Tale of the Tape, #1 Purdue vs. #2 Alabama: All Things CW

Christopher Walsh’s All Things CW notes column is published in five parts each week, with the latest on the Alabama Crimson Tide. That is …

take 1

The Alabama Crimson is #2 in the latest college basketball polls, the program’s highest ranking in 20 years.

Purdue was No. 1, but the ballots were far from unanimous.

The Boilermakers received 39 first-place votes from the 62-member panel of judges for the AP Top 25. Alabama climbed two spots to No. 2 and received 23 first-place votes for the highest spot since reaching No. 1 in years 2002-03.

This is also the only time the Crimson Tide has been #1 in poll history.

Nate Hafer has his team knocking on the door for the top spot, and if current trends continue, it might not even take a Purdue loss for that to happen.

Purdue had fallen to No. 3 after four weeks at No. 1 after losing to Rutgers on Jan. 3. The Boilermakers have won six in a row, but three have been by three points or less.

Meanwhile, Purdue will find it almost impossible to impress voters for the remainder of the regular season with the rest of the Big Ten falling away. With the departure of Rutgers, the Big Ten have only one AP Top 25 team for the first time since Feb. 16, 2004, when No. 12 Wisconsin was the conference’s only team, according to Sportradar.

Alabama? In the SEC, this problem doesn’t exist since back-to-back games at No. 4 Tennessee and No. 15 Auburn pending.

No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers

recording: 19-1 overall, 8-1 Big Ten

rank in the pre-season: Not rated

Biggest win: Won Phil Knight Legacy by defeating then No. 6 Gonzaga 84-66 and then No. 6. 8 Duke 75-56.

Loss: At home with Rutgers, 65-64, January 2nd

Current winning streak: 6

Record against ranked teams: 3-0

Quad wins: Purdue is one of two teams (Kansas) with seven Quad-1 wins, five of them against teams in the NCAA Net top 30 (Gonzaga, Ohio State, West Virginia, Marquette, Duke). Six of the victories (Marquette) came away.

defensive efficiency: No. 21. Purdue has held 20 direct opponents to 70 points or fewer, the second-longest streak in the country (Saint Mary’s – 21)

rebound: Leading nation in overall rebound percentage

NCAA NET rankings: Number 4

bracketology: Top total seed

KenPom ranking: No. 5

strength of the schedule: No. 21

Remaining schedule: No ranked opponents on schedule, Purdue is the only ranked team in the Big Ten this week.

in Michigan
State of Michigan
in Indiana
in the north-west
in Maryland
State of Ohio
in Wisconsin

Appointment note: Purdue just strayed from a historic “four-in-five” road game streak and won all five games, including all four away. In the 10 times that Purdue have had four away games in a five-game stretch, the Boilermakers have never previously recorded a 5-0 record.

The tall man: Zach Edey ranks #1 in KenPom POY ratings and was the game MVP in 15 of the 19 Purdue games he’s attended (missed New Orleans with the flu). Edey has scored 10 or more points in 36 straight games, the nation’s longest streak. In his 19 games this year, he has more blocked shots (43) than personal fouls (29). Edey is averaging 21.5 points and 13.2 rebounds compared to just 1.5 fouls per game.

No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide

recording: 17-2 overall, 7-0 SEC

rank in the pre-season: No. 20

Biggest win: Alabama defeated then-No. 1 North Carolina in the Phil Knight Invitational, then won at then-No. 1 Houston, 71-65, to become the fourth team to ever defeat two different AP No. 1s in the same season. It was the first team since the 1955–56 season to do so before New Year’s Day.

losses: Until then, No. 20 UConn in the Phil Knight Invitational, 82-67, and then No. 15 Gonzaga on Dec. 17, 100-90. Both losses were on neutral places.

Current winning streak: 8th

Record against ranked teams: 5-2

Quad wins: Alabama has five Quad 1 wins this season, which ranks third in the country.

defensive efficiency: No. 10

rebound: Leading nation in rebounds per game and defensive rebounds. The Crimson Tide is 12th in offensive boards.

NCAA NET rankings: No. 3

bracketology: Second complete set

KenPom ranking: No. 3

strength of the schedule: Number 1

Remaining schedule:

State of Mississippi
in Oklahoma
at LSU
at No. 15 Auburn
at No. 4 Tennessee
in South Carolina
No. 15 Maroon
at Texas A&M

Appointment note: Alabama won all of its first seven SEC games by double digits with 147 points overall (593-446). The average point range is +21.0

The tall man: Brandon Miller averaging 19.8 points per game, the most of any freshman in the country. Before the Missouri game, he was the only freshman in the country to finish in the top 70 in points and rebounds per game (No. 69). Miller was one of six players in Division I, the only player in the SEC, and the only freshman in the country to have 360 ​​points and 150 rebounds this season.