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AP College Basketball Poll 2013: Complete Week 6 Rankings Released

Dec 7, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Aaron Gordon (11), guard Nick Johnson (13), guard T.J. McConnell (4), and forward Brandon Ashley (21) walk on the court during the second half against the UNLV Rebels at McKale Center. The Wildcats won 63-58. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler ConwayFeatured Columnist IVNovember 25, 2016

For the third time in six weeks, there's a new No. 1 team in the Associated Press' college basketball poll, as the Arizona Wildcats (9-0) leapfrogged the Michigan State Spartans and moved into the top spot for the first time this season.    

Led by freshman forward Aaron Gordon, Arizona joins Kentucky and Michigan State as the teams to hold the top spot in the AP poll. As noted by the team's Twitter feed, this is the first time any Pac-12 team has held the top AP spot since 2006:

The Wildcats are joined in the Top Three by No. 2 Syracuse and No. 3 Ohio State, as the entire Top 10 was fundamentally altered after a wild week in college basketball.

Here is how the full Top 25 looks:

Week 6 Associated Press Top 25
RankTeam (First-Place Votes)RecordPointsPrevious
1Arizona (63)9-01,6232
2Syracuse (2)9-01,5224
3Ohio State8-01,4535
4Wisconsin10-01,3188
5Michigan State7-11,3111
6Louisville8-11,2626
7Oklahoma State8-11,1609
8Duke7-21,04010
9Connecticut9-098112
10Villanova9-093814
11Kentucky7-29263
12Wichita State9-088411
13Kansas6-28626
14Baylor8-184320
15Oregon8-083113
16Memphis6-176816
17Iowa State7-060617
18North Carolina6-2450NR
19Florida6-243415
20Gonzaga8-136519
21Colorado9-1330NR
22Massachusetts8-032621
23Iowa9-120723
24Missouri9-0203NR
25San Diego State7-115924
Associated Press

Michigan State, which had held the top spot each of the past three weeks after beating Kentucky on Nov. 12, falls back to No. 5 this week after a frustrating home loss to North Carolina. Losers of two games against unranked opponents, the Tar Heels throttled Tom Izzo's squad in the second half en route to a 79-65 victory.

"We uncharacteristically looked soft," Izzo said, via an MSU press release. "We just did not play with the tenacity. The loose balls, they got them all early. The crowd tried to bring us back and we didn’t even let that happen. We have no one to blame but ourselves."

John Calipari also had reason to feel frustrated with his team's effort, as Kentucky fell to 0-2 against ranked opponents this season with a 67-62 loss to Baylor. The Bears used a zone-heavy scheme to flummox the upstart Wildcats, who started the 2013-14 season ranked first in the country but have now looked shaky in all but one of their trips away from Lexington.

The other Top 10 team to see a drop this week is Kansas, which falls from No. 6 to No. 13. Andrew Wiggins and Co. were unseated on Saturday by Colorado when guard Askia Booker hit a game-winning three-pointer as time expired. It was the Buffaloes' first win over Kansas in 20 tries.

Dec 7, 2013; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes fans swarm onto the court following the win over the Kansas Jayhawks at the Coors Events Center. The Colorado Buffaloes defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 75-72. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor, North Carolina and Colorado all parlayed their upsets into nods from the Associated Press. The No. 14 ranking for the Bears represents their highest spot of the season, while this is the first time in the Top 25 for the Buffaloes this year. The No. 18 Tar Heels, who also have a win against Louisville on their resume, are back in the mix after briefly being on the outside looking in.

When asked whether he's ever had such an inconsistent team before, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams seemed a little worn out by his squad, via the MSU release.

"I have no idea," Williams said. "I’m old; this is 26 years as a head coach. I’d have to go back and see. I have no idea. I know we’ve gotten killed a lot of times and we’ve beaten the crap out of a lot of people. I’d hate to think it’s been worse than this."

Among the other winners in the Week 6 shakeout are Kevin Ollie's Connecticut Huskies, who have parlayed a thrilling 9-0 start to come in at No. 9. In his second season after taking over for Jim Calhoun, Ollie has already led the Huskies to four one-possession victories, including last week's 65-64 victory over Florida.

Dec 3, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard T.J. McConnell (4) and head coach Sean Miller talk strategy during the second half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at McKale Center. Arizona defeated Texas Tech 79-58. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-U
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Still, no one has to feel better about these rankings than Sean Miller. The Arizona head coach came into the season with a well-rounded, talented team but saw the Wildcats get pushed out of the national spotlight by the flashy freshmen in Lexington, Durham and Lawrence. Gordon, Miller's highly touted freshman who has drawn Blake Griffin comparisons, was viewed to be on the second rung of talent behind Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle.

The Wildcats have responded by starting 9-0, including a victory over Parker and the Blue Devils. Outside of Gordon, Arizona is led by top scorer Nick Johnson (16.6 PPG), sophomore Brandon Ashley (12.0 PPG) and pass-first point guard T.J. McConnell (6.8 APG). 

Miller told Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy that his team is going to try living up to the billing:

The way I look at is, we’re really trying to embrace it. It’s a great compliment. It’s a compliment to our current team, and also to our program.  Being ranked No. 1, certainly in December, that’s not the end goal. But I think we all feel very good about having that as part of our track record, both with this year’s team and in the bigger picture over the last five years.

Jim Boeheim's 38th season at the helm in Syracuse is also off to a good start. The Orange moved to 9-0 with a win over Binghamton, and they won their two games last week by a combined 45 points. No. 3 Ohio State hasn't always been the prettiest team to watch this year—the Buckeyes rank No. 51 in Ken Pomeroy's offensive efficiency rating—but the grind-it-out roster has gotten the job done.

The Buckeyes may be in a position to creep into the top spot next week should things fall their way. Arizona has a road test coming up against Michigan on Saturday, while Syracuse travels to Madison Square Garden to take on St. John's a day later.     

The Week 6 rankings weren't as kind to UCLA (18), Michigan (22) and Dayton (25), however, as they each fell out fell out of the Top 25. No. 24 Missouri joins North Carolina and Colorado as the teams to replace them.

 

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