Both LSU and Wisconsin lost a heavy portion of their scoring from last season’s teams, and both were projected to finish near the middle of the pack in their respective conference’s this season. But after strong beginnings in league play, the Tigers and Badgers are both in the top 15 of this week’s Coaches Poll.
LSU (14-1, 2-1 SEC) rose nine spots to No. 12 following wins over ranked foes Kentucky and Tennessee, while Wisconsin (13-2, 4-1 Big Ten) is up 10 spots to No. 13 following victories over Purdue, Iowa and Maryland. The trick for the Tigers has been defense as they rank No. 1 nationally in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. For Wisconsin, the formula for success has been a heavy dose of Johnny Davis. The sophomore guard is averaging 22.3 points per game and poured in a career-high 37 points in the Badgers’ upset win over the Boilermakers last week.
The top four in this week’s Coaches poll mirrored the AP Top 25 rankings. But the Boilermakers held on to the No. 5 spot in the Coaches poll, despite the loss to the Badgers. Kansas took a slightly further tumble in the Coaches poll than in the AP poll, as the Jayhawks fell to No. 9 after losing at Texas Tech on Saturday. The Red Raiders jumped six spots to No. 19 following the impressive win over the Jayhawks.
As for No. 1, the coaches were unanimous yet again that Baylor is the nation’s No. 1 team.
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The top 25 teams in the USA Today college basketball Coaches 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: