No. 1 ranking a hot potato as teams shuffle in and out of top spot

Any college basketball team would rather be No. 1 at the end of the NCAA tournament than in the weeks before it starts, so that might be why the top ranking in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches’ Poll keeps being passed around as if nobody wants it.

The stage is set for another switch today after No. 1 Syracuse spent five days at the top before losing Saturday at Louisville in the Cardinals’ final scheduled game at Freedom Hall.

Syracuse (28-3), which had not been ranked No. 1 in the regular season in 20 years, has lost twice in three weeks to Louisville.

Saturday’s setback opens the door for No. 2 Kansas (29-2) to reclaim the top spot after beating rival Missouri on Saturday.