lost their games on that night, and their shot at capturing the No. 1 spot in the rankings may have fallen by the wayside. The No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks were dropped by the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The 19-point loss was their second straight road defeat.
In addition, the No. 5 Xavier Musketeers lost by nine points to the Georgetown Hoyas. Coming into the game, the Musketeers were projected as a No. 1 seed, but the loss may knock them off of the top line in the next NCAA Tournament projections. Then again, the Musketeers could be the No.1 team by next week.
Why? Well, a pair of top five teams take the court Wednesday night. Given the recent outcomes, will it be surprising if they lose also? The No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels host Wake Forest Demon Deacons, so they should have a relatively easy time tonight. However, if they take the Demon Deacons lightly, the Tar Heels could be in for a rude awakening. With a chance to reclaim the top spot in the AP Top 25, expect the Tar Heels to come strong. Their demeanor will reveal a lot about this team.
The No. 4 Villanova Wildcats have a much tougher match up in the Big East. The Wildcats travel to Seton Hall Pirates in a rematch from 11 days ago. The Pirates will try to avenge a 9-point loss in a huge resume game. Meanwhile, the Wildcats can put distance between them and the rest of the league. The Wildcats are undefeated in conference play, while every league member has at least two losses.
It would be a monumental week if every Top 5 team lost, so the odds are in favor of the favorites winning tonight. In all, there are seven ranked teams taking the court tonight. The No. 11 Michigan State Spartans were No. 1 at the start of the new year, but they’ve lost three of their six games in the Big Ten. Two of those defeats came at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Remember when the Kentucky Wildcats were the No.1 team in the country? They are now down at 23. Their next outing is a road contest at Arkansas. Arguably, their best victory of the season came against a Duke team that is on a three game losing streak. By next week, both teams could be out of the Top 25.
The only college basketball team not to suffer a loss is SMU. Their 77-73 win over Houston should be one of the most important developments this week. Unfortunately, they aren’t allowed to participate in the NCAA Tournament.