AP College Basketball Poll 2018: Complete Week 18 Rankings Released

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2018

Virginia guard Ty Jerome (11) calls a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, March 3, 2018. Virginia won the game 62-57. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Steve Helber/Associated Press

Virginia looks well on its way to the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

Behind the Cavaliers, though, is a battle of Big East foes and other teams from major conferences that are feeling the heat of postseason action.

Virginia is the nation's top-ranked team in the latest Associated Press poll, followed by Villanova and Xavier. The Musketeers missed out on reaching the No. 2 ranking for the first time in program history by just six points.

Michigan State and Duke round out the Top Five.

Here is a look at how the entire poll played out:

1. Virginia

2. Villanova

3. Xavier

4. Michigan State

5. Duke

6. Gonzaga

7. Michigan

8. Cincinnati

9. Kansas

10. Purdue

11. Wichita State

12. North Carolina

13. Tennessee

14. Texas Tech

15. Arizona

16. Auburn

17. Ohio State

18. West Virginia

19. Clemson

20. Saint Mary's

21. Houston

22. Nevada

23. Florida

24. Miami

25. Rhode Island

Fifteen different Top 25 teams lost at least one game over the last seven days as conference tournament play and marquee late-season matchups dominated the schedule.

North Carolina and Rhode Island were the only two Top 25 teams to drop two games. The Tar Heels lost a home thriller to Miami before falling apart in the second half of their road trip to Duke on Saturday. They moved back three spots to No. 12 and will go into the ACC tournament as a surprising No. 6 seed.

"I think some aliens crawled into my guys' bodies in the second half, because that wasn't the North Carolina team that I've seen all year. I congratulate Duke—they kicked our butts in the second half. Not much you can say," Williams told reporters after the Duke loss.

Rhode Island is barely hanging on to its Top 25 ranking after suffering a 30-point home blowout loss to Saint Joseph's and dropping a 63-61 thriller at Davidson. Saint Joseph's entered the former game only 13-15 on the season but shot Rhode Island out of its gym.

"The other night with the ceremony, I think that we maybe for a couple of days were taking victory laps," Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley told reporters. "You can't do that. You can't do that in sports, especially when you have a ranking next to your name—with people coming at you hard."

No team had a better week than Michigan, which soared up to the No. 7 ranking after winning the Big Ten tournament. The Wolverines pulled off wins over Michigan State and Purdue in consecutive days for their second straight conference tournament win.

ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi moved them all the way up to the No. 3 seed line after having them as a No. 5.

No. 23 Florida and No. 24 Miami moved into the Top 25, replacing Kentucky and Middle Tennessee.

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