NCAA house of hoops shakeups
The GIST: The aforementioned Angel Reese isn’t the only royalty who’s been breathing fire. Here are this week’s kings, queens and court jesters from the House of NCAA. Winter is here.
Poll positions: Despite very little drama on the court, the women’s poll managed to make history this week. In the AP poll’s 836-week run (that’s 47 years!), this is the first without a single team from Texas. From yeehaw to yeenaw.
- As for the men, Purdue is again reigning at No. 1 after now–No. 3 Houston’s fall, while No. 2 Alabama and No. 5 Kansas State posted their highest ranks in 20 and 12 years, respectively.
- Wishing for a do-over? Gonzaga, who tumbled eight spots to No. 14 after falling to LMU last week.
Rapid rebounders: Causing the most ruckus in the Top 25 royal court? The teams just outside of it. The USC gals are making waves due to their recent victory over No. 3 Stanford, but the comeback queens of Tennessee are about to burst the “best of” bubble. After an early-season implosion, the preseason–No. 5 Lady Vols now boast a nine-game win streak.
- Knocking at the men’s castle door? The Kentucky Wildcats and Indiana Hoosiers, the preseason–Nos. 4 and 13, respectively. The ’Cats’ new rise began by besting No. 4 Tennessee on January 14th, while the Hoosiers bounced back from a midseason slump, posting double-digit dubs against tough conference opponents.
Underdogs on top: No sooner had the polls landed than the knights of upset rode in, bringing history to Monday night’s duels. No. 10 Iowa guard Caitlin Clark led the Big Ten charge, posting her eighth (!!!) career triple-double as the Hawkeyes handed No. 2 Ohio State their season’s first defeat 83–72. With the L, only No. 1 South Carolina and No. 4 LSU remain undefeated in all of Division I (DI) hoops.
- In a Monday matchup of the last two men’s national champs, No. 17 Baylor humbled their Big 12 rival No. 9 Kansas with a dominant 75–69 W that saw the reigning champ Jayhawks lead only once, resulting in their third straight loss. Pain.
- And last night brought another tough loss to the men of the Sunflower State, with No. 12 Iowa State taking down No. 5 Kansas State in an 80–76 nailbiter. Move over, Targaryens, this is the Big 12’s house now.
What to watch: For the fellas, see whose armor is toughest when the No. 13 Xavier Musketeers battle No. 19 UConn tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Then tomorrow, cozy up to catch not only the women of No. 2 Ohio State, who’ll aim for redemption against No. 6 Indiana at 8:30 p.m. ET on BTN, but a slew of ranked women’s games. Move over Red Wedding, the ranked will fall tomorrow.