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College basketball rankings: Purdue isn’t ignoring back-to-back Big Ten titles even as it eyes loftier goals

Keytron Jordan, CBS Sports

Purdue has bigger goals than winning back-to-back outright Big Ten regular-season championships. That goes without saying. But the Boilermakers did become the first team in 17 years to do just that on Tuesday by winning 77-71 at Illinois — and that’s something worth celebrating, even if how Purdue’s season will ultimately be remembered won’t be decided until after the 2024 NCAA Tournament begins.

“Winning the Big Ten is still such an honor because it’s so hard,” said Purdue coach Matt Painter, who has won at least a share of four of the past eight Big Ten regular-season titles. “Think about the venues that you have to go into — and I know it’s not a perfect schedule, always. But we had to go into Wisconsin. We had to go into [Illinois]. … Being 7-3 on the road in the Big Ten is quite an accomplishment, and 9-0 at home. … We’ve got a good group.”

WIth the victory, Purdue now has the sport’s best overall record (27-3), best record in Quadrant 1 (11-3) and best record inside of the first two quadrants (17-3). Moreover, Purdue now has nine wins over teams ranked in the top 25 of the NET compared to UConn‘s six and Houston‘s four, which is among the reasons the Boilermakers remain No. 1 in Wednesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings for the 15th consecutive day.

UConn is still No. 2. Houston is still No. 3.

But don’t get it twisted. With 11 days remaining until Selection Sunday, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament is still very much up for grabs — at least as it pertains to Purdue, UConn and Houston. But there really is no debate about which team has the sport’s best body of work right now. It’s Purdue. And the Boilermakers will have an opportunity to enhance it Sunday when they host Wisconsin inside Mackey Arena for Zach Edey‘s final home game that will double as another Q1 opportunity.

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