NCAA College Basketball week 3 recap
The GIST: Just three weeks into college hoops season, the hardwood’s already hot, with some teams scorching up the rankings and some hoping for a mid-season spark.
The men: For the first time in nearly 40 years — since the days of Phi Slama Jama — the Houston Cougars sit atop the AP poll. The fellas’ rankings saw massive moves this week, with Purdue skyrocketing 19 (!!!) spots to No. 5 after pummeling both now–No. 14 Gonzaga and now–No. 17 Duke to win last weekend’s Phil Knight Legacy tournament.
- Other squads reaping buckets of poll rewards? No. 13 Tennessee, No. 4 Arizona and No. 8 UConn, who jumped nine, 10 and 12 spots, respectively.
- As for last week’s No. 1 UNC, it turns out the higher they fly, the harder they fall, as the Tar Heels tumbled a full 17 ranks to No. 18. Hope they packed parachutes.
The women: While the gals left most of the drama for the men, two squads made unfortunate history this week. Tennessee’s early season implosion saw them drop completely from the ranks, meaning the Vols are off the poll for just the 56th time in its 827 editions.
- And with an eight-spot slide to No. 18, the Louisville Cardinals ended their 98-week Top 10 stretch, the nation’s longest active streak until Monday. At least their practice-court slide seems fun.
- Meanwhile, the top squads held steady, with South Carolina and the thankfully healthy Aliyah Boston still at No. 1 and No. 2 Stanford head coach (HC) Tara VanDerveer tying the late legend Pat Summitt for most poll appearances at 618. Roots, planted.
Tonight’s key matchups: See if the No. 18 Louisville women can fly higher when they face the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, then stay locked on that channel to learn if No. 18 UNC’s men can rebound against the No. 10 Indiana Hoosiers in their last-ever ACC/Big Ten Challenge game at 9:15 p.m. ET.