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Houston No.1, Baylor Drops out of Top 25

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Houston forward J'Wan Roberts (#13) and guard Jamal Shead (#1) Celebrate after a play. | Image by Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

A week full of upsets led to a lot of movement in the Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll released Monday.

Houston is back at No.1 for the second time this season after a two-week stay there earlier this season. Before this season, the Cougars (16-1) had not been No.1 since the Phi Slama Jama days of the 1980s.

The Cougars received 34 of 60 first-place votes, while Kansas moved up to No.2 and had 22 first-place votes.

Purdue got the other four first-place votes and fell from No.1 to No.3 after suffering its first loss at home to Rutgers last week. No.4 Alabama and No.5 Tennessee gave the Southeastern Conference (SEC) a pair of top-five teams.

Kansas State was the week’s big mover, continuing its strong start by leaping from unranked to No.11. The Wildcats had an impressive week with two road wins against ranked opponents under first-year coach Jerome Tang.

Picked to finish last in the Big 12, Kansas State scored 116 points against Texas, then edged Baylor 97-95 in overtime.

That helped Kansas State (14-1) match its best start since the 1958-59 season while bringing the Wildcats back into the AP Top 25 for the first time since the end of the 2018-19 season.

For Baylor, the loss knocks it out of the Top 25, with the Bears now unranked for the first time under head coach Scott Drew since the 2018-19 season. Indiana (No.15), New Mexico (No.21), and Ohio State (No.24) join Baylor as teams to drop out of the Top 25 this week.

UConn, UCLA, Gonzaga, Arizona, and Texas rounded out the top 10, with the Longhorns tumbling four spots after a rocky week that included the firing of coach Chris Beard as he faces a felony domestic family violence charge.

Texas did bounce back from the loss to Kansas State by gutting out a 56-46 road win against Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Also from the Big 12, No.14 Iowa State climbed nine spots after road wins against Oklahoma and No.17 TCU.

In all, 10 teams climbed from last week’s poll, with No.12 Xavier rising six spots after pushing its winning streak to nine games.

TCU and No.20 Missouri were the only teams to hold their position from last week.

The Horned Frogs split a pair of games that went down to the wire last week — first, scraping by Baylor 88-87 on the road before a 69-67 home loss to Iowa State.

This week’s schedule is not kind to TCU as it hits the road to face No.10 Texas on Wednesday before hosting No.11 Kansas State on Saturday.

Comparing conferences, the Big 12 and SEC each had five ranked teams to lead the country, followed by the Big East with four teams.

The Atlantic Coast Conference had three, while the Big Ten and Pac-12 each had two. The American Athletic, West Coast, Mountain West conferences, and the Colonial Athletic Association each had one ranked team.

Full AP Top 25 (First-Place Votes):

  1. Houston (34) 16-1
  2. Kansas (22) 14-1
  3. Purdue (4) 15-1
  4. Alabama 13-2
  5. Tennessee 13-2
  6. UConn 15-2
  7. UCLA 14-2
  8. Gonzaga 14-3
  9. Arizona 14-2
  10. Texas 13-2
  11. Kansas State 14-1
  12. Xavier 13-3
  13. Virginia 11-3
  14. Iowa State 12-2
  15. Arkansas 12-3
  16. Miami 13-2
  17. TCU 13-2
  18. Wisconsin 11-3
  19. Providence 14-3
  20. Missouri 13-2
  21. Auburn 12-3
  22. Charleston 16-1
  23. San Diego State 12-3
  24. Duke 12-4
  25. Marquette 13-4

Others receiving votes: Baylor 93, Clemson 43, Florida Atlantic 33, Indiana 30, Michigan State 24, Saint Mary’s 24, Northwestern 21, Rutgers 13, Illinois 13, Mississippi State 13, Ohio State 9, North Carolina State 4, Creighton 4, North Carolina 4, LSU 3, Pittsburgh 2, New Mexico 2, Nevada 1.

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