Purdue became the first unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll on Monday after wins over Michigan and Michigan State last week as chaos ensued behind the Boilermakers among other ranked teams .
More than half of the top 25 teams lost, including second-ranked Alabama, which was defeated by Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. That allowed Purdue to grab the remaining No. 1 votes and strengthen its grip at the top of the poll, while Tennessee jumped two spots to second and Houston held onto third in the poll of 62 media members national
The Boilermakers (21-1) have won eight straight since a one-point loss to Rutgers on Jan. 2.
“We’re the No. 1 team in the country because of how generous we are as a team,” Purdue guard David Jenkins Jr. said. “We had a lot of people doubt us at the beginning because, you know, maybe we’re not the most talented team or whatever, but we’re close on the court and off the court, and it really translates into how we’re winning. “.
The Volunteers climbed to their highest perch since reaching No. 1 for four weeks during the 2018-19 season. They defeated Georgia before becoming one of three SEC teams to beat Big 12 opponents on Saturday, knocking off No. 10 Texas 82-71 for its fifth straight win over a top-10 team.
Maybe this is the year Rick Barnes finally gets the Vols through the Sweet 16 for the first time as a coach.
“We have a chance to be as good as we want to be,” he said. “It depends on one thing: Are we tough enough to embrace the daily routine? And not worry about going to the Final Four or worry about going to the NCAA Tournament, but can we build a team that can succeed in this time of year? Start by truly embracing the routine.”
The Crimson Tide dropped to No. 4 after the big loss to the Sooners, when Alabama trailed by 17 points at halftime in an eventual 93-69 loss. The Tide edged out fifth-ranked Arizona by just two points in this week’s poll.
“It has no effect on the SEC standings, which is the only good thing that comes out of this,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said of the lopsided loss. “Hopefully we bounce back from a non-conference loss, but you know, it’s not good.”
Virginia was sixth and Kansas State, which bounced back from a narrow loss at No. 13 Iowa State by beating Florida on Saturday, fell two spots to seventh; the Wildcats face eighth-ranked Kansas in a top-10 matchup Tuesday night.
UCLA fell to ninth after losing to USC and Texas rounded out the top 10.
Baylor continued its climb from unranked to No. 11 after wins over the Jayhawks and Arkansas. The Bears were followed by Gonzaga, Iowa State, Marquette and league rival TCU, the sixth Big 12 team in the top 15.
Xavier, Providence, Saint Mary’s, FAU and Clemson rounded out the top 20, while Indiana and San Diego State joined Miami (Fla.), UConn and Auburn to round out the top 25.
No. 11 Baylor and No. 17 Providence made the biggest jumps, each moving up six spots from last week.
“I think our defense is better. Our turnovers are better. When you don’t give people easy transition baskets, now it’s five-on-five in the half court,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said, l whose team had a date with the Longhorns on Monday night.
“We run at a pretty high pace,” Drew said. “It’s really about taking care of the ball, making sure we get shots up and when you don’t, you’ve got to get rebounds. And our guys are buying into that.”
Auburn had the most success of anyone still in the poll, dropping 10 spots after losses to Texas A&M and West Virginia.
The Hoosiers returned to the polls at No. 21, and the Aztecs came in right behind them. They took over Charleston, which fell from No. 18 after losses to Hofstra and New Mexico, which lost to Nevada in double overtime last week.
The dominance of the SEC Big 12 in the final year of its head-to-head challenge was rewarded in the poll, where the league led the way with six teams ranked and all in the top 15. four teams in the poll but none higher than No. 14 Marquette, while the SEC and ACC each have three teams.
Associated Press report.
AP Poll Top 25 Men’s College Basketball
1. Purdue (21-1)
2. Tennessee (18-3)
3. Houston (20-2)
4. Alabama (18-3)
5. Arizona (19-3)
6. Virginia (16-3)
7. Kansas State (18-3)
8. Kansas (17-4)
9. UCLA (17-4)
10. Texas (17-4)
11. Baylor (16-5)
12. Gonzaga (18-4)
13. Iowa State (15-5)
14. Marquette (17-5)
15. TCU (16-5)
16. Xavier (17-5)
17. Providence (17-5)
18. Santa Maria (19-4)
19. FAU (21-1)
20. Clemson (18-4)
21. Indiana (15-6)
22. San Diego State (17-4)
23. Miami (Fla.) (16-5)
24. UConn (16-6)
25. Auburn (16-5)
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