Villanova became the latest top-ranked team to lose on Wednesday, falling to No. 5 Xavier, 90-83, at the Cintas Center. Six Musketeers finished in double figures, including guards Edmond Sumner and J.P. Macura, who scored 19 points apiece.
At this point, the regular season rankings – and, most likely, the NCAA Tournament seeds – are more or less irrelevant. Anyone, it seems, can beat anyone.
“You’ve obviously got to have the Top 25 rankings each week,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs with different teams and cycles. You’ll have an Oklahoma lose a couple games. You’ve just seen a heck of a lot of parity. I know our conference is really stacked from top to bottom, one of the top conferences in the country. There aren’t nights to take off.”
No. 22 Utah (21-7, 10-5) is just a half game back of No. 9 Arizona (22-5, 10-4) and No. 13 Oregon (21-6, 10-4) for first place in the Pac-12 standings. Utah, which lost to Miami and Wichita State earlier in the year, has won nine of 11 overall.
“I get a kick out of the bad-loss description,” Krystkowiak said. “There’s just not as many bad teams to get those bad losses to. You’ve obviously still got to have the top 50 and the top 100 and the top 150. But man, I think half of college basketball is pretty darn good. If you cut it in half at about 170 teams, there’s a lot of teams that can compete. You’re always looking at some so-called upsets, but I think this might be that year with all of the topsy-turvy stuff going on at the top that makes everybody feel like, man, anybody can beat anybody on any given night. It’s got so much to do with matchups and style of play and a heck of a lot less about seeds.
“So I’m with you,” Krystkowiak said. “I’m always excited about this time of year. Selection Sunday (is) coming up two weeks from Sunday. If you tell me that I can only have a television for one month, I want it at the start of that Selection Sunday and then you can take it away from me when the Masters is over. This is my favorite time of year for sports. I love it. I just hope we’re a part of it.”