The biggest debate after this weekend of NCAA Basketball games continues to be “Who is the No. 1 team in the country”. That debate started after Duke loss earlier in the week to Miami, creating the opportunity for both Michigan and Kansas to become the new number one.
I argued earlier in the week that if Michigan won its two games it would become the new top team in the AP Top 25 Poll. However, Kansas is also getting some love from voters as they have the longest current win streak. So what do Michigan and Kansas have in common for voters to consider?
Both Kansas and Michigan have only one loss. Both teams have loss to a Big Ten Conference school. Kansas suffered their loss earlier in the year to the Michigan State Spartans at a neutral location. Michigan’s loss came to the Ohio State Buckeyes on the road, as they had a chance then to become the number one team in the country with a win.
The fact that the top two teams in the country suffered their only losses to Big Ten schools should further show the strength of the league. Michigan is one of five Big Ten schools ranked in the most recent poll. Indiana (7), Minnesota (12), Michigan State (13) and Ohio State (14) all rank in the top 15 of the poll. Kansas, with Kansas State, is one of only two ranked teams from the Big 12. Remarkably if Michigan is the new number one, they will be the second Big Ten school to hold the spot this year. This would be only the third time in the history of the league that two Big Ten schools were named number one in the same season.
In the last poll, Michigan ranked second with 1539 total votes, compared to 1578 for number one Duke and 1486 for number three Kansas. Michigan also received 11 first place votes compared to the 39 received by Duke and seven that Kansas received. Who will be the new number one come Monday? It doesn’t matter, but it should be Big Ten school Michigan.