UConn extended its winning streak to five games Sunday with an 80-67 victory over Georgetown. So the Huskies are now positioned to possibly move to No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll when it updates Monday based on the fact that they are the highest-ranked team that didn’t lose over the past week.
If you’ve been reading the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 regularly, you likely know that my No. 1 vote would go to Purdue, not UConn, which is why the Boilermakers remain No. 1 in Monday morning’s updated Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Simply put, Matt Painter’s program has the sport’s best body of work. It’s not even really debatable. I broke it down in this space Sunday, if you missed it and are interested.
One thing I’ve learned over the past few days, though, is that there’s apparently no way for me to compare and contrast Purdue and UConn without it coming across like I’m discounting UConn, which is something I’ve never intended to do. I’m merely comparing their bodies of work. Nothing more. Nothing less. I guess what I’m saying is that rather than the focus be on how I have Purdue ahead of UConn, I’d love to highlight how I have UConn ahead of the other 360 schools that play Division I basketball, which is amazing considering the Huskies lost three of the top six scorers from last season’s team that won the national championship, and even more so considering they’ve played the past three-plus weeks without Donovan Clingan, their preseason All-American who has been sidelined by a foot injury.
What Dan Hurley is doing is amazing.
How many programs in history have lost three of the top six scorers from a title team and emerged this deep into the following season as a top-two favorite in the betting markets to again win the NCAA Tournament? Answer: Not many But that’s exactly what Hurley and UConn have done. It’s something that should be applauded, not nitpicked, regardless of where the Huskies are ranked here or anywhere else.
Itching for more college hoops analysis? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball podcast where we take you beyond the hardwood with insider information and instant reactions.