A basketball renaissance is being realized in Alabama under coach Nate Oats, and the culmination of a wildly successful season -- in which it has won nine straight and leads the SEC regular season race by three games -- has now reached a climax. The Crimson Tide checks in at No. 9, the highest jump of any team in the poll this week, in the latest AP Top 25 released Monday. It is the first time Alabama has cracked the top 10 of the poll since the 2006-2007 season, when it climbed as high as No. 4.
The Crimson Tide (13-3, 8-0 SEC) haven't lost a game since mid-December, and their rise up the rankings this week was fueled by an impressive 30 point road win over LSU and an eight point win at home over Mississippi State. During their winning streak they have also knocked off then-No. 7 Tennessee as well as Auburn and Kentucky on the road.
As for the very top of the rankings, Gonzaga, Baylor and Villanova once again held steady at 1, 2 and 3, respectively, but there was a shakeup in the top five. Michigan jumped from No. 7 to No. 4 to replace Iowa, who fell to No. 7. Texas stayed at No. 5. Other notable risers include Virginia moving up from No. 13 to No. 8 and Texas Tech jumping from No. 12 to No. 10.
AP Top 25
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sunday, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:
Others receiving votes: Boise State 108, Drake 75, Colorado 59, USC 50, Oklahoma St. 49, Oregon 49, Florida 37, UConn 20, Winthrop 16, Xavier 14, Loyola-Chicago 12, BYU 11, Purdue 11, Belmont 9, Clemson 8, Saint Bonaventure 6, Toledo 4, Arizona 4.