- After seven ranked teams – including two in the top 10 – were upset since the AP released its last Top 25 Poll, the updated rankings look remarkably different than they did last week.
- The Clemson Tigers, UCLA Bruins, TCU Horned Frogs, and LSU Tigers all fell out of the rankings, while the Villanova Wildcats reclaimed a spot in the top 25 after undergoing their first exit from the rankings since 2013 last week.
- The Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, and Maryland Terrapins all made their first appearances in the top 25 this season.
- Despite a shake-up among the poll at large, Kansas, Gonzaga, and Duke remained among the top four spots in the poll for the fourth consecutive week, which could be a sign that those teams have started to separate themselves from the pack for the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament.
After a wild week in the world of college basketball, the AP Top 25 Poll has taken on a very different look than it had in Week 3.
Seven ranked teams – including the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils – were upset since the AP released its last Top 25 Poll November 19. For each of those seven teams besides the Blue Devils, the upset came at the hands of an unranked program.
As a result, three of those teams – the Clemson Tigers, TCU Horned Frogs, and LSU Tigers – fell out of the rankings entirely, allowing the Villanova Wildcats to reclaim a spot in the top 25 after undergoing their first exit from the rankings since 2013 last week. The Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, and Maryland Terrapins all made their first appearances in the top 25 this season, while each of the other four ranked teams that suffered upsets throughout the week fell by at least one spot in the poll.
Even with the significant shake-up, the very top of the AP Poll continues to remain steady. Sure, the then-No.3 Gonzaga Bulldogs upset then-No. 1 Duke in a thriller at the Maui Invitational. And yes, the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks needed a sensational overtime performance from AP preseason All-America team selection Dedric Lawson to take down the then-No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers. Still, all three of last week’s top teams remain in the top three spots for the third consecutive week. The Bulldogs leap-frogged both the Blue Devils and the Jayhawks for the top spot, with Kansas coming in at No. 2 and Duke rounding out the podium.
GONZAGA gets the win with superb defense against Duke. pic.twitter.com/3Cs3MhX3mU
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 22, 2018
The fourth, fifth, and sixth spots in the poll also remain virtually untouched. The Virginia Cavaliers moved up one spot from No. 5 in Week 2 and have sat just outside of the top three ever since. Tennessee fell one place to No. 6 after losing to the Jayhawks, and the Nevada Wolf Pack slotted in at No. 5. Those three teams have filled those slots, in some variation, since Week 2.
This level of consistency at the top may give fans a glimpse of which teams will earn No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Last season, Kansas found itself in one of the top four spots in the AP Top 25 Poll for each of the first five rankings of the season en route to one of the No. 1 seeds. Meanwhile, Villanova – which went on to earn a top seed before winning the national championship – followed closely behind with rankings between No. 4 and No. 6 for that same span.
That being said, with conference play on the horizon and a long three months before March, everything is subject to change. Just last year, the Michigan State Spartans and the Arizona Wildcats were staples in the early weeks of the AP rankings, and they went on to earn No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, respectively, in the tournament.