/College basketball rankings: Gonzaga looks to enter NCAA Tournament as first undefeated team since 2015
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College basketball rankings: Gonzaga looks to enter NCAA Tournament as first undefeated team since 2015

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Only 15 schools in the history of college basketball have entered the NCAA Tournament undefeated. UCLA did it four times under John Wooden. Indiana did it twice under Bob Knight. Nobody has done it since John Calipari and Kentucky did it in 2015. 

Gonzaga should join the list soon.

The only thing between the Zags and history is a win in Tuesday night’s West Coast Conference Tournament title game, where they are 14-point favorites over a BYU team they’ve already beaten twice by double-digits. And, yes, I know, people often say “it’s hard to beat somebody three times in the same season.” But what I also know is that “it’s hard to beat somebody three times in the same season” is just a dumb cliche. Truth is, when you’re significantly better than your opponent, beating them three times isn’t that hard. And Gonzaga is significantly better than BYU, which isn’t intended to be a slight to BYU.

I like BYU.

I like BYU so much, in fact, that I have the Cougars No. 22 in Tuesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. This is a good team capable of advancing in the NCAA Tournament. But Gonzaga is a historically great team, according to any and all metrics. And that’s among the reasons KenPom only gives BYU a 14% chance of upsetting the Zags in this third meeting.

Can BYU do it?

Sure, in theory. But, again, Gonzaga is a sizable favorite for a reason and on a mission to join an exclusive club. So the smart money has the Zags improving to 26-0 late Tuesday before they turn their attention to trying to become the first undefeated national champion since Indiana did it in 1976.

Tuesday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers

Rk

Teams

 

Chg

Rcrd


1


Gonzaga

Gonzaga’s perfect record includes double-digit victories over Iowa, Kansas, Virginia and BYU. The Zags are West Coast Conference champions for the ninth consecutive season. 25-0

2


Baylor

Baylor is 11-1 in the first two quadrants with wins over Illinois, West Virginia, Kansas and Oklahoma State. The Bears are conference champions for the first time since 1950.

21-1

3


Illinois

Illinois is 14-6 in the first two quadrants with wins over Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State and Purdue. Five of the Illini’s six losses are Quadrant 1 defeats. 20-6

4


Michigan

Michigan dropped to 13-3 in the first two quadrants after Sunday’s loss at Michigan State. The Wolverines are 1-2 in their past three games.

19-3

5


Alabama

Alabama is 15-5 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Crimson Tide are SEC champions for the first time since 2002.

21-6

6


Iowa

Iowa is 12-7 in the first two quadrants with wins over Ohio State and Purdue. The Hawkeyes are 7-1 in their past eight games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Michigan.

20-7

7


Arkansas

Arkansas is 11-5 in the first two quadrants with wins over Alabama and Missouri. The Razorbacks are 11-1 in their past 12 games and the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament. 21-5

8


Ohio St.

Ohio State dropped to 12-8 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss to Illinois. The Buckeyes will take a four-game losing streak into the Big Ten Tournament. 18-8

9


Houston

Houston is 7-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cougars are 6-1 in their past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Wichita State.

21-3

10


Oklahoma St.

Oklahoma State is 10-6 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cowboys are 6-1 in their past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Baylor. 18-7

11


W. Virginia

West Virginia dropped to 11-8 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers are 4-3 in their past seven games with two of the losses coming in overtime. 18-8

12


Kansas

Kansas is 9-8 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Jayhawks are the only team that has beaten Baylor. 19-8

13


Florida St.

Florida State dropped to 9-4 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss at Notre Dame. The Seminoles’ resume also includes a Quadrant 3 loss to UCF. 15-5

14


Villanova

Villanova dropped to 8-5 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss at Providence. The Wildcats are 0-1 since losing Collin Gillespie to a knee injury. 16-5

15


Texas

Texas is 9-7 in the first two quadrants with wins over West Virginia, Kansas and Oklahoma State. Six of the Longhorns’ seven losses are Quadrant 1 defeats.

17-7

16


Loyola Chi.

Loyola Chicago is 6-4 in the first two quadrants with wins over Drake and North Texas. The Ramblers are 16-1 in their past 17 games and MVC champions for the third time in the past four seasons.

24-4

17


Virginia

Virginia is 8-5 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cavaliers will take a two-game winning streak into the ACC Tournament. 17-6

18


USC

USC is 9-6 in the first two quadrants with wins over BYU, Oregon and UCLA. The Trojans recorded a league-best 15 Pac-12 victories. 21-6

19


Purdue

Purdue is 13-7 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Boilermakers will take a five-game winning streak into the Big Ten Tournament. 18-8

20


Creighton

Creighton is 11-4 in the first two quadrants with three additional losses falling in Quadrant 3. The Bluejays are 1-0 since coach Greg McDermott was indefinitely suspended. 18-7

21


Va. Tech

Virginia Tech is 5-5 in the first two quadrants with wins over Villanova, Virginia and Clemson. The Hokies finished tied for first in the loss column of the ACC standings.

15-5

22


BYU

BYU is 7-5 in the first two quadrants with wins over San Diego State and Utah State. The Cougars will take a five-game winning streak into the championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament. 20-5

23


Clemson

Clemson is 10-6 in the first two quadrants with wins over Alabama, Florida State and Purdue. The Tigers are 6-1 in their past seven games. 16-6

24


Connecticut

UConn is 6-6 in the first two quadrants with wins over USC and Seton Hall. The Huskies are 10-2 with James Bouknight in the lineup. 14-6

25


Oregon

Oregon is 10-3 in the first two quadrants with two additional losses falling in Quadrant 3. The Ducks’ top five scorers combined to miss 20 games earlier in the season.

19-5

26


St. Bona.

St. Bonaventure is 5-3 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Bonnies are outright Atlantic 10 champions for the first time in school history.

15-4