The top 3 teams remain the same, while the Baylor Bears have slid in the latest AP Poll.
Baylor fans ought to be hard at work trying to put this past week out of their memory. A stunning loss at Texas Tech and an absolute heart-breaker to No. 3 Kansas in Waco have caused the Bears to stumble down to the No. 9 slot in the latest AP Top 25 poll, down five spots from the previous week.
On the other end of the spectrum, Duke is beginning to show flashes of the talented and stocked powerhouse we all were expecting from the start of the season. A convincing road win over then-No. 14 Virginia has allowed the Blue Devils to move into the Top 10 of the poll. While there are still concerns for Duke on the defensive end (giving up 94 points in a win over Wake Forest and allowing the Deacons to shoot 51 percent from the floor), the offense is beginning to mold into something special. Luke Kennard is leading the charge in Durham and is a legitimate candidate for the National Player of the Year award.
Wisconsin dropped from No. 11 to No. 16 after back-to-back losses against Northwestern and Michigan. Luckily for the Badgers, a much-needed victory against then-No. 23 Maryland helped stop the bleeding. It’s important to note, too, that Wisco was without Bronson Koenig in the loss to the Wolverines and came off the bench in the win over the Terrapins.
The sole newcomer to this week’s Top 25 is Wichita State. The Shockers maneuvered their way into the polls by winning their last ten contests against conference foes by hefty margins. While the argument of conference strength so often used against No. 1 Gonzaga applies to Gregg Marshall’s squad as well, it’s important to note that the Shockers have won each of these past ten games by double figures, including a win over a potential tournament team in Illinois State.
Week 16 AP Top 25 Rankings
- Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-0, 1 previous rank)
- Villanova Wildcats (26-2, 2)
- Kansas Jayhawks (24-3, 3)
- Arizona Wildcats (25-3, 5)
- UCLA Bruins (24-3, 6)
- Oregon Ducks (24-4, 7)
- Louisville Cardinals (22-5, 8)
- North Carolina Tar Heels (23-5, 10)
- Baylor Bears (22-5, 4)
- Duke Blue Devils (22-5, 12)
- Kentucky Wildcats (22-5, 13)
- West Virginia Mountaineers (21-6, 9)
- Florida Gators (22-5, 15)
- Purdue Boilermakers (22-5, 16)
- Cincinnati Bearcats (24-3, 18)
- Wisconsin Badgers (22-5, 11)
- SMU Mustangs (24-4, 19)
- Virginia Cavaliers (18-8, 14)
- Florida State Seminoles (21-6, 17)
- Saint Mary’s Gaels (24-3, 22)
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (21-7, 25)
- Butler Bulldogs (21-6, 24)
- Creighton Bluejays (22-5, 20)
- Maryland Terrapins (22-5, 23)
- Wichita State (25-4, N/R)