NCAA Basketball Top 25 Straw Poll: Week 9
Duke warded off an upset bid from Santa Clara to keep its spot at No. 1 this week.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati and Missouri dropped out of the Top 10 with losses to New Mexico and UCLA, respectively, and Louisville moved into a tie for the No. 3 spot with Arizona after defeating Kentucky on Saturday.
Read on to see the complete Top 25.
Voters: Jesse Kramer, Jordan Schwartz, Ryan Satsky, Thad Novak, Josh Schoch, Josh Gleason, Matt Overing, Robert Pace, Hayden Deitrick, Scott Polacek
Others Receiving Votes
UNLV, 22 points
Kentucky, 20 points
UCLA, 19 points
North Carolina, 18 points
Kansas State, 10 points
Maryland, 10 points
Baylor, 8 points
Colorado, 6 points
VCU, 4 points
Memphis, 4 points
Temple, 4 points
Wichita State, 3 points
Oregon, 1 point
25. Wyoming Cowboys
Last Week's Rank: 25
Notable Wins: Colorado (Home)
Wyoming defeated UC Santa Barbara in its final game of December to enter the new year with a perfect 12-0 record. This is the second time in program history that the Cowboys have had this good of a start.
On Wednesday, they will play their final non-conference game at Southern Methodist, which has lost three of its last five games.
24. New Mexico Lobos
Last Week's Rank: Not Ranked
Notable Wins: UConn (Neutral), Cincinnati (Road)
New Mexico responded to the loss to South Dakota State with a huge win at then-unbeaten Cincinnati last week.
The Lobos will play another tough road game at Saint Louis on Monday night before hosting UNLV in its Mountain West opener.
23. Pittsburgh Panthers
Last Week's Rank: Not Ranked
Notable Wins: None
Pittsburgh cracked the Top 25 this week after easily defeating Kennesaw State.
The Panthers will have a shot at their first Top 25 win of the season against Cincinnati on Monday afternoon.
22. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week's Rank: 23
Notable Wins: Tennessee (Neutral), NC State (Neutral)
Oklahoma State has dominated its competition this month by playing stifling defense. Since losing to Virginia Tech, the Cowboys have held their opponents to 48 points per game.
On Monday, the Cowboys will finish off their non-conference schedule by hosting Gonzaga.
21. Butler Bulldogs
Last Week's Rank: 20
Notable Wins: Marquette (Neutral), UNC (Neutral), Northwestern (Road), Indiana (Neutral)
Butler continued its winning streak with a win at Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs return home for games against Penn and New Orleans before entering Atlantic 10 competition.
20. North Carolina State Wolfpack
Last Week's Rank: 21
Notable Wins: UConn (Neutral), Stanford (Home)
North Carolina State pulled away from Western Michigan in the second half and won, 84-68.
If the Wolfpack wins as expected against UNC Greensboro on Monday, it will have a seven-game winning streak entering ACC competition.
19. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Week's Rank: 22
Notable Wins: Kentucky (Home)
Notre Dame will take a 10-game winning streak into the new year. Each of the 10 wins have come by 10 or more points.
In their Big East opener, the Fighting Irish will play Seton Hall on Saturday.
T-17. Michigan State Spartans
Last Week's Rank: T-18
Notable Wins: Kansas (Neutral)
Michigan State will take its six-game winning streak and perfect December record to Minnesota on Monday night for its Big Ten opener.
In their last game against Texas, the Spartans received a career-high 25 points from senior center Derrick Nix.
T-17. Creighton Bluejays
Record: 12-1, 1-0 MVC
Last Week's Rank: 17
Notable Wins: Wisconsin (Neutral), Arizona State (Neutral), Cal (Road)
Creighton opened Missouri Valley competition with an 87-70 win over Evansville.
On Wednesday, the Bluejays get their first conference test at Illinois State.
16. San Diego State Aztecs
Last Week's Rank: 15
Notable Wins: UCLA (Neutral)
San Diego State failed to notch its first Top-25 win of the season, falling to No. 3 Arizona in the Diamond Head Classic championship game.
The Aztecs should be able to bounce back easily on Wednesday against Cal State Bakersfield.
15. Illinois Fighting Illini
Last Week's Rank: 16
Notable Wins: Butler (Neutral), Gonzaga (Road)
Illinois was nearly upset by the lowly Auburn Tigers on Saturday, but the Fighting Illini held on down the stretch for the two-point win to finish non-conference play with a 13-1 record.
On Wednesday, Illinois will open Big Ten play at Purdue, which is only 6-6 this season.
14. Georgetown Hoyas
Last Week's Rank: 13
Notable Wins: UCLA (Neutral)
Georgetown will end its hiatus on Saturday when it plays at Marquette in its first Big East game.
The Hoyas have won their past three games by an average of 22 points.
