Who are the candidates for men's college basketball's No. 1 team following Purdue's loss to Rutgers?


Rutgers stuns top-ranked Purdue with a half-court buzzer beater.

Rutgers picked up its first win against a No. 1 opponent when RonHarper Jr. hit the winner at the buzzer. (0:55)

10:48 PM

Is it only last season when they won every game? When did we know the name of the nation's top team? When it was easy to do brackets?

Those were the days.

The new season is barely a month old and we're about to have our fourth top team in the AP Top 25 poll. After just four weeks and three days, we can conclude that it's going to be one of those years, thanks to RonHarper Jr.

The Boilermakers' first-ever week at the top of the national rankings was ended by their loss at Rutgers. If the Bears don't survive the challenge from visiting No. 6 Villanova on Sunday afternoon, they will be next on the hot seat. ABC.

Those with long memories remember how close the short-handed Cats came to ending the Bears' title run in the Sweet 16. The Bears are not sure if they will get a vote in Monday's poll because the Cats are back to full strength.

The collective head of the Boilermakers will be all the way back to West Lafayette. The Boilermakers were in no way the better team and looked like they would escape with a layup by Williams with four seconds to play.

There were other ideas thatHarper had. The Scarlet Knights' season was revived by him. The guys from Jersey lost to the likes of Lafayette and UMass and by 35 points in their Big Ten opener at Illinois. They never considered the thought of upsetting the best team in decades.

Rutgers, a team that lost to Lafayette and UMass earlier in the season, defeated No. 1 Purdue on Thursday.

One loss doesn't preclude anything, that's the good news for the Boilermakers. Not a No. 1 seed, not a legitimate run at an NCAA championship, not even a reprise of their No. 1 ranking.

Maybe the voters forget about the last second of the Rutgers game if the Boilermakers hammer NC State on Sunday. It's enough to cause a voter headaches.

The rules require us to have four No. 1 seeds in the next round. Heading into the weekend, the overall No. 1 seed is the Bears. The Boilermakers are followed by the Bears, along with Duke and the West Region.

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One could argue almost any order, or even UCLA returning to the top line. The analyst likes to measure the quality of the losses. Duke beat the Zags and is ranked second over them. The Boilermakers losing at Rutgers isn't the same as the Blue Devil's loss at Ohio State. The manner in which Purdue's loss was dealt is not reasonable.

The top teams will be playing checkers a lot between now and March. The identity of the last piece to make king is more uncertain than it was a year ago.

It's business as usual in college basketball. The champion of last year is at the top of the heap. Is it possible for Baylor to stay for a long time and defend its title?

Don't bet on it if the first four weeks are any indication.