ap mens basketball top 25 kansas north carolina tennessee all survive weekend battles

AP men’s basketball Top 25: Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee all survive weekend battles

With three incredible games throughout the country, Saturday was perhaps the best day of non-tournament basketball we’ll see all season.

Here’s everything you missed in Week 13 of the season, and the latest Associated Press men’s basketball poll.

Resetting after Saturday

There were three top-10 matchups across the country on Saturday afternoon, and then a fourth on Sunday, in what was an incredible slate of games.

Kansas kicked things off with a very solid win over Houston. The Jayhawks, led by 20 points from Hunter Dickinson, hit nine of their first 10 shots to grab an early lead before cruising to a 13-point win in Lawrence.

“A blindfolded person would do better than we did,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said, via the Associated Press. “The day was all about the Kansas program, the tradition and Bill getting his team ready to play in this gym. I mean, the way they shot the ball you’d thought we lost by 30. We lost by 13.”

Kansas jumped four spots to No. 4 this week. Houston, after winning five straight, fell to No. 5. Houston will get another shot at the Jayhawks to close out the season on March 9.

Then on Saturday afternoon, North Carolina rolled to a fairly dominant win over Duke. The Tar Heels built up a 10-point lead in the first half and then held on to grab a nine-point win in what is one of the best rivalries in the sport. It was North Carolina’s first win over Duke since the Final Four in 2022.

Though the win is huge for North Carolina, it came on the heels of a rough upset loss to Georgia Tech earlier in the week. The Yellow Jackets snapped North Carolina’s 10-game winning streak on Tuesday after Nathan George scored a go-ahead layup in the final 10 seconds to give them a one-point win. Georgia Tech had lost eight of its last nine games headed into that matchup.

As a result, North Carolina held strong at No. 3. Duke fell to No. 9. Though the Tar Heels absolutely looked like one of the best teams in the country on Saturday, we’ll see if that holds before the two schools meet back up on March 9 at Cameron Indoor.

Tennessee then closed out the night with a 103-92 win over Kentucky in Lexington. The Vols led the entire way as Josiah-Jordan James and Zakai Zeigler each dropped 26 points in the win. Rob Dillingham dropped a career-high 35 points off the bench for Kentucky, but he fouled out early. The Wildcats, who fell to Florida earlier in the week and have lost three of their last four, dropped seven spots to No. 17 this week. Tennessee, which lost to South Carolina before its win over Kentucky, slipped one place to No. 6.

Tennessee survived a career outing from Rob Dillingham to grab a big win over Kentucky on Saturday night in Lexington.Tennessee survived a career outing from Rob Dillingham to grab a big win over Kentucky on Saturday night in Lexington.

Tennessee survived a career outing from Rob Dillingham to grab a big win over Kentucky on Saturday night in Lexington. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

A rough week for Wisconsin

Last week was not great for Wisconsin.

The Badgers flew into the top 10 in last week’s poll after going on a stretch where they won nine of their last 10 games, which seemingly made them a legitimate contender in the Big Ten.

Now, though, the Badgers are coming off of back-to-back losses — including one of which would have been a massive resume booster headed into March. First on Thursday, unranked Nebraska rallied out of an 18-point hole in the second half to force overtime and eventually beat Wisconsin, 80-72. It marked the Cornhuskers’ second major upset of the season, following a win over then-top-ranked Purdue last month.

Then on Sunday, Zach Edey and the Boilermakers survived a tight matchup in Madison to hand the Boilermakers their second straight loss. Edey finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Purdue led the entire way in the second half while picking up its seventh straight win.

As a result, Wisconsin fell five spots in the poll this week to No. 11. Purdue held strong at No. 2, behind only No. 1 UConn — which beat St. John’s last weekend for its 10th straight win.

Though they’ve looked solid at times in the Big Ten, the Badgers have slipped just about every time they’ve taken on another ranked opponent — save for a narrow win over then-No. 3 Marquette in December and a low-scoring affair over Virginia at the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Arizona and Tennessee both beat the Badgers by double digits, as did unranked Providence.

Luckily for the Badgers, they have a rather manageable slate the rest of the way. If they can hang on over the next month, they’ll get a chance to prove themselves yet again against Illinois on March 2 and then against Purdue to close out the regular season a week later. Without statement wins there, though, who knows how far the Badgers will make it come tournament time.

Games to watch this week

Monday, Feb. 5

No. 4 Kansas at Kansas State | 9 p.m. ET | ESPN

Tuesday, Feb. 6

No. 14 Iowa State at Texas | 8 p.m. ET | Longhorn Network

No. 21 BYU at Oklahoma | 8 p.m. ET | ESPN+

No. 23 Texas Tech at No. 13 Baylor | 9 p.m. ET | ESPN

Wednesday, Feb. 7

No. 16 Alabama at No. 12 Auburn | 7 p.m. ET | ESPN2

Saturday, Feb. 10

TCU at No. 14 Iowa State | 2 p.m. ET | ESPN2

Gonzaga at No. 17 Kentucky | 4 p.m. ET | CBS

No. 13 Baylor at No. 4 Kansas | 6 p.m. ET | ESPN

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma | 7 p.m. ET | ESPN+

AP Top 25

The full AP Top 25 poll from Feb. 5, 2024

1. UConn (20-2)

2. Purdue (21-2)

3. North Carolina (18-4)

4. Kansas (18-4)

5. Houston (19-3)

6. Tennessee (16-5)

7. Marquette (17-5)

8. Arizona (17-5)

9. Duke (16-5)

10. Illinois (17-5)

11. Wisconsin (16-6)

12. Auburn (18-4)

13. Baylor (16-5)

14. Iowa State (16-5)

15. South Carolina (19-3)

16. Alabama (16-6)

17. Kentucky (15-6)

18. Dayton (18-3)

19. Creighton (16-6)

20. FAU (18-4)

21. BYU (16-5)

22. Utah State (19-3)

23. Texas Tech (16-5)

24. San Diego State (17-5)

25. New Mexico (18-4)

Others Receiving Votes: Saint Mary’s 73, TCU 72, Indiana St. 53, Boise St. 49, Colorado St. 43, Virginia 32, Texas 22, Oklahoma 17, Mississippi 10, Washington St. 6, Memphis 5, Appalachian St. 4, Gonzaga 2, Grand Canyon 1, Michigan St. 1

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