So far this season, the 1 is no fun

Five weeks going on six with a new team atop the top-25 polls

Christian Watford and the Indiana Hoosiers already have let the No. 1 ranking get away from them once, and the current top-ranked team in the country – the second time this season – just lost to Tyler Griffey and unranked Illinois on Thursday in Champaign, Ill. Enlarge photo

John Dixon/Associated Press file photo

Christian Watford and the Indiana Hoosiers already have let the No. 1 ranking get away from them once, and the current top-ranked team in the country – the second time this season – just lost to Tyler Griffey and unranked Illinois on Thursday in Champaign, Ill.

Indiana climbed its way to No. 1 this week, back where it started the season.

Fitting with the way this season has gone, the Hoosiers aren’t likely to be there long after losing on a buzzer beater to Illinois on Thursday night.

So far in this season of parity, No. 1 is no fun. Get to the top – or even close to it – and chances are a letdown is coming.

Since Indiana and Duke dominated No. 1 the first 10 weeks of the season, it’s been a jumble at the top with five different teams up there the last five weeks, a streak that almost certainly will stretch to six.

So as the regular season winds down into its final month, who are the title contenders?

Well, good question.

At this point, any team in the top-25 rankings or even just out of it might have a chance.

Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers are the current No. 1, so might as well start there.

Indiana is tough, talented and has one of the best players in the country in big man Cody Zeller.

The Hoosiers (20-3) are 8-2 in the rugged Big Ten but have had some tough losses. They lost to Butler in December when a 5-11 walk-on hit a floater in the closing seconds of overtime, and they couldn’t crack 60 points in a loss to unranked Wisconsin last month.

Indiana had been on a roll, beating then-No. 13 Michigan State and top-ranked Michigan last week, then took a big stumble by losing to the unranked Illini.

The Hoosiers also face some tough games down the stretch, including two against No. 10 Ohio State and both Michigan schools again.

Florida Gators

The Gators are No. 2 this week but also figure to fall a few spots after a looks-bad-on-the-résumé loss to Arkansas on Tuesday.

Florida has one of the nation’s most dynamic backcourts in Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario and Scottie Wilbekin and a multidimensional front line anchored by powerful Patric Young.

The Gators have dominated most games but allowed Arizona to score seven points in the final 56 seconds in a one-point loss in December and struggled at both ends in a loss to Kansas State a week later.

Florida got on a roll after that, winning 10 consecutive games, but had a huge letdown in the loss to the Razorbacks.

Still, 18-3 and with a lineup like that, they figure to make a decent run in the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines might have the nation’s best starting backcourt in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. and arguably have been college basketball’s most consistent team.

Michigan opened at No. 5 in the preseason poll and has remained in the top five, moving into the top spot the week of Jan. 28. The Wolverines only lasted a week at No. 1 thanks to a loss, but that was to Indiana, ranked No. 3 at the time. The Wolverines’ only other loss was on the road to Ohio State, which they avenged with an overtime win at home Tuesday in one of the season’s best games.

Still, the Big Ten is tough this season, and the Wolverines still have to face Michigan State and Indiana, not to mention go through the grind of their conference tournament.

Duke Blue Devils

The Blue Devils have one of the nation’s best players in Mason Plumlee and a guard in Seth Curry who can score in bunches. The problem for Duke has been injuries and occasional lapses on defense.

A foot injury by big man Ryan Kelly was a big loss. The multidimensional power forward has been out since injuring his right foot in early January, and the Blue Devils struggled the first few games without him.

One of those struggles came after Duke climbed to No. 1 again Jan. 21, a 90-63 loss to unranked Miami that was the third-worst by a No. 1 team ever.

Still, the Blue Devils (19-2) spent four weeks at No. 1 before Kelly got hurt and will be a formidable team when he returns.

Kansas Jayhawks

The talent and depth are there for a big run, but do the Jayhawks have enough focus to go deep in the NCAA Tournament?

