Kentucky, Villanova still tops in voters’ eyes
Kentucky and Villanova remain the top two teams in The Associated Press college basketball poll while Baylor made the week’s biggest jump, from No. 20 to ninth.
The Kentucky Wildcats (6-0) received 40 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel while Villanova, also known as the Wildcats, was No. 1 on 20 ballots.
North Carolina (7-0), which moved up one place to third after winning the Maui Invitational, got four No. 1 votes. Kansas, Duke and Virginia all moved up one place to fourth through sixth. Xavier moved up two places to seventh and Gonzaga went up three spots to eighth.
Baylor (6-0), which beat Michigan State and Louisville in winning the Battle 4 Atlantis, got the other first-place vote and was followed in the Top 10 by Creighton.
Three teams are making their first appearance of the season in the Top 25: Butler, South Carolina and Florida.
UCLA was 11th followed by Saint Mary’s, Indiana, which dropped 10 places following its loss to Fort Wayne, Louisville, Purdue, Arizona, Wisconsin, Butler, Iowa State and South Carolina.
The last five teams were Rhode Island, Syracuse, Oregon, Florida and West Virginia.
The four teams that dropped out were No. 22 Texas, No. 24 Michigan State and Michigan and Florida State, which were tied for 25th.
The Big East (Villanova, Xavier and Creighton) and Atlantic Coast Conference (North Carolina, Duke and Virginia) are tied with three teams each in the Top 10. Overall, the ACC leads with five ranked teams while the Big East and Big 12 have four each. The Pac-12, Big Ten and Southeastern Conference, which has newcomers South Carolina and Florida, have three each.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge provides four double-ranked games this week. On Tuesday, Duke plays Michigan State and Wisconsin meets Syracuse. On Wednesday, Indiana faces North Carolina and Louisville plays Purdue.