Purdue became the first unanimous No. 1 team this season in the AP Top 25 Men’s College Basketball poll on Monday after victories over Michigan and Michigan State last week as chaos broke out behind the Boilermakers among other ranked teams .
More than half of the top 25 teams lost, including second-place Alabama, which was routed by Oklahoma in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. This allowed Purdue to snag the remaining No. 1 votes and tighten its grip on the poll, while Tennessee moved up two spots to second and Houston took third in the vote from 62 national media representatives.
The Boilermakers (21-1) have won eight straight games since a one-point loss to Rutgers on Jan. 2.
“We’re the No. 1 team in the country because we’re so selfless as a team,” said Purdue guard David Jenkins Jr. “We had a lot of people doubting us in the beginning because maybe we weren’t the most talented team or what whatever are, but we’re close on and off the pitch and it really shows how we win .”
The Volunteers climbed to their highest spot since reaching No. 1 for four weeks in the 2018/19 season. They defeated Georgia before becoming one of three SEC teams to defeat Saturday’s Big 12 opponents and beat No. 10 Texas 82-71 for their fifth straight win against a top 10 team.
Perhaps this will be the year Rick Barnes will finally coach the Vols through the Sweet 16 for the first time.
“We have the chance to be as good as we want,” he said. “It all comes down to one thing: are we tough enough for everyday life? And don’t worry about going to the Final Four or the NCAA tournament, but can we build a team that can be successful this time of year? It starts with really embracing the grind.”
The Crimson Tide dropped to fourth after the blowout loss to the Sooners as Alabama fell 17 down at halftime in a 93-69 loss. The Tide edged fifth-placed Arizona by just two points in this week’s poll.
“It doesn’t affect the SEC rankings, which is the only good thing,” said Alabama coach Nate Oats of the one-sided loss. “Hopefully we’re recovering from a loss from the conference, but you know it’s not good.”
Virginia finished sixth, and Kansas State, recovering from a narrow loss in No. 13 Iowa state by a swipe at Florida on Saturday, dropped two places to seventh place; The Wildcats meet in eighth place in a top 10 showdown in Kansas Tuesday night.
UCLA fell to ninth place after losing to Southern California, and Texas rounded out the top 10.
Baylor continued his climb from unranked to No. 11 after defeating the Jayhawks and Arkansas. The Bears were followed by Gonzaga, Iowa State, Marquette and league rivals TCU — the sixth Big 12 team to finish in the top 15.
Xavier, Providence, Saint Mary’s, Florida Atlantic and Clemson completed the top 20, while survey respondents Indiana and San Diego State along with Miami, UConn and Auburn rounded out the top 25.
AP Top 25 Men’s College Basketball Poll for January 30, 2023:
1. Puree (62)
7. State of Kansas
13. State of Iowa
18. Saint Mary
19. Florida Atlantic
22. State of San Diego
Others receiving votes:
Missouri 74, Charleston 68, Illinois 56, Creighton 51, New Mexico 47, North Carolina 47, North Carolina State 39, Boise State 31, Duke 24, Rutgers 17, Texas A&M 16, Northwestern 13, Memphis 10, Arkansas 9, Pittsburgh 9 , West Virginia 2, Nevada 2, Oral Roberts 2, Saint Louis 1
(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)