Harvard became the first top 25 team to lose this season, as the then-No. 23 Crimson fell 58-57 at Holy Cross on Sunday night.
And it’s a loss that could be a critical blow to the Crimson here despite the fact that it is only November.
Harvard is in a different situation than just about every other program that’s going to get consideration for the Top 25. They don’t play in the Big 12 or the ACC. They’re in the Ivy League, which means that they won’t be able to make up for blemishes on their NCAA tournament resume with marquee league wins in February. There is that much more emphasis for the Crimson on putting together a strong non-conference resume, and losses to Holy Cross certainly don’t help.
They still get a chance to win at Virginia and Arizona State, and picking up a win at home against Houston or UMass would certainly help, but Harvard’s margin of error to earn an at-large bid was already razor thin entering the season. This loss does them no favors. The good news? There is no Ivy League conference tournament, so if they can take care of business in league play, this discussion will be moot.
Anyway, on to the Top 25:
1. Kentucky (2-0, Last Week: No. 1): Despite a bit of a scare from Buffalo on Sunday, the Wildcats rolled through both of their opponents this weekend. The real test comes Tuesday against No. 5 Kansas.
2. Arizona (2-0, LW: No. 2): The Wildcats picked up a pair of wins over teams that they should get wins against.
3. Wisconsin (2-0, LW: No. 3): Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes both took steps forward. Oh, and Frank hit Northern Kentucky with the Dream Shake:
4. Duke (2-0, LW: No. 4): Duke’s got the most talented group of guards in the country. Rasheed Sulaimon is the x-factor. Will he buy into a role?
5. Kansas (1-0, LW: No. 5): The Jayhawk opener was a bit concerning. Cliff Alexander played 12 minutes, Kelly Oubre played four and their offense looks like it needs quite a bit of work.
6. Virginia (2-0, LW: No. 6): Through two games, Justin Anderson is 7-for-10 from three. Will this hold up all season long?
7. North Carolina (2-0, LW: No. 7): The Tar Heels have some perimeter shooting issues, but they’ll be able to overpower opponents inside. J.P. Tokoto has 14 assists through two games.
8. Texas (2-0, LW: No. 8): The Longhorns rolled to two wins. Myles Turner’s start: 12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.0 bpg.
9. Gonzaga (1-0, LW: No. 9): Kyle Wiltjer (18 points) and Domantas Sabonis (14 points, eight boards) both had impressive debuts. They get SMU on Monday night.
10. Louisville (1-0, LW: No. 10): The Cards had the only real notable win of the weekend, rolling over Minnesota on opening night. Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier played like all-americans.
11. Villanova (1-0, LW: No. 11)
12. Wichita State (1-0, LW: No. 12)
13. VCU (1-0, LW: No. 13)
14. Florida (1-0, LW: No. 14)
15. Oklahoma (1-0, LW: No. 15)
16. SMU (1-0, LW: No. 16)
17. Iowa State (1-0, LW: No. 17)
18. SDSU (1-0, LW: No. 18)
19. Michigan (1-0, LW: No. 19)
20. UConn (1-0, LW: No. 20)
21. Iowa (1-0, LW: No. 21)
22. Michigan State (1-0, LW: No. 22)
23. UCLA (2-0, LW: No. 23)
24. Stanford (2-0, LW: No. 24)
25. Nebraska (1-0, LW: No. NR)