It’s been a whirlwind week so far in college basketball with ten teams ranked inside the AP Top 25 falling victim to the brutalities of conference play in the past three days. The No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, 17, 18, 21 and 23 have all gone down, and the weekend slate hasn’t even started.
Out of the ten losses, nine have come on the road, proving just how hard it is to win a road game in college basketball.
A note to any coach, any program, or any fanbase: cherish your road wins because they do not – and will not – come easy.
Although conference play has just begun and there is far more work to be done for all 362 teams in the country, let's take a look at each ranked team that has lost and see if we should be concerned about them moving forward or not by ranking them on a level of concern, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most.
#2 Houston: 57-53 loss at Iowa State
In their first-ever Big 12 road game, Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars were on the wrong side of Hilton Magic, falling to Iowa State thanks to an incredibly tough Milan Momcilovic turnaround jumper with under 30 seconds to go.
Although Houston – who were the last remaining undefeated team in college basketball until Tuesday night — fell short, there is no need to have any long-term worries about this team moving forward.
The Cougars were able to claw their way out of a 10-point first-half deficit even when the outside shot wasn’t falling as they were not able to get much from Jamal Shead and LJ Cryer from deep.
The Cougars out-rebounded Iowa State 32-25 and did not stray away from their defensive identity, holding Iowa State to just 20% shooting from behind the arc.
Level of concern: 0/10
The metrics still love this team as they still stand first in KenPom, BartTorvik and the NET. Although the loss wasn’t pretty by any means – especially on the offensive side of the floor – this feels more like a wake-up call, welcome-to-the-Big-12 type of loss rather than anything concerning.
The Cougars get a tough test at TCU on Saturday next, and I will not doubt Kelvin Sampson coming off of a tough loss on the road.