Zach Edey

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Matt Painter’s Big Ten-leading Purdue team earned all 62 first-place ballots in the men’s Associated Press college basketball poll last Monday.

That won’t happen this week, not after the Boilermakers lost by 5 at Indiana Saturday. I predict as many as four teams will earn first-place votes. 

But Purdue will earn at least one — mine. Their overall resume — 9 Quad I wins in the NCAA Net computer formula; no Quad III losses (Arizona and Houston each have one) — compares with any contender.

The Boilermakers have only three remaining road games — Northwestern, Maryland, Wisconsin. I like their chances of winning out and earning the overall No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament.

  1. Purdue (22-2): No penalty here for losing a well-played game at Indiana. Happens.
  2. Arizona (21-3): The Wildcats have won six straight and have a sweet weekend ahead at California and Stanford.
  3. Houston (22-2): The Cougars got their payback victory against middling Temple.
  4. Alabama (20-3): After hosting Florida Wednesday, the Crimson Tide visit Auburn and Tennessee. That’s their chance to lock down a No. 1 seed.
  5. Marquette (19-5): The Golden Eagles have won five straight and 10 of their last 11 — and have a solid non-league win over Baylor.
  6. UCLA (19-4): The Bruins have a half-game edge on Arizona in the Pac-12 standings but lost the first head-to-head matchup.
  7. Tennessee (19-4): Two of the Vols’ four losses (Colorado, Florida) are to teams that aren’t likely to make the NCAA Tournament. Flashing light.
  8. Texas (19-4): The Longhorns sit atop the mighty Big 12 but they did lose to Tennessee and Illinois.
  9. Virginia (17-4): That was a rivalry game road loss to Virginia Tech, but the Hokies have lost 8 Atlantic Coast Conference games.
  10. Saint Mary’s (21-4): The Gaels, not Gonzaga, are the team to beat in the West Coast Conference.
  11. Kansas (18-5): Three of the Jayhawks five losses have been by at least 14 points. Flashing light.
  12. Xavier (19-5): The Musketeers are off this week, facing only Butler.
  13. Rutgers (16-7): The Scarlet Knights sit in second place in the Big Ten and beat Indiana by a million.
  14. Baylor (17-6): The Bears are in a four-way tie for third place in the Big 12.
  15. Gonzaga (19-5): Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgren aren’t walking through that door.
  16. Indiana (16-7): Beating top-ranked Purdue was a impressive but beating Rutgers Tuesday night would say more about the Hoosiers’ improvement.
  17. Iowa State (16-6): Yes, the Cyclones smacked Kansas but they’ve still lost three of their last five and four of their last seven.
  18. Providence (17-6): The Friars lost a road game to Xavier — and Indiana won at the Cintas Center.
  19. Kansas State (18-5): Reality has pinned three losses on the Wildcats in their last four games.
  20. UConn (18-6): The Huskies finally stopped their slide — against DePaul and Georgetown.
  21. Creighton (15-8): The Bluejays have gotten healthy and gone on a 5-game roll.
  22. Miami (18-5): Nice win at Clemson but I have to admit it was tough for me to overlook this team lost to Georgia Tech.
  23. TCU (17-6): At this point in the poll, there are no right or wrong answers.
  24. Auburn (17-6): See above.
  25. San Diego State (18-5): The Aztecs lost to Nevada but are holding on to the top spot in the Mountain West.

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