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AP’s latest men’s basketball poll: Louisville, Syracuse’s next opponent, receives votes




Syracuse, NY – Just as Baylor looked set to make a serious case for No.1 in men’s basketball weekly Top 25, the Bears took a Covid hiatus.

The Bears, whose lasting impression was a dominant victory over Texas, will now spend 17 days between games in a Big 12. Will this layoff, the second of the season for Baylor, have any impact on his undefeated streak? Time will tell us.

Elsewhere in the AP poll, Creighton, fresh off his convincing win over Villanova, and Oklahoma, which also had a good week, soared in the poll. ACC? Virginia, Florida State and Virginia Tech (now on hiatus) are the conference reps, although Louisville, Clemson and North Carolina all received votes.

Here is the latest poll (record, last week, total points):

1) Gonzaga (20-0) 1,595

2) Baylor (17-0) 2,541

3) Michigan (14-1) 3 1469

4) Ohio state (17-4) 4 1402

5) Illinois (14-5) 6 1290

6) Houston (17-2) 8 1 171

7) Virginia (15-3) 9 1 130

8) Alabama (17-5) 11 1086

9) Oklahoma (13-5) 12 1072

ten) Villanova (13-3) 5 1061

11) Iowa (15-6) 15 1112

12) Texas (13-5) 13 861

13) West Virginia (14-6) 14 837

14) Creighton (16-5) 19,794

15) Texas Tech (14-6) 7,792

16) Florida State (11-3) 17 625

17) USC (17-3) 20587

18) Virginia tech (14-4) 18514

19) Tennessee (14-5) 16 453

20) Missouri (13-5) 10 413

21) Wisconsin (15-7) 21,274

22) Loyola Chicago (18-4) 22 167

23) Kansas (15-7) – 141

24) Arkansas (16-5) – 125

25) San Diego State (15-4) – 75

Others who received 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, Virginia Commonwealth 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

I’m voting in the AP Men’s Basketball Top 25 again. See my choices and my explanations below:

Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Aleem Ford of Wisconsin defends Isaiah Livers of Michigan in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday February 14, 2021 in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo / Morry Gash)AP

I was close to bringing Baylor to No.1, but the break kept me from promoting the Bears, who face tough games almost every time and have yet to lose. And I was especially impressed with Michigan, which took a long hiatus and took care of Wisconsin. (I hadn’t moved the Wolverines from their spot at No.3 during the break.)

I said a sad farewell to Loyola Chicago. I watched the second half of the Ramblers game against Drake on Sunday and it wasn’t Loyolas’ best effort, especially after the Ramblers easily got rid of Drake the day before. I added Arkansas which is a bit on a SEC roll that culminated with a win in Missouri. I’m not entirely sure how good San Diego State is, but the Aztecs have won six straight wins in overwhelming style at their conference and so far they’re on my ballot.

I added Clemson this week because in addition to the Tigers’ weird performances after Covid, this team has beaten Purdue, Maryland, Florida State, Louisville and Alabama and recently pulled off ACC wins against North Carolina, Syracuse and Georgia Tech. Clemson could be the best defensive team in the ACC, which helps fill in some of their offensive gaps. And now? The Tigers are back on hiatus. (Sigh,)

I considered adding Kansas, who will surely reappear for me if they beat Texas Tech this week. I considered keeping Loyola AND Drake at the bottom of my ballot. I added Oregon, which has a big guard in Chris Duarte and has been a mystery this season. Every week, these are tough decisions.

Here is the ballot that I handed out on Sunday evening:

1) Gonzaga

2) Baylor

3) Michigan

4) State of Ohio

5) Houston

6) Alabama

7) Virginia

8) Illinois

9) West Virginia

10) Oklahoma

11) Iowa

12) Creighton

13) Villanova

14) Texas

15) USC

16) Texas Tech

17) Missouri

18) Tennessee

19) State of Florida

20) Wisconsin

21) Virginia Tech

22) Oregon

23) Arkansas

24) State of San Diego

25) Clemson

Contact Donna Ditota anytime: Email | Twitter

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