Unlike last week, there was a little less shakeup and movement in the rankings this week. Although the Kentucky Wildcats made a noticeable jump from unranked to 21st after taking out West Virginia on Saturday, most of the programs in the rankings either remained at their current position or moved just slightly. However, while they remained at the same spot that they held last week, the defensively adept Virginia Cavaliers made a strong case for themselves as being the best team in college basketball after defeating both Clemson and Duke last week. While it is understandable that the Wildcats were not demoted as they did not lose, the Cavaliers are clearly trending upwards and will unquestionably claim the top spot in the rankings if the Wildcats lose this week.
Top 25 College Basketball Rankings 2018: Week 13
Amongst the programs that sustained devastating losses, there was not a drop nearly as precipitous compared to that of the North Carolina Tar Heels. Losing to both Virginia Tech and NC State last week, the Tar Heels were severely exposed as being overly reliant on Luke Maye and Joel Berry for their offensive production. On top of that, the progressively improving defense of the Tar Heels took a major step back as they relinquished 91 points to NC State in a loss. While there is still time for the Tar Heels to persevere and make up for their egregious failures, they need to do so quickly if they hope to make a push for an ACC title by the end of the season.
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Currently undefeated in conference play, the Virginia Cavaliers made an extremely compelling case for themselves to be officially ranked as the top team in the country. Although the Wildcats have not faltered since losing guard Phil Booth for the season, Villanova is definitely walking a shaky tightrope as they attempt to replace one of the better two-way players on their roster. Will the elite defense of the Cavaliers do enough this week to force themselves into the top spot of the AP Poll?
AP POLL ALERT: Villanova stays atop men's AP Top 25, but No. 2 Virginia gets closer after beating Duke; North Carolina down to 19 and West Virginia drops to 15. And Kentucky is back in. Full poll: https://t.co/nw0logXyjJ pic.twitter.com/VPlKLw4g4d
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) January 29, 2018
Dropped from rankings: Nevada 23
Others receiving votes that did not make the poll: Kansas State 94, Florida State 76, Nevada 41, Louisville 39, Creighton 33, Seton Hall 16, Miami 12, TCU 11, Houston 8, Alabama 6, New Mexico State 5, NC State 5, USC 3