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Point/Counterpoint: Which team deserves the No. 1 ranking in college basketball?

By Dan Madigan & Matt Zampini
On February 20, 2014

Dan Madigan: Although the AP poll has Syracuse as No. 1 in their rankings, whether they actually are the best team in the country is certainly up for debate after losing a Boston College team with only six wins. Despite their two losses, the No. 2 team in the country, Florida, has a strong argument for being the best team in the country. Ever since losing to UConn after Shabazz Napier's late game heroics over two months ago, Florida has not lost and has beaten high caliber teams like Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis.
Matt Zampini: Despite the loss, I still believe a case could be made for them to be the No. 1 team in the country. Wichita State now stands as the only undefeated team in the country, Syracuse is now right behind them with one loss and Florida, Arizona, San Diego State and St. Louis have two losses. One bump in the road for Syracuse should not determine a team's worth.
Dan: Syracuse has certainly had a knack to win close games like their wins against Pittsburgh and North Carolina State, but their loss to Boston College is abysmal. There is no way a team with a serious case for being No. 1 in the country can lose a game against a Boston College team that has won twice since November. Florida, on the other hand, has lost only two games, both to ranked teams away from home.
Matt: Every team is going to lose against unranked teams, that is just how college basketball works. Last night, they weren't able to pull it out and suffered their first loss of the year. They were off to the best start in school history and are still a very good team and very dangerous. C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis have been great all year and 'Cuse will continue to go to them in the future when games are on the line.
Dan: Syracuse has certainly played many talented teams in a great conference, but this loss certainly hurts their case as No. 1 in the nation. Florida's backbone consists of seniors Scottie Wilbekin and Patric Young, and these two have helped lead the team during tough road games and have played well enough to prevent Florida from losing to a team as bad as Boston College. This experience will not only help them now but also in March as they plan to make a deep run in the tournament.
Matt: Come Monday, although the loss hurts, I still think some writers who have votes in the national poll will vote for Syracuse. Their one loss is better than Florida's two losses. Florida barely escaped Auburn last night as well so I think some writers will see that and still see Syracuse as a better team. Their stifling zone defense stumps a lot of teams and their play from Ennis and Fair will take this team far come March. 


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