Photo Credit: Sporting News
Tonight was not a great night to be ranked at the top of the NCAA basketball AP Poll. The teams ranked #1, #2, and #4 in the AP Poll all fell to opponents in true road games, an extremely rare occurrence, especially this late in the season.
The #1 Villanova Wildcats (19-2) lost by a score of 74-72 on the road against the Marquette Golden Eagles (14-7); the #2 Kansas Jayhawks (18-2) lost by a score of 82-66 on the road against the #18 West Virginia Mountaineers (16-4); and the #4 Kentucky Wildcats (17-3) lost by a score of 82-80 on the road to the Tennessee Volunteers (11-9).
The last time three of the top 4 teams in the AP Poll lost on the same day was back on Saturday, January 21st, 2012. On that day, the #1 Syracuse Orange lost by a score of 67-58 on the road against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish; the #3 Baylor Bears lost by a score of 89-88 at home against the #5 Missouri Tigers; and the #4 Duke Blue Devils lost by a score of 76-73 at home against the Florida State Seminoles. The #2 Kentucky Wildcats were the only team ranked in the top 4 in the AP Poll that won that day, doing so by a score of 77-71 at home against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Saturday, January 21st, 2012, is the only other day that this has happened other than tonight in the past 20 seasons.
The #3 Gonzaga Bulldogs (20-0) were seemingly fortunate to be the only team ranked in the top 4 in the AP Poll to not have to play a game tonight. They knocked off the Portland Pilots (9-11) on the road last night by a score of 83-64.
With the losses by Villanova, Kansas, and Kentucky, the Bulldogs appear slated to move up to #1 in the AP Poll for the first time since 2013 if they do not lose a game before the next rankings are released next Monday, January 30th, 2017.
The losses by those three teams just go to show that there is parity among the NCAA in basketball, and the closer we get to March, the more likely it is that there will be some unbelievable and crazy games and results, as there were tonight.