No. 1 Purdue headlines AP Top 25; Miami leaps, UNC returns

Purdue remained atop the top 25 in the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the third straight week, while preseason No. 1 North Carolina climbed back into the rankings and New Mexico swept the poll for the first time in eight years.

The Boilermakers earned 40 of 60 first-place votes in Monday’s latest poll, while fellow undefeated Connecticut earned the other 20 to take the No. 2 spot in an unchanged high.

Purdue had never been ranked No. 1 before a week’s stay there last December, and was unranked to start the season. But the Boilermakers quickly rose from No. 24 to No. 5 in a one-week span in late November, then climbed to No. 1 on Dec. 12.

The Boilermakers’ win against New Orleans last week marked their first home game with that No. 1 ranking.

“We didn’t have any delivery. We had to work for everything,” coach Matt Painter said afterward, adding, “But we earned it, but we’ve got to keep winning it. That’s not the This is only a third of the way through the season.”

[College basketball power rankings: UConn, Arizona keep rolling]


No. 3 Houston, No. 4 Kansas and No. 5 Arizona held their positions as the top five remained in place for the second week in a row.

Texas was next at No. 6, followed by Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Gonzaga, the preseason pick at No. 2 that returned to the top 10 after falling as low as No. 18 earlier this month.


North Carolina returns to the poll at No. 25 after a tumultuous season opener.

Returning four starters from last year’s surprise run to the NCAA title game, the Tar Heels began December by becoming just the sixth team to go from preseason No. 1 to unranked since at least the 1961-62 season. That came after a four-game losing streak.

But UNC has won four straight since then, the last two against Big Ten teams — Ohio State on Dec. 17 and Michigan last week — to regroup.


Miami had its biggest jump of the week after a win against Virginia, moving up eight spots to No. 14 for its highest ranking since the 2017-18 season. No. 20 Auburn rose three points. In total, 10 teams rose from last week.


Virginia suffered the biggest drop of the week, falling seven spots to No. 13. Mississippi State was far behind, falling six spots to No. 21. Duke was the only other team to fall, and drop three places to number 17.


Seven teams maintained their rankings from last week, with No. 12 Baylor and No. 19 Kentucky joining the top five unchanged.


Xavier and New Mexico are tied for No. 22, while No. 24 West Virginia joined them in new additions to the poll this season. For the Lobos, it’s the first time they’ve made the AP Top 25 since March 2014.

Goodbye for now)

Illinois (No. 16), Virginia Tech (No. 21), Marquette (No. 24) and Arizona State (No. 25) fell in last week’s poll.


The Southeastern Conference led all leagues with six teams ranked, followed by the Big 12 with five and the Atlantic Coast Conference with four.

The Big Ten had three ranked teams, while the Pac-12 and Big East each had two. The American Athletic, West Coast and Mountain West conferences all had one.


  1. Purdue
  2. UConn
  3. Houston
  4. Kansas
  5. Arizona
  6. Texas
  7. Tennessee
  8. Alabama
  9. Arkansas
  10. Gonzaga
  11. UCLA
  12. Baylor
  13. virginia
  14. Miami
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Indiana
  17. duke
  18. TCU
  19. Kentucky
  20. Auburn
  21. Mississippi State
  22. New Mexico
  23. Xavier
  24. West Virginia
  25. North Carolina

Associated Press report.

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