Texas becomes 7th Big 12 team to be in Top 25
Breaking down this week’s Associated Press college basketball poll:
LONGHORN LEAP: Texas moved into the poll for the first time since 2010-11, a season in which the Longhorns were in the final 17 polls and reached as high as No. 3.
The current move that has them at No. 25 is one for the school record books.
Texas will play its fourth consecutive game against an AP Top 25 opponent when it hosts No. 8 Kansas this Saturday. This is the first time in program history that the Longhorns have played four straight games against AP Top 25 opponents. Texas has beaten three straight ranked opponents in as many games for the first time in school history (Iowa State, Kansas State, Baylor). Texas won four straight games against ranked opponents during 2010-11, but that came during a five-game span.
Michigan jumped from No. 21 to 10th with an impressive streak of its own against ranked teams. The Wolverines have won three straight games against top 10 teams (Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State).
Kansas had a four-game winning streak over ranked opponents (Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Baylor) snapped last weekend when the Jayhawks beat TCU.
BIG BIG 12: Texas moving into the Top 25 means seven teams from the Big 12 have been ranked this season. Now what’s really impressive is that there are only 10 teams in the misnamed conference. A 70 percent rate of ranked teams is incredible.
The Big Ten, which has 12 members, and the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has 15 schools, are tied for second this season with six ranked teams each.
The record for ranked teams from one conference in a season is 10 by the 16-team Big East in 2010-11.
ALSO IN: Creighton moved back into the rankings at No. 20 following its 96-68 thrashing of then-No. 4 Villanova last week. The Bluejays have been ranked a total of four weeks this season and never for more than two straight weeks.
ALSO GONE: Kansas State dropped out from 22nd after losses last week to Texas and Iowa State, the Wildcats’ first time losing consecutive games since November.
Baylor dropped out from 24th, the Bears’ first time out of the rankings this season. The Bears were No. 25 in the preseason poll and got as high as No. 7 before its current four-game losing streak (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas).
Baylor becomes the 11th team from the preseason poll to drop out of the rankings joining No. 12 North Carolina, No. 14 VCU, No. 15 Gonzaga, No. 17 Marquette, No. 18 Connecticut, No. 19 Oregon, No. 21 Notre Dame, No. 22 UCLA, No. 23 New Mexico and No. 24 Virginia.
TOP TWO-STEP: Arizona and Syracuse are 1-2 in the poll for the eighth straight and that’s still a month away from matching the record.
UCLA and Marquette were 1-2 for 12 consecutive weeks in 1971-72.
The next-longest runs were nine weeks: UCLA and North Carolina State in 1972-73; UNLV and Arkansas in 1990-91; and Massachusetts and Kentucky in 1995-96.
WEEKS ON TOP: This was Arizona’s 37th week ever as the No. 1 team in the AP poll, tying Ohio State for eighth place on the all-time list.
UCLA is No. 1 among No. 1s with 134 weeks on top. The Bruins are followed by Duke (127), North Carolina (111), Kentucky (93), Kansas (57), Indiana (54), Cincinnati (45) and Ohio State and Arizona.
DOUBLE-RANKED GAMES: This is the week when Duke gets an up close look at two of the Big East teams that moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference this season.
The 17th-ranked Blue Devils visit No. 18 Pittsburgh on Monday and then take the trip to central New York state to visit No. 2 Syracuse.
Oklahoma, Iowa State and Kansas all have two double-ranked games this week, a problem you face when half your conference is in the Top 25.
No. 23 Oklahoma hosts No. 8 Oklahoma State on Monday and the Sooners are at No. 16 Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones’ other game against a ranked team is Wednesday at No. 6 Kansas. The Jayhawks’ other ranked game is Saturday at No. 25 Texas.
The other double-ranked games are No. 7 Michigan State at No. 15 Iowa; No. 13 Cincinnati at No. 12 Louisville; and No. 24 Ohio State at No. 14 Wisconsin.