The top of this week's AP Top 25 college basketball rankings has a fresh face in the mix of the top five, with Illinois moving up one spot to No. 5. The Illini, riding a five-game winning streak, snatched Villanova's spot after the Wildcats took their second loss in four games in lopsided fashion to Creighton over the weekend. Villanova dropped several spots but managed to hang in the top 10.
The No. 5 ranking matches the Illini's highest ranking of the season, which came all the way back in Week 2. They endured a rough patch in December, hit a few speed bumps in January but have turned a corner of late with two of the wins in their latest hot streak coming against ranked foes. On Saturday, they earned the distinction of a No. 2 seed -- and the fifth overall rated team -- by the NCAA selection committee as part of its annual Bracket Preview. Their six wins in Quadrant 1 games matches No. 1 seed Baylor and is two more than 1 seed Michigan.
There were several other new entries into this week's top 10 as well, as Alabama jumped to No. 8 from 11 and Oklahoma moved to No. 9 from 12. Texas Tech and Missouri both took major tumbles out of the top 10 to pave the way for those risers, but managed to hang in the poll at No. 15 and No. 20, respectively.
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:
|25||San Diego State||15-4||75||NR|
Others receiving votes: Oklahoma State 71, Rutgers 49, Belmont 47, Louisville 40, Colorado 31, Oregon 30, Drake 22, Purdue 20, Florida 17, Clemson 17, LSU 16, UCLA 11, VCU 10, Saint Louis 5, Xavier 4, Toledo 3, UC Santa Barbara 2, Western Kentucky 2, North Carolina 2, BYU 1, Wichita State 1, Wright State 1, Utah State 1.