Gonzaga and Baylor both paused all basketball activities earlier this month because of COVID-19 issues within their programs. Consequently, Gonzaga went 17 days between games. Baylor went 10. But when they returned to the court Saturday, both looked anything but rusty.
Top-ranked Gonzaga had no issues with third-ranked Iowa in an eventual 99-88 victory while second-ranked Baylor cruised to a 100-69 win over Kansas State. So now the Zags and Bears are a combined 9-0. And it seems pretty clear, based both on the computers and so-called eye test, that these two teams have established themselves as favorites to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
And they’re probably co-favorites.
There was a lot of talk Saturday about Gonzaga being “far and away” the best team in the country after the Zags looked great against Iowa — but Baylor now actually ranks ahead of the Zags at KenPom and Torvik. So while it’s true that Gonzaga would definitely be the No. 1 overall seed if the NCAA Tournament started today based on a resume that already includes victories over Iowa, Kansas and West Virginia, the idea that Gonzaga is definitely better than Baylor isn’t backed by data. For what it’s worth, according to the computers, these are comparable teams. Both are undeniably fantastic.
Gonzaga remains No. 1 in Sunday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Baylor remains No. 2. And, yes, Iowa remains No. 3 even after that 11-point loss to Gonzaga because losing by 11 to the top-ranked team in the country does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t be the third-ranked team in the country. Beyond that, if I dropped the Hawkeyes even one spot, I’d be dropping them below a Kansas team that suffered a 12-point loss to Gonzaga. So, for now at least, I’ll just keep the one-loss team that lost by 11 points to Gonzaga one spot ahead of the one-loss team that lost by 12 points to Gonzaga and let Michigan State round out the top five.
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Sunday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings
IN: Arkansas, Colorado. OUT: Louisville, Florida State
Published: 2020-12-20 16:21:44
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