Even an end-of-game meltdown hasn’t deterred the writers from keeping Indiana atop the polls.
Despite squandering a late 10-point lead and committing a breakdown on a last-second in-bounds play in a loss to Illinois during the week, the Hoosiers are back on top of the latest AP Poll released on Monday. IU became the fifth team since 1990 to retain the No. 1 spot after losing in the previous week.
Indiana’s repeat stay at the top ends a streak of five consecutive weeks with a new No. 1, two weeks shy of the longest such stretch in 1993-94. Duke started the run followed by Louisville, Duke again, Michigan and Indiana.
The Hoosiers received only 26 of the first-place votes, marking the fewest received by a No. 1 team this season. Second-ranked Duke received 20 votes, third-ranked Miami received 17 votes and fifth-ranked Gonzaga the remaining two. Michigan rounds out the Top 5 in fourth, falling just one spot after losing in overtime to Wisconsin thanks to Ben Brust’s half-court heave at the end of regulation.
Miami, after its impressive beatdown of unranked North Carolina at home, jumped five spots from eighth to third. The Hurricanes leapfrogged Gonzaga despite the Bulldogs not losing in the week. Duke, the only Top 5 team from last week to survive the week unscathed, moved up two spots from fourth to second. The Blue Devils narrowly escaped Boston College with a win on Sunday evening, which may have cost the team a third cameo at No. 1 this season.
Syracuse (No. 6), Florida (No. 7), Michigan State (No. 8), Arizona (No. 9) and Kansas State (No. 10) complete the Top 10.
Kansas, losers of two games last week and three in a row overall, took the biggest plunge of any team in the poll. The Jayhawks tumbled from No. 5 to No. 14, souring voters with a loss to lowly TCU followed by another loss to unranked Oklahoma.
No. 20 Wisconsin, No. 22 Memphis, No. 24 Colorado State and No. 25 Kentucky are newcomers to the poll. The Tigers enter the rankings for the first time since November while the Wildcats return to their familiar spot in the polls after an 11-week absence. The Rams are a first-time entrant.
Creighton, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Missouri all dropped from the rankings.
|AP Top 25|
|3||Miami (FL) (17)||19-3||1,499|