Three NCAA basketball teams have already held the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press poll this season, and several others may hold that position before the NCAA tournament begins. The question is, which teams have the potential and schedule to enable them to ascend to No. 1?
In the past 10 seasons, no more than six teams have held the No. 1 spot in a given season. In half of those 10 seasons, no more than three teams earned the top position at some point. So you can expect only a few more teams to hold the No. 1 ranking this season.
However, teams can rise a considerable distance to reach the No. 1 slot. Gonzaga was No. 21 in last season's preseason AP rankings and was No. 1 in the final AP poll, which was issued just before the NCAA tournament.
Our slideshow starts with seven teams that have a shot at the No. 1 spot but are expected to fall shot. Those squads will be followed by the three teams that have held the No. 1 spot, with predictions of whether they can regain or retain it. Finally, we list three other teams we expect to be No. 1 before the season is over.