AP Poll: Despite loss, Oklahoma stays No. 1 ahead of North Carolina

We have a rare happening in the Associated Press men’s basketball poll. Despite losing a game, the No. 1-ranked team in the country has not been taken from the top spot. Oklahoma, which fell at Iowa State last Monday, is still the numero uno in the latest ranking.

Why did this happen? Well, every team except UNC ranked in the top eight last week did lose, meaning the Sooners stayed with the tide, basically. And given Iowa State is also a really good team, AP voters — unlike the coaches — believe the Sooners have a right to the top spot still. Some welcomed rationale from the masses.

Elsewhere, you’ll see the Big East is really staying strong at the top. Xavier is No. 7, while Providence is No. 10 — and those two square off Tuesday night. Villanova, which saw its 22-game win streak in the conference brought to an end by Providence on Sunday, is ranked sixth.

Elsewhere, Iowa makes a big leap from ninth to third. Texas A&M didn’t lose last week, so now it’s gone from 10th to fifth. SMU was the last unbeaten, but with its loss at Temple on Sunday the Ponies tumble from eighth to 13th. Iowa State was another big climber this week, going from 19th to 14th.

The full poll:

1. Oklahoma (16-2)

2. North Carolina (18-2)

3. Iowa (16-3)

4. Kansas (16-3)

5. Texas A&M (17-2)

6. Villanova (17-3)

7. Xavier (17-2)

8. Maryland (17-3)

9. West Virginia (16-3)

10. Providence (17-3)

11. Virginia (15-4)

12. Michigan State (17-4)

13. SMU (18-1)

14. Iowa State (15-4)

15. Miami (15-3)

16. Louisville (16-3)

17. Baylor (15-4)

18. Arizona (16-4)

19. Indiana (17-3)

20. Kentucky (15-4)

21. Purdue (17-4)

23. Wichita State (14-5)

23. Oregon (16-4)

24. Duke (15-5)

25. Notre Dame (14-5)

Dropped out: USC, Butler, South Carolina

Jumped in: Wichita State, Oregon, Notre Dame

Texas A&M is enjoying a rare appearance in the top five. The Aggies are the SEC’s best. (USATSI)

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