No. 10 Tennessee stuns No. 1 Alabama, tying all-time record for top-ranked teams losing in a season
It's not just you. It is an objective fact that this is one of the most chaotic college basketball seasons in recent memory.
No. 1 Alabama fell 68-59 to No. 10 Tennessee on Wednesday, marking the latest top-ranked team to fall face-first in a season that might only get more ridiculous come March. According to Stats Perform, Wednesday was the eighth loss by a No. 1 team this season, tying the 1993-94 season for the most in college basketball history.
Four teams — UNC, Houston, Purdue and Alabama — have shared the crown this season, and none have held onto it for very long.
UNC opened the season on top after returning most of a team that reached the national championship game last season, but the Tar Heels have since become a historic disappointment. Their first losses came in late November, leading to Houston sitting on top. That reign ended after Dec. 10, when the Cougars lost to Alabama.
Purdue took over from there and enjoyed a four-week reign but sustained its first loss Jan. 2 against Rutgers. Houston and Purdue each got one more two-week reign from there until Alabama got the top spot this week thanks to the Boilermakers' loss to Northwestern last weekend.
In summary, those losses are:
Nov. 25: UNC to Iowa State
Nov. 27: UNC to Alabama
Dec. 10: Houston to Alabama
Jan. 2: Purdue to Rutgers
Jan. 22: Houston to Temple
Feb. 4: Purdue to Indiana
Feb. 12: Purdue to Northwestern
Feb. 15: Alabama to Tennessee
The season is not yet over, either. Alabama plays Georgia on Saturday before it loses the No. 1 next to its name, at which point Houston, currently ranked No. 2, likely takes over with four games left in the regular season after Feb. 20.
Then March Madness begins.
Tennessee men's basketball repeats football history vs. Alabama
You might remember a plucky Tennessee football team taking down a higher-ranked Alabama at home in October.
Well, you won't be surprised to hear that Volunteers fans happily drew some parallels between that wild night and this one, with fans chanting "Just like football" and the Tennessee men's basketball Twitter account joining in.
Just like football?
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) February 16, 2023
It was a close game throughout, with neither team leading by double digits at any point. Tennessee eventually managed to eke out a multi-score lead and protect it for much of the second half, with Santiago Vescovi and Zakai Zeigler tying for the team lead in scoring with 15 points each.
Tennessee can only hope football history doesn't continue to repeat, though, as the football team lost twice the month after its moment of glory.