Once again, this week proved to be detrimental to most of the top tier programs in the Big 12 Conference. With Kansas (dropped from 7th to 10th), West Virginia (dropped from 15th to 19th) and Oklahoma (dropped from 12th to 17th) all losing last week, the Big 12 has quickly become a conference that is clearly rife with parity yet lacks any intriguing competitors that could make a run at a National Title as of now. Of the more controversial drops in the rankings was North Carolina’s oddly slight drop from 19th to 21st in the rankings. Although the Tar Heels were able to beat Pittsburgh on Saturday, they have looked absolutely dreadful on defense while their offense has been overly reliant on Luke Maye and Joel Berry to put up massive point totals. Simply put, North Carolina’s poor play as of recently probably should have had them out of the top-25 this week.
Top 25 College Basketball Rankings 2018: Week 14
In terms of programs that are on the rise, the Cincinnati Bearcats have continued to win with one impressive defensive performance after another. Although they ascended just two spots in the rankings from 8th to 6th this week, the Bearcats are at least garnering some recognition for what is the second most efficient defense in college basketball. However, it has been the surprise success of the now 8th ranked Auburn Tigers that has truly stunned and delighted fans of this exhilarating sport. With a highly prolific offense that can score quickly and often, the Tigers have quickly become a competitively relentlessly program that could go far in the NCAA Tournament come March.
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Although the top three teams in the country held on to their coveted positions again this week, both Virginia and Purdue could be in danger of relinquishing their top spots in the AP Poll. In particular, the Boilermakers have to face both Ohio State and Michigan State this week, which is a brutal stretch against two of the better defenses in college basketball. Can Purdue rally behind their dominant defense and prolific offense to remain undefeated in Big 10 Conference play?
AP POLL ALERT: Villanova, Virginia, Purdue top AP Top 25 for fourth straight week; Duke slides to No. 9 after loss to St. John's. Lots of changes in poll with losses, see it all here: https://t.co/eT6s6KVsmd pic.twitter.com/GGussb2CGr
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) February 5, 2018
Dropped from rankings: Florida 23, Arizona State 25
Others receiving votes that did not make the poll: Butler 65, Washington 54, Florida State 27, New Mexico State 23, Seton Hall 20, Creighton 18, Arizona State 17, Texas 15, NC State 12, Alabama 8, Middle Tennessee 6, Nebraska 4, Florida 3, Houston 3, TCU 3, Oklahoma State 2, East Tennessee State 1, Vermont 1