Baylor leapfrogged Kansas and Duke into the second spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll on Monday after notching road victories last week at Texas Tech and then at Allen Fieldhouse against the Jayhawks.
The Bears finished with 1,567 points in voting by 65 media members who regularly cover the game, just seven back of top-ranked Gonzaga — even though Baylor had 31 first-place votes and the Bulldogs had 30.
Baylor (13-1, 3-0 Big 12) hasn’t lost since playing Washington in Alaska in its second game of the season. Along the way, the boys from Waco, Texas, have notched nonconference wins over ranked teams Villanova, Arizona and Butler along with league wins over the Red Raiders, the Jayhawks and Texas.
The win over Kansas was the first for Baylor in 18 tries at Allen Fieldhouse and the first over a top-five team on the road.
The Blue Devils fell to third in the AP poll, followed by unbeaten Auburn and Butler. The Jayhawks were next with another unbeaten, San Diego State, staying at No. 7. Oregon, Florida State and Kentucky rounded out the top 10.
The Wildcats climbed four spots by squeezing out tougher-than-expected wins over Georgia and Alabama.
The biggest climb came from Wichita State, which jumped seven spots to No. 16 after soundly beating No. 22 Memphis and turning back Connecticut in double overtime. The Shockers’ only loss came against No. 12 West Virginia in the championship game of the Cancun Classic in late November.
The biggest drop by a team that remains in the poll came from Ohio State, which lost two more games to Maryland and Indiana to make it four consecutive losses. The Buckeyes were once in the top five but are now No. 21.
Here are some other takeaways from the latest edition of the college basketball poll:
West Virginia climbed five spots to No. 12 by following a tough road loss to Kansas with wins over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Colorado also jumped five spots to No. 20 after the Buffaloes throttled Utah 91-52 in its only game of the week.
Ohio State wasn’t the only Big Ten team to take a tumble. Michigan State dropped seven spots to No. 15 after the Spartans were pounded 71-42 at Purdue, and Penn State fell from No. 20 all the way out of the poll after the Nittany Lions lost consecutive games to unranked teams in Wisconsin and Rutgers.
Seton Hall returned to the poll at No. 18 thanks to back-to-back wins over Xavier and Marquette that ran the Pirates’ record to 4-0 in the Big East. A pair of newcomers in Illinois and Creighton rounded out the Top 25, and Virginia and Arizona joined the Nittany Lions in falling out. The Cavaliers lost to Boston College and the Wildcats fell to Oregon State last week.
|1. Gonzaga (30)||18-1|
|2. Baylor (31)||13-1|
|3. Duke (4)||15-1|
|7. San Diego State||17-0|
|9. Florida State||14-2|
|12. West Virginia||13-2|
|15. Michigan State||13-4|
|16. Wichita State||15-1|
|18. Seton Hall||12-4|
|21. Ohio State||11-5|
|23. Texas Tech||10-5|