Parity is real across college basketball landscape

There was a lot of buzz last week when Kansas, Ohio State, Texas and Pitt all lost college men’s basketball games. At the time, they comprised the nation’s top four teams in the AP poll.

It seems like, on any given day this winter, an upset is a possibility.

Twenty-three different teams have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 at some point this year. Among them are Michigan State, Kansas State, Baylor and Tennessee. None of them are even receiving votes in the poll right now.

It seems like parity, however, is prevalent across the board not just at the top of the polls.

In the Big 12, for instance, five schools are currently within one game of a .500 record. Missouri is a game above break-even, Kansas State, Baylor and Nebraska have split their 12 games and Colorado is one game below .500.

One year ago, only two Big 12 schools were within a game of the break-even mark for league play.

Even on the national scene, there is greater parity this season. Of the 300-plus schools in Division I, only 93 were at .500 or within a game of that mark last year. This year, the number rises to 114. That is a 23% increase in the number of schools at or near break-even.

It’s pretty evident that parity has, indeed, taken over college basketball. That would indicate March Madness is ripe for some surprises.

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