Purdue remains the No. 1 men’s basketball; Connecticut Falls
The schedule change means conference play is now kicking into high gear in college basketball. That means Purdue’s No. 1 ranking in USA TODAY Sports’ Men’s Coaches Poll is about to be tested as the Boilermakers head for the teeth of their Big Ten slate, starting with the brawl of today with Rutgers.
Purdue will spend at least a fourth week at the top of the poll, garnering 30 of 32 first-place nominations. Houston, which held the No. 1 spot earlier this season, is back at No. 2 claiming the two remaining No. 1 votes. Kansas and Arizona each climb a spot to No. 3 and 4 respectively, while Connecticut slips from second to fifth after suffering its first loss of the season to Xavier. The victory propels the Musketeers seven places to 18th, the biggest move of the week.
The rest of the top 10 sees a minor shakeup as Arkansas jumps from 7th place to 13th after a midweek loss to LSU. Texas remains steady at No. 6 as Alabama leaps over UCLA to grab the No. 7 position. Tennessee and Gonzaga round out the top 10.
TOP 25:Full USA TODAY Sports Men’s Basketball Poll
Missouri tops the list of the top 25 newcomers. The Tigers sit in 21st place after a convincing win over Kentucky. The Wildcats barely hold onto a spot in the standings but find themselves tied for 25th with Iowa State. New Mexico, the only Division I team other than Purdue still undefeated, joins the poll at No. 22, the Lobos’ first appearance since March 15, 2013. No. 23 Ohio State also joins the standings.
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Maryland, Mississippi State and West Virginia are this week’s dropouts.