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Making Sense of College Basketball AP Poll Standings


It took Michigan 20 years to regain their prominence atop the Associated Press’ college basketball poll, but they finally did it.

The Wolverines, who were previously ranked second nationally last week, received 51 first-place votes while still keeping pace with Kansas as the only remaining one-loss team. This past week, Michigan trumped Purdue 68-53 and outlasted Illinois 74-60. Michigan is now the second Big Ten team to be ranked No. 1 overall in the AP standings this season, the former being Louisville.

Michigan took advantage of another No. 1 team falling — this time it was Duke. The top-ranked team lost in decisive fashion, dropping a 90-63 contest to Miami on Wednesday night. It was the third straight week that No. 1 team lost.

And with one team’s loss is another team’s gain. In this case, it’s two with Indiana and Florida drawing third and fourth place rankings, respectively. The two teams still remain frontrunners as a No. 1 team in the March Madness tournament as the two highest ranked two-loss teams on the market. Indiana dropped Penn State and Michigan State this past week, but have a matchup against Michigan slated for Feb. 2. Meanwhile, Florida tallied impressive victories over Georgia and Mississippi State and don’t have any top-ranked matchups on the horizon. We could be seeing them atop the standings for quite some time.

Rounding out the top five teams in the poll is Duke, who is struggling for answers after falling to Miami this past week. In fact, it was the third-worst loss the Blue Devils have suffered in the last five years.

The usually efficient Seth Curry went scoreless, shooting a dreadful 0-for-10 from the field, while Quinn Cook tallied five points and a 1-for-12 shooting performance.

With the win, the Hurricanes (14-3) climbed to No. 14 in the polls and atop the ACC leaderboard with a 5-0 division record.

The next five spots atop the poll are No. 6 Syracuse, No. 7 Gonzaga, No. 8 Arizona, No. 9 Butler and No. 10 Oregon. The biggest surprise here is Oregon, who were dubbed as merely throw-ins in the PAC-12 conference this season. Unexpectedly, the team has surged up the rankings in both its conference and on the national stage with an astounding 18-2 regular season record and a first-place PAC-12 standing. This past week, they posted wins over Washington and Washington State this past week.

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