AP College Basketball Poll 2021: Complete Week 15 Rankings Released

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2021

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The madness in men's college basketball started up before the calendar changed to March, leading to a dramatic shift in the latest Associated Press poll. 

Gonzaga remains at No. 1 and Michigan moved up to No. 2 for its highest ranking of the season, but the Week 15 poll wasn't kind to everyone after seven of the top 10 teams from last week suffered at least one loss, including previously undefeated Baylor.

Here is a look at how voters view the current Top 25.

      

AP Poll

1. Gonzaga

2. Michigan

3. Baylor

4. Illinois

5. Iowa

6. West Virginia

7. Ohio State

8. Alabama

9. Houston

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10. Villanova

11. Florida State

12. Arkansas

13. Kansas

14. Creighton

15. Texas

16. Oklahoma

17. Oklahoma State

18. Texas Tech

19. San Diego State

20. Loyola Chicago

21. Virginia

22. Virginia Tech

23. Purdue

24. Colorado

25. Wisconsin

       

The big story of the week was Baylor, which returned from a 21-day hiatus because of COVID-19 protocols to play two games last week.

After eking out a five-point win over Iowa State, the Bears couldn't overcome Kansas in a 71-58 loss Saturday. BU is the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the country but shot just 23.1 percent from deep against the Jayhawks.

Head coach Scott Drew was certain the team's outbreak and paused activities contributed to the loss.

"Anyone that's had COVID would know when you come back you're probably not 100 percent," Drew said after the game. "For people that didn't [have COVID] and weren't able to practice or work out, I would think that's rust or other areas of that."

Baylor still has upside going forward but fell to 18-1 on the season and No. 3 in the latest poll. Kansas—which lost to Texas in overtime earlier in the week—moved from No. 17 to No. 13 to continue the positive trend after falling out of the rankings three weeks ago.

Oklahoma fell from No. 7 to 16th after close losses Kansas State and Oklahoma State, the latter featuring a 40-point effort from Cade Cunningham:

Other top teams saw a significant slide this week, including Ohio State after three straight losses. The Buckeyes didn't move down after a hard-fought loss to Michigan last Sunday, but they couldn't turn things around against Michigan State or Iowa this week.

While Michigan appears unbeatable at the moment, the rest of the Big Ten has been cannibalizing each other to create uncertainty at the top and potential lost NCAA tournament bids in the middle.

The league still has four top-10 teams in Michigan (No. 2), Illinois (No. 4), Iowa (No. 5) and Ohio State (No. 7), but the order can seemingly change each week. Illinois closing out the regular season at Michigan and at Ohio State will be especially intriguing in the coming week.

In the SEC, Alabama is still on top of the standings, but Arkansas has been surging after beating the Crimson Tide by 15 on Wednesday.

After Saturday's win over LSU, the Razorbacks now have a six-game winning streak, putting them up to No. 12 after an eight-spot jump in the latest poll. A 5-4 record in Quad 1 games will also ensure Arkansas gets a good seed in the NCAA tournament.

There is still plenty of time for things to change before Selection Sunday on March 14, with Tuesday's game between Baylor and West Virginia sure to garner a lot of attention.