It was a rough week for the Big Ten in college basketball, and especially so for its banner programs. Four ranked teams from the conference took losses over the last week, including Iowa, which was ranked No. 4 a week ago but fell six spots to No. 10 in Monday's updated AP Top 25. The Hawkeyes fell flat in overtime to Minnesota on Friday, their second loss in three games as they dropped to 7-2 on the season and to their lowest AP ranking all season.
Their freefall by extension makes Wisconsin, up to No. 6 in this week's poll, the highest-ranked team from the Big Ten. Rutgers, Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State are all lumped together occupying the Nos. 14-17 spots in this week's poll. Northwestern, new to this week's rankings, finds itself at No. 19, and Minnesota, also new after the Iowa win, finds itself at No. 21. Meanwhile, Ohio State barely stayed in the rankings at No. 25 despite a loss to Northwestern on Saturday.
At the top of the poll, the top three of Gonzaga, Baylor and Kansas stayed unchanged in order. But Villanova advanced one spot up to No. 4 in place of Iowa, and Houston moved up one spot into the No. 5 spot. It's the highest ranking for Villanova since Week 2 of the season. For Houston, it's the program's highest ranking since March 13, 1984, which was the final regular-season poll of the 1983-1984 season.
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: Xavier 178, San Diego State 172, North Carolina 57, Arkansas 55, Clemson 50, Colorado 50, Saint Louis 49, Florida 20, Louisville 18, BYU 12, Georgia 10, NC State 8, UCLA 4, Indiana 4, Richmond 3, UCF 2, Western Kentucky 2, Boise State 2, SMU 1, Chattanooga 1, Drake 1.