Tuesday, January 25, 2022

College basketball rankings: Auburn jumps into top 10, Baylor still No. 1 in updated AP Top 25 poll

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USATSI

Auburn’s steady climb up the college basketball rankings continued on Monday when the Tigers landed at No. 9 in the AP Top 25 following a 70-55 thrashing of LSU in the SEC opener for both teams on Dec. 29. That impressive showing was good enough to bump Auburn (12-1) up two spots from No. 11. The Tigers began the season ranked No. 22 but have moved up in the poll every week except for the week after a 115-109 double-overtime loss against UConn in late November.

That defeat is the only loss on Auburn’s ledger so far this season as the Tigers thrive behind one of the nation’s best front courts. The tandem of five-star freshman forward Jabari Smith and North Carolina transfer center Walker Kessler are proving to be a nightmare for opponents. Both score 16 points against Auburn, and Kessler contributed 11 blocks and 10 rebounds to record the program’s second-ever triple-double.

Other movement in this week’s top-10 included Arizona rising one spot to No. 8 to replace Iowa State, as the Cyclones fell from No. 8 to No. 11 following a home loss against No. 1 Baylor. Seton Hall took one of the biggest hits in this week’s poll, falling from No. 15 to No. 24 following a pair of close losses against Big East foes No. 16 Providence and No. 19 Villanova.

The Friars are up five spots this week amid a 13-1 start. They have already matched their win total from last season.

AP Top 25

1. Baylor (61)

2. Duke

3. Purdue

4. Gonzaga

5. UCLA

6. Kansas

7. USC

8. Arizona

9. Auburn

10. Michigan State

11. Iowa State

12. Houston

13. Ohio State

14. Texas

15. Alabama

16. Kentucky

16. Providence

18. Tennessee

19. Villanova

20. Colorado State

21. LSU

22. Xavier

23. Wisconsin

24. Seton Hall

25. Texas Tech

Others receiving votes: Illinois 74, Oklahoma 71, Loyola Chicago 40, UConn 39, Georgia 22, West Virginia 6, Iowa 5, Minnesota 3, San Francisco 3, Davidson 3, Creighton 2.

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