College basketball rankings: Villanova gets past Creighton, but loses star Collin Gillespie

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Villanova beat Creighton on Wednesday to improve to 16-4 overall and 11-3 in the Big East. As a result, the Wildcats are now guaranteed to win the league title by multiple games. That’s good stuff. But if you think they were celebrating afterward, you must’ve missed the biggest development from the night — specifically that Collin Gillespie, Villanova’s point guard and leader, suffered a left knee injury that future Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Jay Wright subsequently described as “serious.”

An MRI is scheduled for Thursday.

Hopefully it provides surprisingly good news.

But, as I said on CBS Sports Network late Wednesday, I’ve been listening to coaches talk about injuries long enough to know that they don’t usually describe anything as “serious” so quickly unless they feel pretty confident that it’s, you know, actually serious. So that’s discouraging. And this is obviously an awful blow to Villanova — but more so to Gillespie, a young man who just led the Wildcats to a third consecutive Big East title. He’s second on the team in scoring. He’s first on the team in assists. And now there’s reason to believe his season might really be over because of an awkward landing 10 days before Selection Sunday.


The good news is that even if Gillespie suffered a season-ending injury, this doesn’t have to be the end of his college career. Like every other senior, he’s eligible to return next season if he wants — and I’m certain Gillespie will be among the many four-year players who at least consider exercising that option given that the NBA is not considered a certain destination. Either way, that was some kind of gut-punch he and his program suffered Wednesday night. They won the game. But, it appears, they might’ve lost much more.

Villanova remains No. 12 in Thursday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Wildcats will conclude the regular season Saturday at Providence.

Thursday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings

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