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AP College Basketball Poll 2021: Complete Week 16 Rankings Released

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Baylor guard Jared Butler (12) reacts after score a three point shot against Oklahoma State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Jerry Larson/Associated Press

Gonzaga still remains atop the rankings, but several other teams made moves in the Week 16 Associated Press poll with the NCAA tournament right around the corner.

Michigan dropped from No. 2 to No. 4 after two shocking losses over the past week, which gave Baylor and Illinois the opportunity to move into the top three.

The Wolverines aren't the only team in the midst of a slide, though. Ohio State, West Virginia and Villanova are among those heading in the wrong direction going into the postseason.

Here is the latest Top 25 with less than a week until Selection Sunday.

     

AP Poll

1. Gonzaga

2. Baylor

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3. Illinois

4. Michigan

5. Iowa

6. Alabama

7. Houston

8. Arkansas

9. Ohio State

10. West Virginia

11. Kansas

12. Oklahoma State

13. Texas

14. Villanova

15. Florida State

16. Virginia

17. Creighton

18. Loyola Chicago

19. San Diego State

20. Texas Tech

21. Purdue

22. Virginia Tech

23. Colorado

24. USC

25. Oklahoma

       

There wasn't much room for Baylor or Illinois to climb in the rankings, but they each had outstanding weeks to help their profiles going into the NCAA tournament.

Baylor struggled in its returned from its long layoff due to COVID-19 protocols, suffering a loss to Kansas last week. The team was back in elite form this week with three straight wins over ranked opponents.

After Jared Butler led the way in wins over West Virginia and Oklahoma State, Macio Teague stole the show in Sunday's win over Texas Tech:

B/R Hoops @brhoops

Macio Teague went OFF on Senior Night for Baylor 🔥 He hit a conference record 10 three-pointers and dropped 35 points in a win over Texas Tech 🎯 @BaylorMBB @_MrDoWork https://t.co/bo7EomYy0D

The Bears moved back into the No. 2 slot behind the undefeated Gonzaga at No. 1.

Illinois seemingly had a brutal end to the Big Ten schedule with Top 10 matchups against Michigan and Ohio State. The Fighting Illini rose to the occasion with two wins:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

No. 4 Illinois blows out No. 2 Michigan, 76-53 🚨 @marchmadness Trent Frazier: 22 PTS | 4 REB https://t.co/mnEY5PXS7i

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Ayo Dosunmu (19 PTS, 7-10 FG) came up clutch vs. No. 7 OSU 🔥 Young star in the making @brhoops https://t.co/PfasC3rxd0

All-American candidate Ayo Dosunmu wasn't even available in the 23-point win over Michigan, which shows the overall talent on the roster.

Meanwhile, Michigan fell in the rankings after splitting a pair of games against rival Michigan State. The Wolverines went more than a month between losses but suffered two in the last three games.

Ohio State dropped from No. 7 to No. 9 after a fourth straight loss, although there is little reason for concern since three of them came against Top Five opponents.

Houston was another team in danger of losing this week, but it survived thanks to Tramon Mark and one of the best shots of the 2020-21 season:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

You already know what month it is. HOUSTON FROM MIDCOURT AT THE BUZZER 🚨 @brhoops (via @CBSSports) https://t.co/3zR6zEERg8

The Cougars go into the American conference tournament with a 21-3 record as a team no one wants to face in March.

Arkansas also continued its impressive rise while extended its winning streak to eight, enough to earn the eighth spot in the latest rankings. It's the Razorbacks' first time inside the Top 10 since they finished as national runner-ups in 1995.

All eyes will now be on the conference tournaments as teams finalize their resumes for the selection committee.

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