We’ll start with Villanova, which rose to No. 1 after a decisive win over Gonzaga and Duke’s loss to Boston College. The Wildcats have been consistently dominant all season – no team has come within nine points of beating Jay Wright’s crew, which boasts two top-20 wins (Gonzaga and Tennessee). As we wrote last week, Duke may have been No. 1, but it was flirting with disaster all season. Disaster struck on Saturday.
Villanova is so great defensively, and so precise offensively, that it’s less upset-prone than the bluebloods we’ve seen fall. The Wildcats have two stars in Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges, a star on the bench in Wright, and quality depth in important spots. It’s a bit surprising to see them jump No. 2 Michigan State for the top ranking, but it’s perfectly justified. The Spartans lost to an awesome, but flawed Duke team. Villanova hasn’t come close to losing. When we’re discussing the No. 1 ranking, the standard is (rightfully) high.