AP College Basketball Poll 2018: Complete Week 17 Rankings Released

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2018

Villanova's Phil Booth (5) with the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Creighton in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Things around them may change, but Virginia and Michigan State appear well on their way to being the top two overall seeds in the 2018 NCAA tournament.  

The Cavaliers and Spartans remain No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the latest Associated Press poll released Monday after getting through another seven-day stretch without a loss. Xavier, Villanova and Duke round out the Top Five.

Here's a look at how the poll played out:

1. Virginia

2. Michigan State

3. Xavier

4. Villanova

5. Duke

6. Kansas

7. Gonzaga

8. Purdue

9. North Carolina

10. Cincinnati

11. Wichita State

12. Texas Tech

13. Ohio State

14. Auburn

15. Michigan

16. Tennessee

17. Rhode Island

18. Clemson

19. Arizona

20. West Virginia

21. Nevada

22. Saint Mary's 

23. Kentucky

24. Middle Tennessee

25. Houston

Villanova, once seemingly unstoppable, moved back one spot to No. 4 after an 89-83 overtime loss to Creighton. The Wildcats are a modest 3-3 in their last six games after starting out 22-1.

"We always get a great game from Creighton, especially here," Villanova coach Jay Wright told reporters. "You know on the road in this league you're going to play in great environments against great teams. You have to be one step ahead of them to win on the road, and we weren't today. They were one step better."

Xavier, which reached a program-best No. 3 ranking, is now the highest-ranked team in the Big East. 

Villanova's week wasn't nearly as bad as that of Texas Tech, which dropped six spots to No. 12 after losing a pair to Oklahoma State and Kansas. The Red Raiders have now lost three straight games by a combined 12 points.

Kansas locked up an NCAA-record 14th consecutive regular-season conference championship with a 74-72 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.

"We picked the best time to be our best the last couple of weeks," Kansas coach Bill Self told reporters. "To play with little depth and to play so small and to not be a physical team at all, to see how these guys hung in there and competed, I'm amazed."

Texas Tech was the only Top 25 team to lose multiple games over the past week, as the sport has hit a surprising stasis as the regular season winds down. Florida State dropped out of the rankings following a loss to NC State, and No. 23 Kentucky replaced the Seminoles. 

This will be the final week of regular-season play, with some teams having already wrapped up their conference slate over the weekend.

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