Baylor Bears Remains No. 1 in AP Top 25 Men’s Basketball Poll; Michigan State Spartans at No.10


A combination of cancellations and vacation for a quiet week in men’s college basketball.

The latest Associated Press poll reflected Bright Week.

Baylor remained No.1 for the third consecutive week in the poll released Monday, receiving all 61 first-place votes from a national media panel. The Bears (11-0) had 60 first-place votes a week ago and were a unanimous selection this week after a resounding victory over Alcorn State and Arizona’s loss to Tennessee.

The top five remained the same as last week, with Duke, Purdue, Gonzaga and UCLA behind Baylor.

The Blue Devils were among several ACC teams to postpone games this week due to COVID-19 protocols, putting aside games against Clemson on Wednesday and Notre Dame on Saturday.

Arizona fell three spots to No.9 after losing for the first time this season, 77-73 to Tennessee last Wednesday. The Wildcats had been one of the best offensive teams in the country when they started undefeated, but were stifled by the Flights, scoring 11 points below their season average.

“We weren’t able to get a lot of touchdowns from the post,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “In the end, there is usually only one recipe. The recipe is to harden.”

Tennessee (9-2) haven’t had much of a problem with tenacity this season.

The only two losses of the Vols then were no. 5 Villanova and No.25 Texas Tech in overtime. Tennessee are 21st nationally in defensive scoring, keeping teams at 59.3 points and force nearly 18 turnovers per game.

The Vols pounced on Arizona with a 16-2 first inning and held off a final inning for their biggest win of the season.

“We talked about a heavyweight fight, which it was,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “It was a hotly contested victory. We knew they would make an effort to get back into the game.”

The Flights have another test following the Christmas vacation, playing Alabama’s No.19 on Wednesday.

AMOUNTS SPARTANS

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was angered when his team was not ranked in the AP preseason poll.

Look at the Spartans now.

Michigan State entered the top 10 for the first time since Week 5 of last season, climbing to No.10 after beating Oakland 90-78 on Tuesday. The Spartans entered the No.22 ballot on November 29 and have risen steadily since.

Michigan State (10-2) has won five in a row since losing to premier Baylor. His other loss was to No. 6 Kansas at the start of the season.

“I still think we have a huge advantage,” Izzo said.

UP AND DOWN

Tennessee saw the biggest gain in a week as no other team climbed more than two places.

The Alabama No.19 suffered the biggest fall, dropping nine spots after losing 79-78 to Davidson at home on Tuesday. No.23 Xavier dropped five places after a 13-point loss to No.22 Villanova.

No team dropped out of this week’s poll.

CONFERENCE WATCH

Big Ten – 5 (Nos. 3, 8, 10, 13, 24)

SEC – 5 (Nos 11, 14, 16, 18, 19)

Grand Est – 4 (Nos 15, 21, 22, 23)

Large 12 – 4 (Nos. 1, 6, 17, 25)

Pac-12 – 3 (Nos. 5, 7, 9)

ACC – 1 (N ° 2)

AAC – 1 (n ° 12)

West Mountain – 1 (No. 20)

COE – 1 (n ° 4)


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