Purdue, UConn stay at top as UNC rejoins poll

Purdue stayed atop the Associated Press Top 25 males’s college basketball poll for a third straight week, while preseason No. 1 North Carolina went back to the rankings and New Mexico split the poll for the very first time in eight years.The Boilermakers earned 40 of 60 first-place votes in Monday’s latest poll, while fellow unbeaten UConn earned the other 20 to sit at No. 2 in a the same top.Purdue had never ever been ranked No. 1 prior to a one-week stay there last December, and was unranked to begin the season. But the Boilermakers made a rapid rise from No. 24 to No. 5 in a one-week period in late November, then climbed to No. 1 on Dec. 12. The Boilermakers’win against New Orleans last week marked their very first home game with that No. 1 ranking.” We’ve not had any handouts. We’ve had to work for everything,”coach Matt Painter said afterward,

adding:”But we have actually made it. However we have actually got to keep earning it. This isn’t the season. This is simply a third of the season. “1. Purdue( 40)2. UConn(20) 3. Houston 4. Kansas 5. Arizona 6. Texas 7. Tennessee 8. Alabama 9. Arkansas 10

. Gonzaga 11. UCLA 12. Baylor

13. Virginia 14. Miami 15. Wisconsin 16. Indiana 17. Duke 18

. TCU 19. Kentucky 20. Auburn 21. Mississippi St. 22. New Mexico 22. Xavier

24. West Virginia 25. North Carolina The leading tier No. 3 Houston, No. 4 Kansas and No. 5 Arizona likewise held their positions as the leading 5 stayed in place for a second straight week.Texas was next at No. 6 , followed by Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Gonzaga — the preseason choice

at No. 2 that returned to the leading 10 after moving as low as No. 18 previously this month.Tar Heels return North Carolina is back in the poll at No. 25 after a turbulent opening to the season.The Tar Heels returned 4 beginners

from in 2015’s unexpected go to the NCAA title game, but they began December by ending up being only the sixth group to go from preseason No. 1 to unranked

since a minimum of the 1961-62 season. That came after a run of four straight losses.But UNC has actually won 4 directly since– the previous two coming versus Big 10 teams, Ohio State on Dec. 17 and Michigan recently– to regroup.Rising Miami had the week’s most significant dive after a win versus Virginia, climbing up eight areas to No. 14 for its highest ranking because the 2017-18 season. No. 20 Auburn increased three areas. In all, 10 teams moved up from last week.Sliding Virginia took the week’s biggest tumble, falling 7 spots to No. 13. Mississippi State was close behind, falling 6 areas to No. 21. Duke was the only other team to slide, falling three areas to No. 17.

Status quo 7 teams held their positions from last week, with No. 12 Baylor and No. 19 Kentucky joining the unchanged top five.Welcome Xavier and New Mexico are connected at No. 22, while No. 24 West Virginia joined them as new additions to the poll this season. For the Lobos, it marks the first time they have actually cracked the AP Top 25 since March 2014. Farewell(for now)Illinois (No. 16 ), Virginia Tech( No. 21), Marquette(

No. 24)and Arizona State( No. 25 )fell out from recently’s poll.Conference watch The Southeastern Conference led all leagues with 6 ranked groups, followed by the Big 12 with five and the Atlantic Coast Conference with four.The Big 10 had three ranked groups while the Pac-12 and Big East each had 2. The American Athletic, West Coast and Mountain West conferences each had one.

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