With just under one month from Selection Sunday the college basketball season is certainly heating up and after a wild week, that saw multiple upsets, there was plenty of movements in this week’s Top 25 Associated Press Poll. After Kentucky’s 86-69 thrashing of then #1 Tennessee, the top four all changed. Duke slid into the #1 spot and are followed by Gonzaga, Virginia and Kentucky. Tennessee dropped to #5, after that Kentucky loss, and Michigan dropped from #6 to #7 after a road loss, to PSU, and a home win over Maryland last week. Overtaking Michigan at #6 is Nevada who continue to dominate the entire Mountain West Conference. This week’s biggest riser, and possible the hottest team in the country, is LSU who, after beating Kentucky on the road, rose from #19 to #13. Kansas State was the week’s biggest dropper going from #18 to #23 after a home loss to, then #23, Iowa State on Saturday.
The AP Top 25 does have some pretty big differences between the NCAA’s NET Rankings that were updated with Sunday’s results. The top three teams in the AP and the NET are the same, but Houston, who is #9 in the AP Poll, is currently #4 in the NET Rankings, and Auburn, who is currently unranked, is #21 in the NET Rankings. Two teams that are ranked much higher in the AP Poll than NET are Nevada, who is #6 in the AP and #11 in NET, and Marquette, who is #11 in the AP Poll and #19 in NET.
NET has replaced RPI, which was traditionally used more for NCAA Tournament seeding, so it will be interesting to see how the final AP Poll looks versus what the NCAA seeds are.
Some key games in the upcoming week, that will have potential NCAA tournament seeding impact, are #3 Virginia at #20 Virginia Tech Monday night, #18 Louisville at Syracuse and #8 North Carolina at #1 Duke on Wednesday night. Friday night will be another tough conference test for #25 Buffalo as they welcome in Kent State to Alumni Arena. Those weekday games are just an appetizer for what is shaping up to be a great Saturday. #3 Virginia @ #18 Louisville, #5 Tennessee @ #13 LSU, #16 Florida State @ #8 UNC, #1 Duke @ Syracuse and #12 Kansas @ #13 Texas Tech headline the day and there are plenty other bubble matchups on the docket for the upcoming week. The college basketball is certainly heating up and tight regular season conference races are quickly coming to a close.