Out With the Old in College Basketball Betting
In what continues to be a topsy-turvy year for the entire world, and definitely in the world of college basketball betting, the latest blue blood to drop out of the Top 25 is Kansas. Monday’s poll sans the Jayhawks marks the first time they’ve been left out of the rankings since Feb. 2, 2009 – a streak of 231 consecutive appearances in the poll. After Tuesday’s poll, they now sit at #26.
A 91-79 loss to West Virginia last Saturday was the game that broke the streak. The Jayhawks did beat Oklahoma State on Monday, and with a pair of games against Iowa State later this week, they could conceivably climb back into the Top 25 rankings.
Top 25 Poll History
The omission of Kansas from yesterday’s poll doesn’t just end a streak for the Jayhawks. For the first time since 1961, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and UCLA were all unranked in basketball. Those five schools have 33 national championships between them.
Indiana and Connecticut, which are fifth and sixth in all-time college basketball championships, are also absent from the Top 25, and the top 13 winningest programs in history are all currently unranked.
Kentucky is going to finish the season with a losing record for the first time since 1927. Duke is also in danger of finishing below .500 for the first time since 1983.
The other three of the big five out of the poll – Kansas, North Carolina, and UCLA – are still projected to make the NCAA Tournament. Online bookmakers have all three of those likely tournament participants at +5000 to win the championship.
Yesterday’s Top 10
The top of the poll stayed the same, with Gonzaga and Baylor at 1 and 2, respectively. They also remain the biggest favorites to win the NCAA Tournament, according to online sportsbooks.
Michigan and Ohio State are next, and they are scheduled to play each other on Feb. 21. Missouri jumped eight spots and is now the highest-rated team in the SEC. Missouri’s toughest regular-season games left are this Saturday against Arkansas and the season finale at Florida.
Baylor Canceling More Games
The Baylor Bears are the second-ranked team in the nation, still undefeated, and one of the favorites to prevail at the Final Four. But COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on their schedule, and it has to be a concern as we inch closer to March.
Baylor will miss games against Texas Tech on Saturday, West Virginia on Feb. 15, and West Virginia on Feb. 18. Texas Tech is currently ranked seventh in the nation, and West Virginia is ranked 14th.
At some point, you have to think that missing all these games, and against ranked opponents, may hurt the Bears’ tournament seeding.
Last weekend, a game with TCU was postponed, as well as a game at Oklahoma this week. The Bears also withdrew from a tournament in November because head coach Scott Drew had a positive COVID-19 test, a game with No. 1 Gonzaga was canceled in December, as was the Bears’ first meeting with Texas.