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Purdue rises to No. 1 for the first time in Program History

This year, college basketball has been full of unprecedented happenings. From fifth-year seniors to a wild transfer portal during the offseason, it has been crazy for the past few months. As the 2021-22 season continues to unfold, we’ve bumped into another unknown. For the first time ever, Purdue is ranked at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. After a win over Iowa and a quick 8-0 start to the season, Purdue sees themselves at the top of the rankings.

The Boilermakers have spent 379 weeks ranked in the AP poll, however, they’ve never reached Number 1. The last time the school was ranked this high was in 1988, where they held the two spot for four consecutive weeks.

“I think they deserve to be No. 1 for a couple reasons,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “They can hurt you in so many different ways. They have depth, they have experience, they have size, they have shooters. 

“They’ve got gamers, and they battle you. They execute their stuff and they defend. This is going to be a hard team to beat.”

The Boilermakers are 8-0 for just the fifth time since the 1939-40 season.

“It’s definitely an accomplishment for us, this is history,” senior all-conference forward Trevion Williams said. “It’s special, it shows that we’re special, but we don’t want to settle for that. We want to build off that. Once we become No. 1, we want to stay No. 1. 

“I’m excited to be No. 1 in the country. I feel like we put in all the work to deserve that, and we show it.”

The statistics back up Williams’s statement. So far, Purdue is winning by an average of 25.6 points per game, the closest being the seven-point win over Iowa.

The team is experienced and has several viable options to attack opponents. They have depth, experience and size. They’ve returned its top eight scorers, including sophomore guard Jaden Ivey and 7-foot-4 Zach Edey.

They have great wins over ranked Villanova and UNC teams at the time.

To round out the top five teams this week, the spots go to Baylor, Duke, UCLA, and Gonzaga respectively. 

Big Rises/Falls

Alabama climbed seven spots after an impressive win over Gonzaga.

USC moved up four spots to No. 16 after wins over Utah and Washington State last week.

BYU fell 12 spots after a bad loss to Utah State.

Coming In/Out

Ohio State moved to No. 21 after its win over Duke.

LSU jumped to No. 25 with an undefeated 8-0 start to the season. It’s been about two years since the program has been ranked.

Memphis dropped out of the poll from No. 18 after losing three straight games.

Michigan fell out from No. 24 after a tough 21-point loss to UNC. 

AP Top 25 Poll

  1. Purdue
  2. Baylor 
  3. Duke 
  4. UCLA
  5. Gonzaga 
  6. Villanova 
  7. Texas 
  8. Kansas
  9. Alabama 
  10. Kentucky 
  11. Arizona 
  12. Arkansas 
  13. Tennessee 
  14. Houston 
  15. Connecticut 
  16. USC 
  17. Iowa State
  18. Auburn 
  19. Michigan State 
  20. Florida 
  21. Ohio State 
  22. Wisconsin 
  23. Seton Hall 
  24. BYU
  25. LSU 

Others receiving votes:

Colorado State 90, Xavier 78, Illinois 71, North Carolina 55, St. Bonaventure 37, Oklahoma 29, Memphis 14, Iowa 12, Michigan 11, San Francisco 10, Loyola Chicago 4, Indiana 3, Texas Tech 

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