Down Goes #1: Chaos in College Basketball


Sanjay Palta-Hill, Sports Editor

In just two weeks, North Carolina has moved from the consensus #1 team in college basketball to a team that’s not even mentioned in the AP Top 25 Poll. North Carolina had high expectations coming into the year. Coming off a championship-game run in the NCAA Tournament last spring, the Tar Heels returned star forward Armando Bacot and guard Caleb Love. North Carolina was ranked the #1 team before the season started, and it seemed to live up to its high expectations by winning its first five games. These wins, however, were against smaller programs like James Madison and UNC Wilmington. The Tar Heels then lost four straight games against Iowa State, Alabama, Indiana, and Virginia Tech. North Carolina is now nowhere to be found in the college basketball rankings. To summarize college basketball in a single word, madness.


Many other teams have met and even exceeded expectations early this season. Houston has remained undefeated through eight games and currently sits atop the rankings. Not too far behind are Texas, Virginia, Purdue, and UConn– teams that also haven’t lost so far this season. While some teams have thrived, traditional giants have fallen. Duke (#15), Kentucky (#17), and Gonzaga (#18) have underperformed after having high expectations coming into the year. As we move further into the season, it will be interesting to see which teams can pull it together, and which teams will fall apart.