AP College Basketball Poll 2016: First Regular-Season Rankings Released

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2016

HONOLULU, HI - NOVEMBER 11: Thomas Bryant #31 of the Indiana Hoosiers gestures to the crowd after scoring during the first half of the second game of the Armed Forces Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center on November 11, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

College basketball kicked off its season this week, and in turn, the Associated Press has released its first poll of the 2016-17 campaign. 

Below, we'll break down the Week 1 poll and analyze the top teams and their starts to the season.

Week 1: Associated Press Poll
RankTeamRecordPoints
1Duke (58)2-01,613
2Kentucky (1)2-01,508
3Villanova (5)1-01,492
4Oregon1-01,349
5North Carolina2-01,347
6Indiana (1)1-01,322
7Kansas0-11,206
8Virginia1-01,121
9Wisconsin1-01,097
10Arizona1-01,092
11Xavier1-01,025
12Louisville1-0811
13Michigan State0-1729
14Gonzaga1-0725
15Purdue1-0700
16UCLA2-0622
17Saint Mary's1-0593
18Syracuse1-0551
19West Virginia1-0392
20Iowa State1-0254
21Rhode Island1-0250
22Creighton1-0232
23Texas1-0230
24Cincinnati1-0120
25California1-0109
Source: AP.org. First-place votes in parentheses.

    

Analysis

Most of the teams ranked in the AP preseason Top 25 opened their seasons with wins this past week. Perennial contenders Kansas, Michigan State and UConn weren't among them, however.

The Jayhawks came into the season as the No. 3 team in the nation. But they surely knew they may not stay there for long, opening the season against Indiana in the Armed Forces Classic. Indeed, the Hoosiers came away with the win, knocking off Kansas, 103-99, in an overtime shootout Friday night.

"I told someone before the game that this feels like March in here, and that's how it played out," Indiana head coach Tom Crean told the AP (h/t ESPN.com).

Kansas coach Bill Self didn't think his team was in March form, however.

"We played like it was our first game," he noted. "We put ourselves in a situation to have the game come down to the end and we made some plays to get it to overtime and in overtime we lost all our guys and certainly it was hard to overcome that."

Kansas can overcome an early drop in the rankings, but the slide could continue Tuesday, as the Jayhawks next face the top-ranked team in the nation: the Duke Blue Devils. But Duke will be without potential lottery picks Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles and Marques Bolden—all of whom are recovering from injury, according to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com—so Kansas may actually go into the game as the favorite.

The team's nonconference schedule will ease up somewhat after that, so Kansas fans need not wring their hands anxiously just yet. Losing to a depleted Duke side—even one that still has Grayson Allen and Frank Jackson availablewould be some cause for concern, though.

Michigan State can sympathize. Like Kansas, the Spartans lost a tight game against an excellent team, falling 65-63 to Arizona on Friday at the Armed Forces Classic. And like Kansas, an 0-2 start is a real possibility with Kentucky on deck Tuesday evening.

And that's just this week, with Duke also looming on Nov. 29. If nothing else, the Spartans will be battle-tested.

UConn may be hard-pressed to take any positives away from its opening loss, meanwhile, as the Huskies were upset by Wagner at home, 67-58.

"I just think it was a lack of intensity, lack of effort on our part," UConn's Terry Larrier said, per the AP (h/t ESPN.com). "We gave those guys confidence early on, and a team like that, they're dangerous."

Certainly, Wagner was not to be taken lightly. The Seahawks returned eight players from last season's squad that upset St. Bonaventure in the first round of the NIT. But losing its home opener was nonetheless a disappointing start to the season for UConn.

Up next for the Huskies will be another winnable contest against Northeastern on Monday.

The upcoming week will feature plenty of intriguing matchups, highlighted by Kansas facing Duke and Michigan State taking on Kentucky. Meanwhile, No. 3 Villanova will travel to No. 15 Purdue on Monday evening, and No. 22 Creighton will host No. 9 Wisconsin on Tuesday in a slate full of fantastic confrontations.

     

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

Related

    4-Star 2019 Guard Sturdivant Commits to USC

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    4-Star 2019 Guard Sturdivant Commits to USC

    CBB Today Staff
    via CBB Today

    Watch: OK State HC Boynton Jump Out of a Plane

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Watch: OK State HC Boynton Jump Out of a Plane

    Rob Dauster
    via CollegeBasketballTalk

    Which Current College Hoops Coach Had the Best Game?

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Which Current College Hoops Coach Had the Best Game?

    NCAA.com
    via NCAA.com

    Scandal Hasn't Slowed Recruiting for Louisville

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Scandal Hasn't Slowed Recruiting for Louisville

    Tim Sullivan
    via The Courier-Journal