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AP College Basketball Poll 2021: First Regular-Season Rankings Released

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 15, 2021

AP Photo/Young Kwak

One week into the 2021-22 college basketball season, the top teams have already gotten a chance to prove themselves.

Gonzaga and UCLA defeated Top Five opponents last week to keep their positioning in the rankings, while surprising results around the country caused major shifts in the Associated Press poll.

Here is how voters ranked the Top 25 after six days of regular-season play.


AP Poll

1. Gonzaga

2. UCLA

3. Kansas

4. Michigan

5. Villanova

6. Purdue

7. Duke

8. Texas

9. Baylor

10. Illinois

11. Memphis

12. Oregon

13. Kentucky

14. Alabama

15. Houston

16. Arkansas

17. Tennessee

18. North Carolina

19. Ohio State

20. Maryland

21. Auburn

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22. St. Bonaventure

23. Connecticut

24. Florida

25. USC


Gonzaga was No. 1 in the preseason poll, and few doubt that decision after a strong first week, including an 86-74 win over Texas.

Drew Timme put an early claim toward National Player of the Year with 37 points on 15-of-19 shooting against the Longhorns, continuing his dominance from the NCAA tournament last year.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-point halftime lead over a team that entered No. 5 in the country, ending the half with a Rasir Bolton buzzer-beater:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

HALF COURT BUZZER BEATER FOR GONZAGA 🔥<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/ZagMBB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZagMBB</a>)<a href="https://t.co/zGw5c5K4qH">pic.twitter.com/zGw5c5K4qH</a>

Texas fell to No. 8 after the loss, although Gonzaga will be a difficult opponent for any team this year.

UCLA also proved itself with an 86-77 overtime win over Villanova, which fell slightly from No. 4 to No. 5 in the rankings.

The Bruins ended regulation on an 11-4 run to tie the game and pulled away in overtime in a dramatic battle between elite opponents.

"They do know how to win," UCLA coach Mick Cronin said of his team after the game. "They learned that last year."

UCLA surprised people with a run to the Final Four last year, but the squad won't sneak up on anyone this time around.

Duke's Wendell Moore Jr. was also one of the stars of the week with a triple-double against Army, plus a big dunk early in the game:

Bleacher Report CBB @br_CBB

Wendell Moore flew ✈️<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/accmbb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@accmbb</a>) <a href="https://t.co/kQ4L8FMzpT">pic.twitter.com/kQ4L8FMzpT</a>

Moore had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the win, while Paolo Banchero and Trevor Keels were the stars in the opening victory over Kentucky.

The Blue Devils have a lot of weapons and climbed to No. 7 in the poll after a 3-0 start.

No. 3 Kansas also proved it deserves its high ranking with two wins this week, led by Ochai Agbaji and his 27 points per game.

On the other end of the spectrum, Virginia dropped out of the Top 25 after a disappointing loss to Navy to begin the season.

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