As the 2020-21 NCAA college basketball season progresses, we’re getting a more solid idea of the teams we’ll be seeing in the rankings for the remainder of the year. After some pretty wild swings in the first seven weeks, AP top 25 poll was fairly stagnant in Week 8.
For the first time this season, the entire top five remained unchanged from week to week.
Just as they have all year, the Gonzaga Bulldogs top the list. Blowout wins over BYU and Portland this week continued to show why Mark Few and his 12-0 squad are the best team in college basketball.
Baylor also remains deadlocked at its season-long No. 2 spot. Also undefeated at 11-0, the Bears notched solid wins over Oklahoma and TCU this week to maintain their ranking.
In Week 7, Villanova reclaimed its preseason No. 3 spot after an upset loss to Virginia Tech in Week 1. Despite not playing a game this week due to COVID-19 concerns, the Wildcats held onto their spot in the top three.
No. 4 Texas continued to show why they deserve a spot in the top five with a stunning 72-70 win over No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday. Three years after his cancer diagnosis in 2018, Longhorns star guard Andrew Jones hit a game-winning three to top the Mountaineers.
After dropping all the way to No. 10 in Week 6, Iowa reclaimed the final spot in the top five in Week 7. Wins over Maryland and No. 16 Minnesota this week were enough to keep them in the No. 5 spot.
While there was some shifting in the top half of this week’s top 10, all of the teams remain the same.
Michigan has slowly worked its way up the AP top 25 all season. After earning a preseason No. 25 ranking, the Wolverines dropped out of the top 25 with a closely-contested overtime victory over Oakland in Week 1. Since then, Juwan Howard and his squad have continued to go undefeated. With two straight wins over No. 19 NorthWestern and No. 16 Minnesota, Michigan jumped three spots from No. 10 to No. 7.
Despite all notching wins in Week 7, Creighton, Wisconsin and Tennessee each dropped one spot after being jumped by the Wolverines.
Kansas remains stagnant at No. 6 with wins over TCU and Oklahoma.
Here’s the full AP top 25 list:
- West Virginia
- Texas Tech
- Virginia Tech
- Ohio State
- Saint Louis
Middle of the Pack
The biggest jump taken in this week’s AP top 25 was from Clemson, moving up seven spots into No. 12. Just two weeks ago, they weren’t even in the top 25. The Tigers have now notched four straight wins, including three in a row against ACC foes. Victories over Miami and NC State were apparently enough to give 9-1 Clemson the near-top-10 spot.
Texas Tech and Virginia also made significant strides.
After suffering an overtime loss to Oklahoma State last week, the Red Raiders to a hit to their ranking. Wins over Kansas State and Iowa State were enough to helped Tech bounce back, jumping three spots to No. 15.
The Cavaliers took a hit to their ranking as well when they suffered a blowout loss to Gonzaga a few weeks ago. But now, after notching three straight wins over ACC opponents, UVA has jumped four spots to No. 18.
While these two teams moved up, we saw a few middle-of-the-pack teams drop significantly.
Minnesota fell seven spots this week all the way to No. 23. Losing three of their last four games, things aren’t looking too good for the Golden Gophers after their hot 9-1 start. To be fair though, they have had one of the toughest schedules in college basketball. Minnesota has now faced AP top 25 opponents in six straight games.
Oregon also took a significant five-spot drop to No. 22. After a loss to Colorado on Thursday, the only reason the Ducks are still in the top 25 is a Saturday win over Utah.
Moving In, Kicked Out
One of the biggest stories from Week 8’s AP top 25 is Louisville’s massive leap.
Unranked in Week 7, the Cardinals skyrocketed all the way to No. 16 in this week’s rankings. UL was propelled by four straight wins, especially a 73-71 win over No. 19 Virginia Tech on Wednesday. With this disappointing loss to Louisville, the Hokies dropped one spot to No. 20.
This wasn’t the only flip-flopped ranking of the week.
With a 79-68 win over No. 15 Rutgers, unranked Ohio State made its return to the AP top 25, claiming the No. 21 spot. After now losing four of their last five games, the Scarlet Knights dropped all the way from No. 15 to No. 31.
Michigan State has seen a massive fall from grace over the past few weeks. After earning an early-season top-5 ranking, the Spartans have now dropped four of their last six games. With a loss to Purdue on Friday, they finally fall out of the top 25.
Despite not playing this week, Florida State also dropped out. The Seminoles fell seven spots in the rankings last week with a 10-point loss to Clemson. With their matchup against No. 20 Duke was postponed this week, they didn’t have a chance to show they belong in the AP top 25.
For the first time this season, UCONN has claimed a spot in the rankings. After a valiant effort in an overtime loss to Creighton a few weeks ago, the Huskies have won three straight. Connecticut rounds out the rankings at No. 25.