AP College Basketball Poll 2018: Complete Week 9 Rankings Released

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2018

Duke's Zion Williamson speaks with coach Mike Krzyzewski during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Princeton in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

College basketball drama took a back seat this past week, with highly ranked teams handling overmatched opponents and holiday breaks littering the calendar, but there were some notable results.

Western Kentucky upset Wisconsin, and the Ivy League's Princeton defeated Arizona State in the Sun Devils' first game after stunning previously top-ranked Kansas.  

Still, the relative lack of head-turning upsets led to little change in the rankings. The Associated Press unveiled its new poll Monday, and Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils continued to pace the field with conference play looming.

          

1. Duke

2. Michigan

3. Tennessee

4. Virginia 

5. Kansas 

6. Nevada

7. Gonzaga 

8. Michigan State 

9. Florida State 

10. Virginia Tech

11. Texas Tech 

12. Auburn

13. Kentucky

14. Ohio State

15. North Carolina

16. Marquette

17. Mississippi State

18. North Carolina State

19. Houston

20. Buffalo

21. Indiana

22. Wisconsin

23. Oklahoma

24. Nebraska 

25. Iowa

          

The upcoming week of action features a number of games across power conferences sure to shake up the next batch of rankings.

A Top-10 clash between Florida State and Virginia serves as the highlight of a crowded Saturday slate. The Seminoles are looking to add to a resume that already includes wins over Florida, LSU, Purdue and Connecticut, and they will be the biggest test to date for an undefeated Virginia squad attempting to put its NCAA tournament loss to UMBC in the rearview mirror.

The Cavaliers have the look of balanced championship contenders again, with a defense that ranks fifth and an offense that ranks ninth in Ken Pomeroy's national pace-adjusted efficiency ratings.

Elsewhere, Ohio State and Michigan State square off in a critical Big Ten game on Saturday. Each already has two conference wins in early league play, and the Buckeyes have the opportunity at home to bolster their resume as surprise contenders after losing reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop to the NBA.

Few teams will have a week as challenging as Kansas, which bounced back from its loss to Arizona State with a win over Eastern Michigan before Big 12 play.

The Jayhawks face the Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday and the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday. Both are potential Big 12 contenders, but the conference always goes through Bill Self's squad. Kansas has won 14 straight Big 12 regular-season titles and will have the chance to send a message to the rest of the league right out of the gates with these two matchups.

The top spot in the AP Poll will also be at stake Saturday in the ACC when Duke hosts Clemson. The Tigers lost to Creighton, Nebraska and Mississippi State, and posing a legitimate threat to the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium is a tall task.

Expect to see Duke atop the next set of rankings as well if it continues playing at an elevated level against league competition.

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