College Basketball: Winners and Losers from the AP Top 25 Rankings in Week 14
We expected change after a week in which 11 of the top 25 college basketball teams in America lost, and we got it with today's release of the AP poll.
That means there's plenty to discuss in the slides ahead, including a new No. 1 a few dramatic drops and all the beautiful chaos therein.
Enjoy, and comment below with your winners and losers for the week.
Last Week: 3rd
This Week: 1st
Record: 20-2, 8-1 (Big Ten)
The No. 1 carousel is back where it started, with preseason favorite Indiana on top. The Hoosiers become the fourth team to in the last four weeks to sit at No. 1 and the second, after Duke, to reclaim the top ranking after losing it.
A brief tally of recent preseason No. 1's and the latest into the season each team held that spot.
Indiana, 2012-13: Week 14 (so far)
North Carolina, 2011-12: Week 3
Duke, 2010-11: Week 16
Kansas, 2009-10: Final
North Carolina, 2008-09: Week 18 (Won Championship)
North Carolina, 2007-08: Final
Florida, 2006-07: Week 15 (Won Championship)
Duke, 2005-06: Final
Kansas, 2004-05: Week 2
Connecticut, 2003-04: Week 9 (Won Championship)
Arizona, 2002-03: Week 18
Last Week: 4th
This Week: 2nd
Record: 18-2, 8-0 (SEC)
Florida, the other team with a legitimate claim to No. 1, was well off Indiana's pace, garnering just seven of the 65 available first-place votes.
And there isn't much Billy Donovan's group can do about it. Despite a 14-point beatdown of Ole Miss (then ranked 16th), Florida is struggling to gain voters' respect in a watered-down SEC. It seems the pollsters are unclear on whether the Gators' 26.1 point per game margin of victory in conference play is a reflection on Florida's talent or its opponents' collective ineptitude.
Last Week: 14th
This Week: 8th
Record: 17-3, 8-0 (ACC)
At eighth overall, Miami ties its highest AP ranking ever. The last (and only) Miami team to climb this high was the 1960 squad, who went on to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Western Kentucky.
This is also the first time Miami has cracked the Top 10 since March of 1999. Hats off to Jim Larranaga's group.
Loser: Wichita State
Last Week: 15th
This Week: NR
Record: 19-4, 8-3 (MVC)
The Shockers suffered back-to-back losses and tumbled from 15th all the way to 29th. There they find themselves behind two other teams—Ole Miss (26th) and North Carolina State (27th)—that also lost twice last week. Wichita State was ranked higher than both the Rebels and the Wolfpack in the Week 13 poll.
Last Week: NR
This Week: 23rd
Record: 18-5, 6-4 (Big East)
Pitt went 1-1 on the week, but it was about impressive a split as you'll see. The Panthers took Louisville to the wire on the road and followed that with a home win against Syracuse. The voters took note of both and rewarded Jamie Dixon's team with its highest ranking of the 2012-13 season.
Last Week: 8th
This Week: 7th
Record: 19-2, 7-2 (Pac-12)
Even after the Wildcats notched two conference road wins, the voters deemed Arizona America's worst two-loss team. Sean Miller's group now sits just one spot ahead of Miami, a team it beat by 19 earlier this year, and five spots behind a Florida squad it defeated 65-64 on December 15.
Last Week: 9th
This Week: 14th
Record: 18-4, 5-2 (A-10)
So this is what playing in the A-10 feels like?
Despite a rather lopsided road loss to St. Louis on Thursday, the 18-4 Bulldogs remained above three-loss mid-majors like New Mexico (15th) and Creighton (16th). That's in part a reflection on Butler's tough out-of-conference schedule. But it's also indicative of how the voters value A-10 basketball. I have feeling a Horizon League loss would have done far more damage to the Bulldogs' stock.
Last Week: 21
This Week: 16
Record: 20-3, 9-2 (MVC)
The five-spot jump is nice and all, but it's worth noting that Creighton has more wins (20) than any the poll's three-loss teams and yet remains, for the second week in a row, the lowest rated among that group. And that's with POY candidate Doug McDermott drawing national attention to the program.
Last Week: 24
This Week: 17
Record: 18-4, 6-3 (Big East)
Two fairly nondescript wins over Rutgers and Seton Hall, respectively, were enough to make Mick Cronin's Bearcats the week's biggest winners, as Cincinnati jumped seven spots. I guess chaos at the top will do that for you.
Last Week: 10th
This Week: 19th
Record: 18-4, 7-2 (Pac-12)
If the Ducks learned anything from their nine-spot drop in the polls, it's this: Don't bunch your losses.
After back-to-back conference defeats, Oregon now ranks seventh among the nine four-loss teams in the AP Top 25. Apparently voters were either unaware of, or unconvinced by, the fact that Oregon was without freshman point guard Dominic Artis.
Winner: North Carolina State
Last Week: 19th
This Week: NR
Record: 16-6, 5-4 (ACC)
Voters love the talent on this North Carolina State team; that much should be abundantly clear. Even after two more defeats pushed the Wolfpack's loss total to six, NC State dropped to just 27th overall in vote count. That comes on the heels of a three-week stretch from December 3 to December 17 where North Carolina State, despite a loss to Michigan and no significant wins, remained at exactly 25th overall.
This week's drop marks the first time Mark Gottfried's group has fallen outside the Top 25. But if positioning is any indication, the pollsters are ready to give this team a second chance if it can once more flash its mighty potential.
Loser: San Diego State
Last Week: 22nd
This Week: NR
Record: 16-5, 4-3 (MWC)
What, no love for the Mountain West?
San Diego State's only game of the week resulted in a nip-n'-tuck road loss to Air Force, a team that now sits at 5-2 in a conference rated by Ken Pomeroy as the fourth-toughest in America.
Now to move Steve Fisher's Aztecs out of the Top 25 for that setback is OK by me. But just 17 votes?
San Diego State—with victories over UCLA and New Mexico alongside a one-point loss against Arizona—now ranks behind teams like Memphis, Louisiana Tech, Saint Mary's and Kentucky.