College basketball rankings: UCLA joins top five of AP Top 25, FAU in poll for first time in school history

A wild week in college basketball produced significant changes in the latest AP Top 25 poll released Monday, with UCLA climbing to No. 5 and Xavier and Virginia entering the top 10. Tennessee and UConn — ranked No. 4 and No. 5 last week — stumbled.

UCLA, meanwhile, settled matters at home against Utah and Colorado in the week to keep its perfect Pac-12 record intact as the standings lead was held to one game.

The poll’s top remained the same as last week, with Houston holding its No. 1 spot and Kansas, Purdue, and Alabama all holding onto their No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 spots, respectively. The Cougars earned the same number of first-place votes as last week (34), while Kansas received one more (23). Purdue received the final three.

Xavier’s rise from four spots to No. 8 this week marked the program’s first top-10 ranking since the 2017–18 season, when it rose to No. 3 under then-coach Chris Mack. Freshman coach Sean Miller propelled the Musketeers to an overall record of 15-3 and a 7-0 in the Big East, marking the best start in league play since joining the league. Xavier’s hot start made such an impact that Marquette — who beat UConn earlier in the week and lost to Xavier on Sunday — still climbed five places in the poll to No. 20.

Elsewhere in the rankings, FAU entered the rankings at No. 24, its first time in the AP poll in program history after a 16-1 start to the season. The Owls’ rise coincided with Duke dropping out of the rankings for the first time since the 2020–21 season after losing to ACC-leading Clemson over the weekend.

AP Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press college basketball poll, with 1st place votes in parentheses, records through Sunday, total points based on 25 points for first place, one point for 25th place, and the rankings of previous weeks :

Others get votes: NC State 111, Saint Mary’s 106, Arizona St 79, New Mexico 67, Illinois 61, San Diego State 44, Michigan State 29, Duke 24, Wisconsin 14, Creighton 9, Kent State 8, Boise State 6, Texas A&M 5, Ohio State 3, Missouri 3, Iowa 2, VCU 2, North Carolina 1.

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