College basketball: 15 reasons why this season is completely crazy
Was there a full moon Monday night? Is there a full moon every night this season in college basketball?
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So it would seem. We have the new rankings, the up-to-date conference standings, the recent box scores here. What does the assemblage tell us? That the season has turned daffy, but everyone suspected that already. Here are 15 more reasons to think so.
1. Five Associated Press No. 1 ranked teams falling before February. From North Carolina to Kentucky, to Michigan State to Kansas, and now Oklahoma. The last time that happened was 1948-49. The NCAA Tournament was only 10 years old.
2. Iowa becoming the place where No. 1 rankings go to die. Three of the five top-ranked teams to lose – North Carolina, Michigan State and Oklahoma – were beaten by Northern Iowa, Iowa and Iowa State. All within the borders of the Hawkeye State.
3. Duke, as a ranked team, losing to three consecutive unranked opponents. The last time that happened was 1968. Mike Krzyzewski was a 21-year-old Army cadet. The Blue Devils allowed Syracuse 26 offensive rebounds, entered Monday’s play 191st in the country in field goal percentage defense, and now are on the brink of falling out of the AP poll after 166 consecutive weeks, the sixth longest streak in history. They miss the inside work of injured Amile Jefferson like flowers miss water. "The game is tremendous, and it can be incredibly great to you, and it can be incredibly cruel to you," Krzyzewski said. "And right now, we're going through the cruel part."
4. Iowa State beating a No. 1 opponent for the first time since 1957. The victim back then was Kansas and its center was Wilt Chamberlain. These current Cyclones are the same bunch that started 1-3 in the Big 12, but so it has gone in a stacked conference that seems to have a classic game every 72 hours or so. ``You can’t live in the highs and lows,’’ coach Steve Prohm said at his press conference Monday night. ``This league’s too good.’’
5. Five teams in the new Associated Press top 10 – Xavier, West Virginia, SMU, Iowa and Texas A&M – who were not even ranked in the preseason. They could be found hidden in the fine print of “also received votes.”
6. Four top 10 war horses – Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke and Virginia – taking three combined losses over the first five weeks of the season, and 13 over the next six.
7. Six teams in the current top 10 who have never won a national championship. They include Xavier and Texas A&M, who have never been to the Final Four, Iowa with one Final Four trip in 59 years, West Virginia with two in its history, and SMU with is only appearance 60 years ago.
8. SMU the only unbeaten standing, when it can’t even play in the NCAA Tournament.
9. Only two teams in the top 25 – Arizona and USC (below) – from the two western time zones of the continental US.
10. An Oregon State player, Jarmal Reid, suspended four games for intentionally tripping a referee. That’s one you don’t see every day.
11. Clemson is second in the ACC, while Duke is seventh.
12. Iowa tied for the early Big Ten lead, while Michigan State is tied for seventh and Wisconsin tied for 10th.
13. Texas A&M atop the SEC, and Kentucky tied for fourth.
14. Gonzaga with three losses at home, and out of the rankings.
15. And who’s that sharing the lead in the Big West, and 15-2 overall? Right. Hawaii.
Duke’s Matt Jones spoke for many when he told reporters Monday night, ``Obviously, we can lose to anybody, anytime, even when we’re at home.’’
The tumult has been a gusher. No sign of it letting up, either.