Well, that was a weird week. Suffice it to say that the ACC wasn’t the only place in the country where winning streaks were broken and big-time programs were brought down, while teams that hadn’t really been on the national radar made pretty big leaps. Aside from one tumble, though, the top 10 remains basically the same, including our... (grumble) #1.
AP Top 25
1. Duke (53 votes for first place)
2. Kansas (7)
4. Virginia (2)
5. Tennessee (1)
7. North Carolina
11. Michigan State
12. Kansas State
13. Virginia Tech
14. Florida State
15. Mississippi State
23. Ohio State
Wins against Stanford and Tennessee Tech don’t move the needle, but UNC’s domination of both basically ensured that UNC wouldn’t lose any ground. Indeed they did not, staying pat at #7. The Heels have closed the gap between themselves and #6 Nevada from tiny (17 points) to miniscule (7 points), for what that’s worth (nothing).
UNC has already played a game this Thanksgiving week, beating St. Francis (PA) 101-76 in the first game of the Las Vegas Invitational. They will face Texas on Thanksgiving night with their first real chance to boost their ranking against a fringe top-25 team.
You could say that Michigan’s 73-46 demolition of Villanova in a rematch of the 2018 National Championship game put John Beilein’s team in the spotlight. The Wolverines jumped from #18 to #9 on the strength of that performance alone. Lower down the table, Iowa’s 77-69 win against then - #13 Oregon boosted them from not even receiving votes to #20 in the country.
How the mighty have fallen. It’s early, and I’m not saying anything about Villanova’s prospects this season based on last week, but boy, was it ugly: the loss to Michigan was followed directly by a 76-68 loss to Furman, and that was enough to take a top-10 team out of the Top 25 entirely. Syracuse suffered a similar fate after losses to UConn and Oregon, which took them from #15 to out of the rankings, and Oregon, though they tried to salvage the loss to Iowa with that win, still took a hit down to #21 from #13.
On the Bubble
It seems that the Poll is starting to solidify and the Top 25 is moving away from the field: #25 Wisconsin has 150 votes, and leading the “others receiving votes” category is Nebraska with 98. Compare this to last week, where #25 Buffalo led #26 West Virginia by just 9 votes. Also notable is Furman, whose win over Villanova pushed them to #30 after getting just one vote last week.
Big 10: 6
Big 12: 3
Mountain West: 1
West Coast: 1
Top 25 Games This Week
#8 Auburn vs #1 Duke: Tuesday 11/20 at 8:00 PM, ESPN
#11 Michigan State vs #17 UCLA: Thursday 11/22 at 10:00 PM, FS1