AP College Basketball Poll 2023: Complete Week 9 Men's Rankings Released

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 2, 2023

Xavier's Colby Jones (3) reacts after defeating Connecticut in an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
AP Photo/Jeff Dean

Purdue is now the clear No. 1 team in men's college basketball as the only remaining undefeated power-conference squad.

Connecticut, which had earned significant first-place votes in recent weeks, dropped to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll ahead of Week 9 after suffering its first loss of the season.

No. 21 New Mexico is the only other undefeated team in Division I after improving to 14-0 on the season.

Here are the full rankings to kick off 2023.

AP Poll

1. Purdue

2. Houston

3. Kansas

4. Connecticut

5. Arizona

6. Texas

7. Alabama

8. Tennessee

9. Gonzaga

10. UCLA

11. Virginia

12. Miami (FL)

13. Arkansas

14. Wisconsin

15. Indiana

16. Duke

17. TCU

18. Xavier

19. Baylor

20. Missouri

21. New Mexico

22. Auburn

23. Charleston

24. Ohio State

25. Iowa State

UConn had been the most consistent team in college basketball entering the week, winning each of its first 13 games by double digits. The squad was challenged on Wednesday during an eight-point win over Villanova, but Xavier took things to a new level with an 83-73 upset on Saturday.

The Musketeers moved the ball well, with four players scoring at least 15 points in a balanced offensive effort.

Xavier Basketball @XavierMBB

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Xavier improved to 12-3 on the season, including eight straight wins. Each of the Musketeers' losses has come to a ranked opponent. The squad moved up four spots up to No. 18 in the latest ranking.

Connecticut had a slight drop after the loss, but this is clearly still a top contender going forward.

Purdue remained No. 1 after a blowout win over Florida A&M. The Boilermakers are now finished with nonconference play and will see a tougher schedule going forward in the Big Ten.

Houston and Kansas moved up after close conference wins this week. The Jayhawks especially showed some resolve with a 69-67 win over Oklahoma State thanks to a late basket by K.J. Adams.

Kansas Men's Basketball @KUHoops

let's talk about @kjxadams 👇 <a href="https://t.co/6ZiqMzBmCh">pic.twitter.com/6ZiqMzBmCh</a>

Baylor didn't fare as well, suffering a 77-62 loss to Iowa State. The Bears were held to 5-of-22 from three-point range as they fell from 12th to 19th in the latest ranking.

Kentucky also dropped its first conference game against Missouri, losing 89-75 while never holding a lead after 3-2. Kobe Brown scored 30 points for the Tigers, which are now 12-1 and ranked 20th overall with back-to-back wins over ranked opponents.

This week will feature more tests for Kentucky, including a road game against Alabama. Purdue, Kansas and UConn could also be on upset alert with difficult road games on the upcoming schedule.