WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — For the first time in program history, Purdue basketball sits at the top of the Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Boilermakers claimed the No. 1 ranking in college basketball after defeating Iowa 77-70 on Friday at Mackey Arena.
Purdue received all 61 first-place votes.
"I think they deserve to be No. 1 for a couple reasons," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "They can hurt you in so many different ways. They have depth, they have experience, they have size, they have shooters.
"They've got gamers, and they battle you. They execute their stuff and they defend. This is going to be a hard team to beat."
Duke, which ranked No. 1 in last week's poll, fell to No. 3 after losing to Ohio State 71-66 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Dating back to the 1950-51 college basketball season — the first year of the AP poll — Purdue has ranked as high as No. 2, most recently in 1988. The longest the Boilermakers were ranked No. 2 was for five straight weeks from Feb. 8 to March 7, 1988.
Before this week, Purdue had been ranked in the Top 25 poll for 379 weeks but never reached the top spot. The Boilermakers are 8-0 for just the fifth time since the 1939-40 season.
"It's definitely an accomplishment for us, this is history," senior forward Trevion Williams said. "It's special, it shows that we're special, but we don't want to settle for that. We want to build off that. Once we become No. 1, we want to stay No. 1.
"I'm excited to be No. 1 in the country. I feel like we put in all the work to deserve that, and we show it."
Purdue has spent 11 weeks ranked No. 2 in the history of the AP poll, but this team looks to surpass the accomplishments of the Boilermakers of the past. Their eyes are set on winning the Big Ten and reaching the Final Four for the first time since 1980.
Of course, the ultimate goal for the program is to win the first NCAA Championship in school history. There are still a lot of games to be played, and Purdue isn't content with simply claiming No. 1 ranking at this point in the year.
"I think this has happened to a lot of people that have been ranked high early in the season — it doesn’t mean they end there," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "Our goal is to end there, to be one of the better teams going into the NCAA Tournament and then to make a long run in the NCAA Tournament. But we know how tough that is."
The Boilermakers opened the season with a trio of nonconference victories at Mackey Arena for traveling to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, for the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
The team earned its second-place ranking last week after claiming victories over North Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 20, and Villanova on Sunday Nov. 21. at the event. However, Duke's victory over then-No. 1 Gonzaga catapulted the Blue Devils to the top spot.
In its last three games, Purdue has defeated Omaha, Florida State and Iowa at home to remain undefeated. The Boilermakers are scheduled to go on the road for its next three matchups, starting with Rutgers on Thursday, Dec. 9.
Purdue is among four Big Ten programs ranked in the top 25, including Michigan State at No. 19, Ohio State at No. 21 and Wisconsin at No. 22. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana also received votes.
AP Top 25 College Basketball Poll, Dec. 6
Here is the Week 5 Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll, with Big Ten teams in bold.
- Purdue (8-0)
- Baylor (8-0)
- Duke (7-1)
- UCLA (8-1)
- Gonzaga (7-2)
- Villanova (6-2)
- Texas (6-1)
- Kansas (6-1)
- Alabama (7-1)
- Kentucky (6-1)
- Arizona (7-0)
- Arkansas (8-0)
- Tennessee (6-1)
- Houston (7-1)
- Connecticut (8-1)
- USC (8-0)
- Iowa State (8-0)
- Auburn (7-1)
- Michigan State (7-2)
- Florida (6-1)
- Ohio State (6-2)
- Wisconsin (7-1)
- Seton Hall (7-1)
- BYU (7-1)
- LSU (8-0)
Others receiving votes:
Colorado State 90, Xavier 78, Illinois 71, North Carolina 55, St. Bonaventure 37, Oklahoma 29, Memphis 14, Iowa 12, Michigan 11, San Francisco 10, Loyola Chicago 4, Indiana 3, Texas Tech 2
Stories Related to Purdue Basketball
- SASHA LIVE! MONDAY AT MAD MUSHROOM: Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic is back in the chair for Episode 6 of the Sasha Live! podcast on Monday night at Mad Mushroom Pizza in West Lafayette. There's plenty to talk about, including the expected ascension to the top of the AP top 25 poll on Monday. Come watch the show live, or online. Links are in the story. CLICK HERE
- BOILERS TOP IOWA: Even though Purdue let most of a big second-half lead slip away, the Boilermakers hung on to beat Iowa 77-70 on Friday night in their Big Ten regular season opener. CLICK HERE
- SURVIVING IOWA PRESS: Purdue struggled with Iowa's full-court pressure down the stretch, turning the ball over too much and allowing the Hawkeyes to get back in the game. An issue to be concerned with? CLICK HERE
- PURDUE PULLS AWAY FROM FLORIDA STATE: Jaden Ivey led Purdue with 18 points against Florida State. He was one of five Boilermakers to score in double figures. CLICK HERE
- PURDUE TAKES DOWN VILLANOVA: Purdue battled back from down 11 points in the second half to defeat Villanova in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament on Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Sophomore center Zach Edey led the way with 21 points. CLICK HERE
- BOILERMAKERS DEFEAT NORTH CAROLINA: No. 6 Purdue had three players score 20 points or more in a 93-84 victory over No. 18 North Carolina on Saturday. CLICK HERE