Purdue a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25; Flights to #2
Purdue became the first unanimous No. 1 team this season in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll Monday after wins over Michigan and Michigan State last week as chaos ensued behind the Boilermakers amid the other ranked teams.
More than half of the Top 25 teams lost, including second-seeded Alabama, which was routed by Oklahoma in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. This allowed Purdue to win the remaining No. 1 votes and tighten its grip on the poll, while Tennessee jumped two places to second place and Houston retained third place in the vote of 62 members of the media. nationals.
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 our selflessness as a team,” Purdue guard David Jenkins Jr. said. , we may not be the most talented team or anything, but we’re close on and off the pitch and that really translates into how we win.”
The Volunteers have reached their highest level since hitting No.1 for four weeks during the 2018-19 season. They routed Georgia before becoming one of three SEC teams to beat Big 12 opponents on Saturday, ousting No. 10 Texas 82-71 for their fifth straight victory over a top-10 team.
This may be the year Rick Barnes finally gets the Flights across 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 all depends on one thing: are we strong enough to accept the daily grind? And don’t worry about going to the Final Four or going to the NCAA Tournament, but can we build a team that can be successful at this time of year? It starts with really embracing the grind.
The Crimson Tide fell to fourth after the blowout loss to the Sooners, when Alabama trailed 17 at halftime in an eventual 93-69 loss. The Tide edged fifth-place Arizona by just two points in this week’s poll.
“It has no effect on the SEC standings, which is the only good thing to come out of it,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said of the lopsided loss. “Hopefully we recover from a non-conference loss, but you know, it’s not good.”
Virginia finished sixth and Kansas State, which rebounded from a narrow loss at No. 13 Iowa State by beating Florida on Saturday, fell two spots to seventh; the Wildcats take on eighth-ranked Kansas in a top-10 showdown on Tuesday night.
UCLA dropped to ninth place after losing to Southern California and Texas rounded out the top 10.
Baylor continued their rise 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 Big 12’s sixth team in the top 15.
Xavier, Providence, Saint Mary’s, Florida Atlantic and Clemson rounded out the top 20, while scrutineers Indiana and San Diego State joined Miami, UConn and Auburn to complete the Top 25.
RISE AND FALL
The No. 11 Bears and No. 17 Providence made the biggest leaps, each climbing six spots from last week.
“I think our defense is better. Our turnover is better. When you don’t give people easy transition baskets, it’s now five-on-five in the half court,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team had a date with the Longhorns on Monday. evening.
“We’re running at a pretty high pace,” Drew said. “It’s really about taking care of the ball, making sure we get shots and when you don’t get them you need to get rebounds. And our guys are buying into that.
Auburn had the biggest win among those still in the poll, falling 10 spots after losses to unranked Texas A&M and West Virginia.
IN AND OUT
The Hoosiers came back on the ballot at No. 22 and the Aztecs joined him right behind them. They replaced Charleston, which fell from No. 18 after losing to Hofstra, and New Mexico, which lost to Nevada in double overtime last week.
The Big 12’s dominance over the SEC in the final year of their head-to-head challenge was rewarded in the poll, where the league led the way with six ranked teams and all in the top 15. The Big East has four teams. in the poll but none higher than No. 14 Marquette, while the SEC and ACC have three teams each.
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