UK Men's Basketball

Baylor is No. 1 in AP men’s poll for 1st time; Kentucky still 6th

Baylor forward Johnathan Motley, right, drives on Oklahoma State forward Cameron McGriff, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 61-57.
Baylor forward Johnathan Motley, right, drives on Oklahoma State forward Cameron McGriff, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 61-57. AP

Baylor is No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll for the first time.

The Bears (15-0) have made a meteoric rise in the poll, going from a team that didn’t receive a vote in the preseason poll to one that received 55 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel on Monday.

Baylor is the 59th school to be ranked No. 1 since the poll started in the 1948-49 season. The Bears will be tested on top right away, playing at West Virginia on Tuesday and at Kansas State on Saturday.

Villanova, which received one first-place vote, had been No. 1 for the last five weeks, but the Wildcats (15-1) dropped to third after losing at Butler last week.

Kansas (14-1), which was No. 1 on eight ballots, moved up from third to second, giving the Big 12 the top two teams in the poll.

UCLA (16-1), which got the other first-place vote, stayed fourth.

Gonzaga (15-0), the only other unbeaten Division I school, and Kentucky remained fifth and sixth, while Duke, Creighton, Florida State and West Virginia rounded out the top 10.

North Carolina was 11th followed by Butler, Oregon, Louisville, Xavier, Arizona, Purdue, Wisconsin, Virginia and Notre Dame.

The last ranked teams are Saint Mary’s, Cincinnati, Florida and Minnesota, with Kanas State and Southern California tied for 25th.

Minnesota moved into the rankings for the first time since 2012-13, when the Gophers were in the poll for 11 weeks, reaching as high as No. 9. Minnesota’s arrival means there’s a father-son duo in the top 25 with Louisville Coach Rick Pitino and Minnesota coach Richard Pitino.

Kansas State was last ranked for two weeks in 2013-14.

Virginia Tech (12-3) dropped out from 21st after losses to North Carolina State and Florida State. The Hokies had been ranked for just one week.

Indiana (11-5) was ranked 11th in the preseason poll and had reached as high as No. 3. But the Hoosiers’ loss to Wisconsin last week was their third straight.

There are nine games this week between ranked teams. In addition to Baylor at West Virginia, the other game between top 10 teams is Duke at Florida State on Tuesday.

The Atlantic Coast Conference leads the way with six ranked teams while the Big 12, Big East and Pac-12 have four each.

The Top Twenty Five

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 8, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Record

Pts

Prv

1. Baylor (55)

15-0

1608

2

2. Kansas (8)

14-1

1517

3

3. Villanova (1)

15-1

1499

1

4. UCLA (1)

16-1

1433

4

5. Gonzaga

15-0

1366

5

6. Kentucky

13-2

1327

6

7. Duke

14-2

1173

8

8. Creighton

15-1

1111

10

9. Florida State

15-1

1071

12

10. West Virginia

13-2

972

7

11. North Carolina

14-3

902

14

12. Butler

14-2

880

18

13. Oregon

15-2

869

15

14. Louisville

13-3

744

9

15. Xavier

13-2

651

16

16. Arizona

15-2

634

17

17. Purdue

14-3

584

20

18. Wisconsin

13-3

581

13

19. Virginia

12-3

580

11

20. Notre Dame

14-2

468

23

21. Saint Mary’s (Cal)

14-1

377

19

22. Cincinnati

13-2

256

22

23. Florida

12-3

252

24

24. Minnesota

15-2

167

_

25. Kansas State

13-2

20

_

25. Southern Cal

15-2

20

25

Others receiving votes: Seton Hall 11, South Carolina 7, Iowa State 7, Indiana 6, Virginia Tech 6, Maryland 5, SMU 5, Clemson 4, UNC-Wilmington 3, VCU 3, Nevada 2, Dayton 2, Wichita State 2.

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