13. Cincinnati Bearcats
Last Week's Rank: 7
Notable Wins: Iowa State (Neutral), Oregon (Neutral)
Cincinnati was defeated for the first time at the hands of New Mexico. The Bearcats struggled to score inside the three-point line, making only nine two-point field goals.
On New Year's Eve, the Bearcats will face another tough test at Pittsburgh in their Big East opener.
12. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Last Week's Rank: 14
Notable Wins: Memphis (Neutral), Stanford (Neutral)
Minnesota has not played since defeating Lafayette on December 22. On Monday night, the Golden Gophers host Michigan State in their first Big Ten game of the season.
The Golden Gophers are a perfect 5-0 in December, and during that stretch, they are averaging 78.2 points per game while holding opponents to 57.4 points.
11. Missouri Tigers
Last Week's Rank: 9
Notable Wins: Stanford (Neutral), VCU (Neutral), Illinois (Neutral)
In its first true road game of the season, Missouri lost to UCLA in overtime. The Tigers received a record-setting performance from Phil Pressey, who had 19 assists, but Pressey's three turnovers down the stretch were what allowed the Bruins to come back and force an extra period.
On Saturday, the Tigers will return home to face Bucknell, which is one of the top mid-majors in the country.
10. Florida Gators
Last Week's Rank: 11
Notable Wins: Wisconsin (Home), Marquette (Home)
Florida beat Air Force on Saturday in the Metro PCS Orange Bowl Classic for its second win in its last three games. Senior guard Kenny Boynton hit a month-high of three three-pointers.
On Sunday, the Gators will play at Yale in their final non-conference game.
9. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Last Week's Rank: 12
Notable Wins: Oklahoma (Neutral), Kansas State (Neutral), Baylor (Home)
With Gonzaga's win over Baylor on Friday night, the Bulldogs have now defeated six teams from BCS conferences.
The Zags will have another shot against a Big 12 team when they play at Oklahoma State on New Year's Eve.
8. Ohio State Buckeyes
Last Week's Rank: 10
Notable Wins: Washington (Neutral)
Ohio State is still without a signature win this season, but the Buckeyes' only losses are to Top 10 teams.
Playing in the Big Ten, they will have plenty of opportunities for Top-25 wins. Three of their next four opponents are nationally ranked.
7. Syracuse Orange
Last Week's Rank: 8
Notable Wins: San Diego State (Neutral)
Syracuse rebounded from the loss to Temple with an easy win over Alcorn State last week.
The Orange play a final non-league game against Central Connecticut State on Monday before entering Big East competition.
6. Indiana Hoosiers
Last Week's Rank: 5
Notable Wins: Georgetown (Neutral), UNC (Home)
Indiana defeated Jacksonville on Friday for its third straight win. The Hoosiers had five scorers in double figures, and freshman Kevin Ferrell posted a career-high 10 assists.
On Monday, the Hoosiers will begin Big Ten play at Iowa, which has won its last six games.
5. Kansas Jayhawks
Last Week's Rank: 6
Notable Wins: Colorado (Home), Ohio State (Road)
Kansas followed up its impressive win at Ohio State last week with an easy win over American on Saturday. Freshman forward Perry Ellis posted his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Jayhawks will play their final non-conference game against Temple—their third Atlantic 10 opponent—on Sunday.
T-3. Louisville Cardinals
Last Week's Rank: 4
Notable Wins: Missouri (Neutral), Memphis (Road), Kentucky (Home)
Louisville defeated Kentucky on Saturday despite a late comeback by the Wildcats.
The Cardinals have now won seven straight games entering their Big East opener against Providence on Wednesday.
T-3. Arizona Wildcats
Last Week's Rank: 3
Notable Wins: Florida (Home), Miami (Neutral), San Diego State (Neutral)
Arizona defeated San Diego State in the Diamond Head Classic championship game for its second Top-25 win of the season. Both of those wins have come down to one point.
The Wildcats will take their undefeated record into Pac-12 play when they open the conference season against Colorado and Utah this weekend.
2. Michigan Wolverines
Last Week's Rank: 2
Notable Wins: Pitt (Neutral), Kansas State (Neutral), NC State (Home)
With a win over Central Michigan on Saturday, Michigan improved to 13-0. Trey Burke posted his second double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 assists.
The Wolverines will play at Northwestern on Thursday in their first Big Ten game. This will be only their second, true road game of the year.
1. Duke Blue Devils
Last Week's Rank: 1
Notable Wins: Kentucky (Neutral), Minnesota (Neutral), VCU (Neutral), Louisville (Neutral), Ohio State (Home), Temple (Neutral)
Duke warded off Santa Clara's upset hopes on Saturday, using a strong second half to get the 90-77 win.
The Blue Devils will play a final non-conference game against Davidson on Wednesday before beginning ACC play at home against Wake Forest.