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UT, Houston Drop in College Basketball Poll

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Alabama Crimson Tide guard Jaden Bradley (#0) drives the ball past Houston Cougars forward J'Wan Roberts (#13) | Image by Getty Images

Purdue moved up three spots to No.1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll released on Monday, receiving 27 first-place votes from a 62-person media panel.

No.2 Virginia received 19 first-place votes to move up a spot, No.3 UConn received 15, and No.6 Tennessee got one.

The shakeup at the top of the poll comes after last week’s top two teams each suffered their first losses of the season.

Houston, last week’s No.1, dropped to No.5 after losing 71-65 at home on Saturday to then-No.8 Alabama. The Crimson Tide moved up to No.4 this week after the big win on the road.

Alabama rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to stun Houston. The Cougars led 44-29 with 17:13 remaining before Alabama went on a 15-5 run to cut the lead to five.

Trailing 57-49 with just over eight minutes remaining, Alabama went on an 11-3 run to cut the lead to 61-60 with five minutes to go. The Tide took the lead for good on a layup from Noah Clowney that broke a 63-all tie with 1:12 remaining.

Alabama shot 50% from the field in the second half and 41% for the game. Houston shot 39% from the field, including going 1-of-8 to end the game.

The Crimson Tide are just the fourth team to beat two different AP No.1s in the same season. Alabama defeated then-No.1 North Carolina 103-101 in four overtimes on November 27.

Texas, last week’s No.2, dropped to No.7 after it suffered its first loss of the season in a neutral site game in Madison Square Garden, falling 85-78 in overtime against then-No.17 Illinois.

The Longhorns took a 56-46 lead when Dillon Mitchell hit a layup with 8:28 remaining, but Illinois cut the lead to 58-56 nearly four minutes later.

Texas led 68-63 with a minute left before Marcus Epps hit a corner three with 33 seconds remaining and then hit the game-tying free throws, with Texas’ Tyrese Hunter missing the front-end free throw of a one-and-one in between.

In overtime, Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 12 of his 16 points, including a three-pointer that gave the Fighting Illini the lead for good with 3:34 remaining. Shannon is a Texas Tech transfer that was coached and recruited by current Texas coach Chris Beard in Lubbock.

Illinois did not get to enjoy a boost up the rankings as the team promptly followed its big win over the Longhorns with a disappointing 74-59 loss at home to Penn State. Illinois is No.18 in this week’s poll.

The biggest riser in this week’s poll is No.17 Mississippi State, which moved up five spots after beating Minnesota. No.19 Auburn had the biggest drop, falling eight spots following an 82-73 loss to Memphis.

The SEC and Big Ten lead all conferences with six ranked teams each. The ACC and Big 12 have four each.

Iowa State of the Big 12 dropped out from No.20 after a lopsided loss to Iowa.

No.8 Kansas remains the second-highest-ranked team from the Big 12. The Jayhawks secured commanding wins over Texas Southern and Seton Hall last week.

At No.11, Baylor is the third-highest Big 12 team after an 80-57 win over Tarleton State last week.

Capping the Big 12 teams in the Top 25 is TCU at No.21. The Horned Frogs handily defeated Jackson State and then knocked off crosstown rivals SMU 83-75 on Saturday, extending their winning streak to six games.

It was the first meeting between the Fort Worth and Dallas schools in four years and the 194th overall.

AP Top 25 (First-Place Votes):

  1. Purdue (27) 10-0
  2. Virginia (19) 8-0
  3. UConn (15) 11-0
  4. Alabama 8-1
  5. Houston 9-1
  6. Tennessee (1) 9-1
  7. Texas 7-1
  8. Kansas 9-1
  9. Arizona 8-1
  10. Arkansas 9-1
  11. Baylor 7-2
  12. Duke 10-2
  13. Kentucky 7-2
  14. Indiana 8-2
  15. Gonzaga 7-3
  16. UCLA 8-2
  17. Mississippi State 9-0
  18. Illinois 7-3
  19. Auburn 8-1
  20. Maryland 8-2
  21. TCU 8-1
  22. Wisconsin 8-2
  23. Ohio State 7-2
  24. Virginia Tech 10-1
  25. Miami (FL) 10-1

Others receiving votes: Memphis 74, Charleston 64, Arizona State 39, Marquette 39, Iowa State 39, UNLV 27, Xavier 26, Iowa 25, West Virginia 20, Saint Mary’s 15, Texas Tech 14, San Diego State 14, New Mexico 12, Utah 12, Creighton 11, Michigan State 5, Utah State 4, Kansas State 2.

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