Purdue remains No. 1 in AP Top 25; NC State in at No. 22
Purdue’s undisputed hold on No. 1 in the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll was gone after a weekend loss. That didn’t stop the Boilermakers from staying on top anyway.
The Boilermakers won 38 of 62 first-place votes in the poll released Monday to stay first for a third straight week and seventh time this season. Purdue was the unanimous pick last week, the first for any team this season, before falling to Indiana this weekend for just its second loss.
The Boilermakers (22-2, 11-2) have a top contender for National Player of the Year in Zach Edey and KenPom’s No. 1 offense (121.1 points scored per 100 possessions) to go along with it. a top-25 defense. But they went down big, committed 16 turnovers and allowed the Hoosiers — up to No. 18 this week — to shoot nearly 53% in a 79-74 loss on Saturday.
“When we go to Zach and take perimeter shots, the defense sometimes improves when the offense sinks,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said in his postgame press conference. “And you can’t do that. You can still rebound, you can still take care of the ball, you can still make your free throws, those things.
That loss meant Houston garnered 22 votes for first place as it moved up one spot to No. 2, followed by No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Arizona each claiming one.
THE UPPER LEVEL
Texas jumped five places to No. 5, overtaking Tennessee, which fell four places to No. 6 after losing last week to Florida.
UCLA, Virginia, Kansas and Marquette round out the top 10, with Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles cracking the top 10 for the first time since 2019.
The Longhorns jump marked the biggest jump of the week, followed by Marquette and Miami who each moved up four spots. No. 13 Xavier, No. 15 Saint Mary’s and No. 21 UConn joined Indiana by moving up three positions each.
In all, 12 teams rose from last week’s standings.
Kansas State suffered the biggest drop of the week, dropping five spots to 12th after losing to Kansas and at home to Texas last week. Gonzaga, No. 16, joined Tennessee dropping four spots after their overtime loss at Saint Mary’s.
In all, nine teams fell from last week’s standings.
Purdue was the only team to remain in the same position this week.
North Carolina State earned its first AP Top 25 ranking in four years, ranking 22nd.
The Wolfpack (19-5, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) spent six weeks in the poll during the 2018-19 season. NC State has already surpassed the win total for each of the past two seasons and has been in contention for first place in the program’s NCAA Tournament since 2018.
Creighton and Rutgers joined NC State as this week’s new additions to the poll, although both were ranked earlier this season. The Bluejays were No. 9 in the pre-season poll and peaked at No. 7 before falling in mid-December, while the Scarlet Knights spent a week at No. 23 in mid-January.
GOODBYE (FOR NOW)
Florida Atlantic (No. 19), Clemson (No. 20) and Auburn (No. 25) were eliminated from this week’s poll.
EVE OF THE CONFERENCE
The Big 12 leads all leagues with six ranked teams, including No. 11 Iowa State, No. 14 Baylor and No. 17 TCU. The Big East is next with five ranked teams, followed by the Big Ten and the ACC with three each.
The Pac-12, Southeastern, and West Coast conferences each have two ranked teams, while American Athletic and Mountain West each have one.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/ AP_Top25