The No. 1 seed falls once again in NCAA men's hoops
The GIST: The Alabama Crimson Tide were on top of the world (and the polls) this week, ascending to the No. 1 spot in the rankings for the first time in 20 years. That is…until they joined the national trend when they, well, choked.
The rollercoaster: When No. 10 Tennessee drowned the Tide 68–59 on Wednesday night, the Vols not only reversed course on a demoralizing mid-season slide, but they brought about the eighth L for a top-ranked team this season. That ties the 1993–94 season record for most losses by No. 1 squads. Sheesh.
- That top spot has changed hands five times this season, and we’ll likely see another come Monday as Bama drops below No. 2 Houston.
- It’s not just the prime ranking that’s been flip-flopping: Top 25 teams and dynasties have been crashing left and right.
Case in point: Northwestern, a program that went 49 straight years (!!!) without a winning record and made the NCAA Tournament for the first and only time in 2017, is now…good? They shocked then–No. 1 Purdue 64–58 last Sunday and kept the stunners coming when they downed No. 14 Indiana 64–62 on Wednesday.
- Meanwhile, the preseason favorite and the bluest of blue bloods, UNC, has spent only one week in the poll since early December. Definitely did not have this on our 2022–23 season bingo card.
Zooming out: While it’s not helpful for filling out your upcoming March Madness bracket, all this chaos — and the increasing parity it represents — is good for the game. When the legacy teams can’t take the heat, the little guys can step into the kitchen.