Baylor again a unanimous No. 1 in AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll

By Aaron Beard | Associated Press
Coach Brad Underwood’s Illinois team has returned to the AP Top 25. | Michael Allio/AP

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 re-entered 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.

The Top 25

1. Baylor 15-0

2. Gonzaga 12-2

3. UCLA 10-1

4. Auburn 14-1

5. Southern Cal 13-0

6. Arizona 12-1

7. Purdue 13-2

8. Duke 12-2

9. Kansas 12-2

10. Michigan St. 13-2

11. Houston 14-2

12. LSU 14-1

13. Wisconsin 13-2

14. Villanova 11-4

15. Iowa St. 13-2

16. Ohio St. 10-3

17. Xavier 12-2

18. Kentucky 12-3

19. Texas Tech 11-3

20. Seton Hall 11-3

21. Texas 12-3

22. Tennessee 10-4

23. Providence 14-2

24. Alabama 11-4

25. Illinois 11-3

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