Upon entering the final week of the college basketball regular season, the AP Top 25 took a drastic turn after a tumultuous weekend. Overall, 14 ranked teams lost games week, including the No. 16 Marquette Eagles falling twice. However, they were not the only Top 10 team to take a hit this week.
While the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs wrapped up a perfect season in the West Coast Conference, the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats dropped slightly after a loss to the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers. As a result, it’s likely that none of the SEC teams will ever make it back to No. 1 by Selection Sunday. The No. 10 LSU Tigers have also risen into the upper echelon of college basketball. Still, at least 2 of the 3 teams from the ACC will carry another loss within the next two weeks.
Currently, the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers and No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels are tied for the league lead in the ACC. They are followed by the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils in the race for the No. 1 seed in the ACC.
The rest of the top 10 is comprised of two Big Ten teams and a Big 12 team. The No. 7 Michigan Wolverines are the highest rated team in the Big Ten. They are joined by the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans. Thanks to a loss against the Indiana Hoosiers, the Spartans, will have a difficult time winning the Big Ten. Currently, the No. 11 Purdue Boilermakers hold the conference lead and that is a surprise based on early season results.
Meanwhile, the No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders are the highest ranked Big 12 school. The Red Raiders are tied with the No. 18 Kansas State Wildcats for the conference lead. They are also one game ahead of No. 13 Kansas Jayhawks. Will anybody stop Kansas from claiming a share of the conference title with two games to play?
After a short hiatus, the No. 23 Villanova Wildcats rejoined the top 25. They also reclaimed the Big East lead after the Eagles of Marquette dropped a pair of games. The Wildcats also swept the Eagles during the season series.
The AAC comes into the week with three teams ranked in the top 25. Unfortunately, the No. 12 Houston Cougars dropped out of the top 10 with a home loss to the No. 25 UCF Knights. It was their second defeat of the season. Therefore, they are in a tie with the No. 20 Cincinnati Bearcats for the AAC regular season title. Both teams face off in the season finale. The Knights joined the AP Top 25 poll for the first time since 2010-11 season.
AP Top 25 Rankings
- Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC)
- Virginia Cavaliers (ACC)
- North Carolina Tar Heels (ACC)
- Duke Blue Devils (ACC)
- Tennessee Volunteers (SEC)
- Kentucky Wildcats (SEC)
- Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten)
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (Big 12)
- Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten)
- LSU Tigers (SEC)
- Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten)
- Houston Cougars (AAC)
- Kansas Jayhawks (Big 12)
- Florida State Seminoles (ACC)
- Virginia Tech Hokies (ACC)
- Marquette Golden Eagles (Big East)
- Nevada Wolf Pack (MWC)
- Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12)
- Buffalo Bulls (Mid-American)
- Cincinnati Bearcats (AAC)
- Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten)
- Wofford Terriers (SoCon)
- Villanova Wildcats (Big East)
- Maryland Terrapins (Big Ten)
- UCF Knights (AAC)
Top 25 Conference Breakdown
ACC (5 Teams): Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Virginia Tech
Big Ten (5 Teams): Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland
SEC (3 Teams): Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU
Big 12 (3 Teams): Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State
AAC (3 Teams): Houston, Cincinnati, UCF
Big East (2 Teams): Marquette, Villanova
WCC (1 Team): Gonzaga
MWC (1 Team): Nevada
MAC (1 Team): Buffalo
SoCon: (1 Team): Wofford