ASU picks up 5 first-place votes, climbs to No. 5 in AP basketball poll

Arizona State forward Romello White (23) and guard Shannon Evans II (11) celebrate in front of Kansas head coach Bill Self after Sunday's win at Kansas.

Following Sunday’s victory at No. 2 Kansas, the Arizona State men’s basketball team has climbed to No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 — its highest ranking since reaching No. 3 in March of 1981 with a lineup featuring Byron Scott, Lafayette Lever, Alton Lister, Sam Williams and Johnny Nash.

The Sun Devils, who have a 9-0 record for the first time since 1974, picked up five first-place votes. The only other teams to receive first-place votes were top-ranked Villanova (41) and Michigan State (19).

ASU was unranked at the start of the season and made a big leap from No. 16 in last week’s poll. They also are ranked No. 3 in the NCAA RPI ratings.

Villanova (10-0) took over the top spot after last week’s top two teams — Duke and Kansas both suffered losses. Duke (11-1) lost at Boston College and fell three spots to No. 4, while Kansas (7-2) lost to both ASU and Washington of the Pac-12 Conference and dropped 11 spots to No. 13.

Michigan State (9-1) is ranked second, followed by Wichita State, Duke and ASU.

The remainder of the top 10 consists of Miami, North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Xavier. Kansas (7-2) fell 11 spots to No. 13.

Arizona, which recorded victories over a pair of top-10 opponents in Texas A&M and Alabama, returned to the rankings at No. 23 following a two-week absence.

Minnesota (No. 14 last week), Nevada (No. 22) and Southern California (No. 25) all fell out of the Top 25.

Associated Press Top 25

1. Villanova (41)      10-0   1598

 2. Michigan St. (19)    9-1   1561

 3. Wichita St.          8-1   1402

 4. Duke                11-1   1362

 5. Arizona St (5)       9-0   1316

 6. Miami                8-0   1272

 7. North Carolina       9-1   1237

 8. Kentucky             8-1   1227

 9. Texas A&M            8-1   1072

10. Xavier               9-1   1044

11. West Virginia        9-1    972

12. Gonzaga              8-2    805

13. Kansas               7-2    760

14. TCU                 10-0    718

15. Seton Hall           8-1    704

16. Virginia             8-1    690

17. Purdue              10-2    568

18. Notre Dame           8-2    564

19. Florida St.          9-0    452

20. Tennessee            7-1    342

21. Baylor               7-2    281

22. Florida              6-3    261

23. Arizona              7-3    252

24. Texas Tech           7-1    191

25. Cincinnati           7-2    145