Houston atop Top 25 for third time this season

The Houston Cougars returned to No. 1 in the AP men’s college basketball poll Monday for the third time this season, while Northwestern and Texas A&M barged into the rankings after each had a pair of impressive wins last week.The Cougars, riding a seven-game winning streak, jumped over Alabama and back into the top spot, where they spent 2 weeks in November and December and had another two-week stint last month. They picked up 48 first-place votes from the 62-member nationwide media panel to lay claim to No. 1 with simply two weeks left in the regular season.Editor’s Picks

  • 1 Associated “This is my fourth year training these men; we’ve established a really great program here,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson stated, referring to his veteran leaders who went to a Last Four two years ago and the Elite Eight last season. “However the emphasis is ‘we have.’ One person does not do it. I take pride in our program. I’m proud of everybody in it.”

    The Crimson Tide dropped just one area after losing to Tennessee and routing Georgia in their only week at No. 1. They kept 7 first-place votes, while Kansas likewise earned 7 to climb 2 areas to No. 3 in this week’s poll.UCLA stayed at No. 4 while Purdue moved two areas to round out of the leading five.Team Record 1. Houston(48 )25-2 2.

    Alabama(7 )23-4 3
    . Kansas (7 ) 22-5
    4. UCLA 23-4 5. Purdue 24-4
    6. Virginia 21-4 7. Arizona 24-4 8. Texas 21-6 9. Baylor 20-7 10. Marquette
    21-6 11. Tennessee 20-7 12
    . Gonzaga 23-5 13 . Miami 22-5 14. Kansas State 20-7 15. St. Mary
    ‘s 24-5 16. Xavier 20-7 17. Indiana 19-8 18. UConn 20-7
    19. Creighton 18-9
    20. Providence 20-7
    21. Northwestern 20-7
    22. San Diego State 21-5 23. Iowa State 17-9 24. TCU 18-9 25. Texas A&M 20-7
    “We’re not as great a basketball team
    , from a tactical viewpoint, as in 2015’s basketball team yet,”said Jayhawks coach Expense Self, whose group
    is attempting to become the first back-to-back national champions since Florida
    in 2006 and’07.”From a competitive perspective, this team is a comparable, or on
    par, with that team.” That
    was evident Saturday,
    when the Jayhawks rallied from

    17 down to beat No. 9 Baylor 87-71 in Allen Fieldhouse.Virginia was at No. 6 after beating Louisville and Notre Dame last week. Arizona was seventh while Texas fell 2 spots to 8th after losing to Texas Tech and requiring overtime to beat Oklahoma. Baylor held its spot while Marquette moved into the leading 10 for the very first time considering that Feb. 25, 2019. The Volunteers dropped to No. 11 after following up their win over Alabama with a loss to Kentucky. Gonzaga, Miami and Kansas State were next, with Saint Mary’s providing the West Coast Conference 2 teams in the leading 15. The Gaels (24-5, 13-1)and Bulldogs(23-5, 12-2)both play midweek games before their face-off Saturday.Xavier held constant at No. 16, while Indiana, UConn, Creighton and Providence completed the leading 20. Northwestern entered the survey for the first time in more than 2 years at No. 21 after following its upset of Purdue 2 weeks ago with wins over the Hoosiers and Iowa. San Diego State, Iowa State and TCU were next, with Texas A&M making it back into the survey after spending one week at No. 24 in November.”We haven’t gotten ahead of ourselves,” Wildcats coach Chris Collins stated.”We have actually had big goals of who we might be, and not many individuals thought it. I make certain a lot of people

    made fun of them. But we had them and they were genuine. And these guys have followed up on it.

    However we’re still in the moment. For me, it’s not a time for reflection. “We desire more,”Collins stated.”We can show at the end of the year, when it’s all performed in a month’s time. And we can recall at the ups and downs. However we’re attempting our hardest today to remain in the moment.”IN AND OUT The Wildcats, winners of five straight,

    and the Aggies went into the poll at the expense of NC State and Florida Atlantic. The Wolfpack lost to Syracuse on Tuesday and the Owls lost to Middle Tennessee on Thursday.RISING AND FALLING There was extremely little motion in the poll. Providence made the biggest climb at just 4 areas to No. 20 after wins over Creighton and Villanova. Iowa State likewise made the greatest fall at 4 sports to No. 23 after following a win over TCU with a loss to Kansas State on Saturday.CONFERENCE ENJOY The Big 12 continues to blaze a trail with 6 groups in the AP Top 25 and Oklahoma State getting a vote. The Big East has 5 teams in the poll– and

    all in the top 20– while the SEC and Big 10 have three groups apiece.

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