USC hits highest AP ranking in nearly 50 years
Baylor is the unanimous No. 1 in the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll once again, while fifth-ranked Southern California climbed to its highest ranking in nearly five decades.
The reigning national champion Bears earned all 61 first-place votes in Monday’s poll for the fourth time in five weeks. Baylor (15-0) beat Oklahoma and TCU last week to push its winning streak to 21 games dating to last year’s title run in the Indianapolis bubble.
Gonzaga, UCLA, Auburn and USC rounded out the top five. The Tigers jumped five spots to No. 4, while the Trojans rose two spots to hit their highest ranking since last reaching No. 5 in December 1974.
Arizona, Purdue, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State rounded out a reshuffled group of the same top-10 teams from last week.
No. 13 Wisconsin had the biggest jump of the 12 teams that climbed in this week’s poll, leaping 10 spots after beating Purdue, Iowa and Maryland in Big Ten play. No. 12 LSU rose nine spots after wins against ranked Kentucky and Tennessee teams.
No. 24 Alabama had the biggest tumble of the 10 teams that fell in Monday’s poll, sliding nine spots after losing to a Missouri team that was 6-7 entering the game. No. 21 Texas and No. 23 Providence each fell seven spots.
Illinois reentered the poll at No. 25 after opening the year at No. 11 but falling out before the end of November. That came after the AP Top 25 featured no new teams for each of the past two weeks.
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