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Men's College Basketball season AP Poll rankings: UConn earns season's first first unanimous No. 1

UConn, which is trying to become the first school to win back-to-back Men's College Basketball Tournament titles for the first time since Florida in 2006/07, increased its winning streak to 14 for the longest current run in Division I.

The Huskies, who handled lowly DePaul and throttled then-No. 4 Marquette on Saturday, 81-53, are the first unanimous No. 1 team in the nation this season, with No. 2 Purdue falling to Ohio State on Sunday.

No. 17 Kentucky had the highest surge this week, jumping five spots after impressive wins over Ole Miss and then-No. 13 Auburn this week. Iowa State surged four spots to No. 6, its highest ranking since December 2015. However, the Cyclones lost at No. 2 Houston Monday night, 73-65.

Saint Mary’s held firm at No. 18 while bumping its own win streak to 13, staying undefeated in the West Coast Conference and two games ahead of San Francisco and rival Gonzaga.

South Carolina and BYU suffered the biggest drops of schools still in the Top 25 this week. The Gamecocks lost two straight for the first time this season, including a 40-point beatdown at Auburn on Wednesday and slid down nine spots to No. 20, while BYU fell six spots to No. 25 after a 10-point loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Read more: Men's College Basketball odds

Cougars holding their own in Big 12

Despite Houston’s recent success, including the school’s first tournament semifinal appearance in nearly 40 years, there was skepticism about how the Cougars would perform after moving to the Big 12.

Back-to-back setbacks at TCU and Iowa State early in the conference schedule, albeit close losses, fueled more doubts after a fairly easy non-conference schedule.

That feeling has quickly disappeared as Houston has now won nine of its last 10 to rocket to the top of the Big 12 standings at 10-3.

The Cougars, now ranked second in the country, knocked off Iowa State Monday night for their fourth straight win, putting them at 10-3 in the Big 12, a game ahead of the Cyclones and two ahead of Kansas. 

The Cougars are 15-0 at home, where they will host the Jayhawks in the season finale on Saturday, March 9.

Washington State latest school to return to Top 25

Last week, it was Indiana State making its first appearance in the Top 25 in 45 seasons. Although the Sycamores’ time in the rankings was short-lived, one of the schools that replaced them, Washington State, also ended a long streak on the outside-looking in.

The Cougars don’t reach the national stage often. They made two straight NCAA Tournament appearances under coach Tony Bennett - who now coaches Virginia - in 2007/08, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2008. that was the last season the school was ranked in the Top 25 until this week. 

Under fifth-year coach Kent Smith, the 20-6 Cougars are poised to reach their highest win total since Bennett’s 26-9 Sweet 16 squad, the last time the school went to the NCAA Tournament.

Washington State has won seven straight and 10 of 11 to vault to the top of the Pac-12 standings, a half game ahead of No. 4 Arizona.

The Cougars announced their presence this season with a 73-70 victory over the Wildcats on January 13th. The two schools meet again Thursday night in Tucson.

Myles Rice, a freshman guard who was redshirted in 2021/22 before missing last season while battling cancer, leads this Cinderella story, pacing the Cougars with 15.9 points, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals.

Isaac Jones is adding 15.7 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, followed by Jaylen Wells (11.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Andrej Jakimovski (10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg).   

Gators back in Top 25 as well

As mentioned earlier, UConn is trying to become the first school since the Florida Gators in 2006/07 to win back-to-back NCAA Tournament titles.

The Gators themselves are trying to get back to national prominence after hovering on the periphery in recent seasons. Second-year coach Todd Golden has his team playing its best basketball of the season, having won three straight and seven of its last eight to enter the Top 25 this week at No. 24. 

The Gators have not advanced past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 2017, but are now one of six teams within two games of the SEC lead. Florida currently trails Alabama by two games.

Walter Clayton Jr. (16.4 ppg) leads five Florida players averaging in double figures.

Zyon Pullin is contributing 15.5 points and a team-leading 4.9 assists a game and Tyrese Samuel is going for 12.9 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds a game for the Gators. 

AP Top 25 Rankings

6Iowa State20-51160
10North Carolina20-61044
18Saint Mary's21-6486
19San Diego State20-6374
20South Carolina21-5346
21Washington State20-6215
22Colorado State20-6171
23Texas Tech18-7135

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