The first part of the season was great for Kansas. Led by fabulous freshman Ben McLemore, the Jayhawks raced through the first two months of the season, their only loss a tight one to Michigan State.

The last couple of weeks have been a struggle. After scraping past West Virginia on the road Jan. 28, Kansas lost to Oklahoma State, its first at home to the Cowboys since 1989. It got worse – much worse – Wednesday night, when Kansas scored 13 points in the first half against TCU, then lost again Saturday to Oklahoma for its first losing streak since 2006.

After the loss to the Horned Frogs, coach Bill Self called his team the worst Kansas had put on the floor since Dr. James Naismith invented the game, so the Jayhawks (19-4) have a lot of work to do, no matter how talented they are.

Arizona Wildcats

Coach Sean Miller finally has his own players in place, and the Wildcats are loaded after a second consecutive stellar recruiting class. Arizona has a good mix of youth and veterans, with a strong backcourt and multidimensional frontcourt.

What the Wildcats need is consistency.

Arizona managed to pull out some close wins early in the season – Florida and San Diego State were the big ones – before it caught up to them on the road against Oregon. The Wildcats then lost at home to UCLA, a team that went on to lose to Arizona State and USC their next two games.

Arizona has struggled with turnovers and perimeter defense at times but has the talent to go deep into March – if it can find more consistency.

Michael Qualls and Arkansas upset former No. 1, current No. 2 Florida on Tuesday in Fayetteville, Ark. It hasn’t been a whole lot of fun so far this season for teams ranked in the top five. Florida lost again Saturday, to Wisconsin in overtime in Madison, Wis. Enlarge photo

Gareth Patterson/Associated Press file photo

Michael Qualls and Arkansas upset former No. 1, current No. 2 Florida on Tuesday in Fayetteville, Ark. It hasn’t been a whole lot of fun so far this season for teams ranked in the top five. Florida lost again Saturday, to Wisconsin in overtime in Madison, Wis.

Does anybody want to grab the No. 1 ranking? Cody Zeller and Indiana took it from Jon Horford and Michigan on Feb. 2 after the Hoosiers’ win in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana graduated to the top spot – again – then was upset by Illinois on Thursday. Enlarge photo

Doug McSchooler/Associated Press file photo

Does anybody want to grab the No. 1 ranking? Cody Zeller and Indiana took it from Jon Horford and Michigan on Feb. 2 after the Hoosiers’ win in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana graduated to the top spot – again – then was upset by Illinois on Thursday.

Quinn Cook and Duke had their hands all over the No. 1 ranking early in the season, but injuries and occasional lapses on defense have blocked the Blue Devils’ from holding on to the top spot. Enlarge photo

Gerry Broome/Associated Press file photo

Quinn Cook and Duke had their hands all over the No. 1 ranking early in the season, but injuries and occasional lapses on defense have blocked the Blue Devils’ from holding on to the top spot.

Fabulous freshman Ben McLemore and Kansas bull-rushed through the first two months of the regular season, then ran into Connell Crossland and a TCU roadblock Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas, prompting KU head coach Bill Self to call his team the worst Kansas had put on the floor since Dr. James Naismith invented the game. Enlarge photo

Sharon Ellman/Associated Press file photo

Fabulous freshman Ben McLemore and Kansas bull-rushed through the first two months of the regular season, then ran into Connell Crossland and a TCU roadblock Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas, prompting KU head coach Bill Self to call his team the worst Kansas had put on the floor since Dr. James Naismith invented the game.

Finally directing his own guys, Arizona head coach Sean Milleris trying to instill more consistency from Brandon Ashley and the Wildcats. If successful, Arizona could play deep into March. Enlarge photo

Chris Pietsch/Associated Press file photo

Finally directing his own guys, Arizona head coach Sean Milleris trying to instill more consistency from Brandon Ashley and the Wildcats. If successful, Arizona could play deep into March.