North Carolina is on a 10-game winning streak and rolling. Tennessee has legitimate Final Four potential. Kentucky’s ceiling remains sky high. But with the 12th week of this season officially in the books, it’s becoming increasingly clear that three teams have kind of separated from the rest of the sport in terms of creating bodies of work that will eventually shape the way the 2024 NCAA Tournament is seeded.
Those teams are Purdue, UConn and Houston.
All three won this weekend — Purdue 68-60 at Rutgers, UConn 99-56 over Xavier, and Houston 74-52 over Kansas State. The Boilermakers, Huskies and Cougars are now the only three teams in the country with at least six Quadrant 1 wins and zero losses outside of the first quadrant. That’s why they remain No. 1 (Purdue), No. 2 (UConn) and No. 3 (Houston) in Monday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.
“We were really overwhelmed,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said following Sunday’s 43-point loss to UConn, and boy was he right.
The Huskies won the first half by 26 and the second by 17. They shot 58.5% from the field and 58.6% from 3-point range while holding Xavier to 34.4% shooting. They. Were. Awesome. They. Are. Awesome. Which is why, as I’ve previously noted multiple times, I have no issue with UConn being No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll even though I do not have UConn No. 1 in the Top 25 And 1. The job Dan Hurley is doing is amazing, and he’d get my vote for National Coach of the Year right now because of the way he lost three of the top six scorers from a national championship team and immediately built another national championship contender.
Let the record show I’m a big believer in UConn — it’s just that I’m also a big believer in Purdue, and that Purdue’s body of work is slightly better than UConn’s.
Both are 7-2 in Quadrant 1 with zero additional losses. But Purdue does have two more Q2 wins than the Huskies, and Purdue also has five wins over teams ranked in the top 25 of the NET while UConn only has two. These are minor differences, I acknowledge. But they are the differences that have Purdue atop the Top 25 And 1 for the 19th consecutive morning.
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