UConn finishes at No. 1 in first post-March Madness AP Top 25 poll after run to repeat NCAA title

Updated Apr. 9, 2024 3:35 p.m. ET

UConn finished atop the first Associated Press Top 25 men's college basketball poll to be released after March Madness following its run to the first back-to-back national championship in 17 years.

The Huskies (37-3) topped all 58 ballots Tuesday, coming roughly 12 hours after they beat Purdue 75-60 in the title game. That win allowed UConn to become the first men's repeat champion since Florida in 2006 and 2007, as well as joining the Gators and Duke (1991 and 1992) as the only back-to-back champs since UCLA won seven straight titles under John Wooden from 1967-73.

“I just think it’s the best two-year run I think in a very, very long time just because of everything we lost from last year’s team,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said after the win.

The Boilermakers (34-5) were next at No. 2 as they nearly matched Virginia in 2019 with an incredible turnaround. The Cavaliers became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in UMBC in 2018 before winning the title the next year. Purdue has the only other 16-vs-1 upset loss, to Fairleigh Dickinson last year, but followed that by coming within a win of the title, too.


Houston and Alabama — which reached its first Final Four — were next in a tie for No. 3, followed by Tennessee at No. 5.

UConn ultimately spent eight weeks at No. 1 this season, while its lowest ranking was sixth in the preseason poll.

The Huskies spent six straight weeks from mid-January into late February at No. 1, fell to No. 3 on Feb. 26 after a loss at Creighton, then had two weeks at No. 2 before returning to No. 1 for the final pre-tournament poll on March 18.

Purdue had been within range of the Huskies all season in what became largely a clear top tier. The Boilermakers, led by a two-time AP national player of the year in 7-foot-4 Zach Edey, spent five weeks at No. 1, nine weeks at No. 2 and was never ranked lower than fourth.

Once in the tournament, the Huskies won six tournament games by a combined 23.3 points, with the closest call being a 14-point win against the Crimson Tide in the national semifinals. Ultimately, UConn and Purdue ranked 1-2 six times this season.


Regional finalist Illinois was next at No. 6, followed by North Carolina, Iowa State and Duke — all of which reached the second weekend of the NCAAs. Then came North Carolina State, which rode its first Final Four run since 1983 as an 11-seed to check in at No. 10 after being unranked all season.


The Southeastern Conference led the way with five ranked teams in the final poll, including No. 18 Auburn, No. 20 Kentucky and No. 25 South Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Conference had four, with No. 14 Clemson joining the North Carolina-based trio in the top 10 after its run to the Elite Eight. The Big 12 also had four, including No. 16 Baylor and No. 19 Kansas.

The Big East had three with No. 11 Marquette and No. 13 Creighton joining UConn. The Big Ten, Pac-12, West Coast and Mountain West conferences each had two, while the Atlantic 10 had one.


The poll celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this year, and this marked the 20th season in which there were at least five different teams to reach No. 1 — the record is seven in 1983 and 2020 — since that January 1949 launch.

Preseason No. 1 Kansas spent three weeks at No. 1, matched by Houston and followed by Arizona with two weeks.

In all, 52 teams were ranked at some point this year, making this only the fourth season in poll history to have at least 50 different teams make the poll. Last year marked the record with 54, while there were 53 in both 2010 and 2015.


AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball