Friday, January 28, 2022

College basketball rankings: Villanova plummets in new AP Top 25 poll after two blowout losses

A wacky week in men’s college basketball that saw five ranked teams take a tumble guaranteed a shakeup in the AP Top 25 poll, and a shakeup is indeed what we got. There is one new team in the latest top 10, two new entries in the rankings and some major movers among teams that entered the season as true contenders.

The top of the AP poll stayed the same, with Baylor repeating as No. 1 and Duke and Purdue holding firm at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Gonzaga moved up one spot to No. 4 and UCLA took Gonzaga’s old spot with a one-spot drop to No. 5. But deeper in the poll there was plenty of movement.

No team saw its ranking tumble quicker than Villanova this week as part of the new-look rankings, a the Wildcats fell from No. 9 to nearly out — dropping 14 spots to No. 23.  The Wildcats’ 79-59 loss to the Bluejays last week came after a 57-36 loss to Baylor, the first time since 1998-99 that they’ve lost consecutive games by at least 20. Villanova opened the preseason No. 4 in the poll but its bumpy start got worse this week when it fell to Baylor and Creighton in consecutive road games by a combined 41 points. The Wildcats’ 7-4 start is the program’s worst since the 2012-13 season.

Alabama, another team that opened the season with high expectations, also took a dip this week despite a relatively strong start to its season. The 9-2 Crimson Tide fell from No. 6 to No. 10 after falling on the road to unranked Memphis and struggling at home to close out Jacksonville State.

AP Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sunday, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma 65, West Virginia 57, UConn 55, Illinois 49, Loyola Chicago 42, Michigan 9, Arkansas 9, BYU 8, North Carolina 7, San Francisco 6, Wake Forest 5, Virginia Tech 4, Oklahoma State 4, Iowa 3, Minnesota 3, Creighton 2, Memphis 1 

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