AP Poll: Despite losses, Arizona, Kansas and Notre Dame hold steady

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Arizona stayed relatively steady this week, at No. 7. (USATSI)
Arizona stayed relatively steady this week, at No. 7. (USATSI)

Kentucky is still the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation, garnering all 65 first-place votes in the Associated Press Poll this week. However, it’s the lack of movement behind them that is a bit surprising.

Despite losses over the weekend to previously unranked foes, Kansas and Arizona are still the seventh and eighth ranked teams in the nation (following Virginia, Gonzaga, Duke, Wisconsin and Villanova). Also, following a 30-point loss to Duke on Saturday, Notre Dame also held steady at 10th overall. In fact, the only top-15 team that saw a rather large tumble was Iowa State, who dropped from 11th to 14th following its loss in Allen Fieldhouse to Kansas. Go figure.

Another interesting observation is that — despite losses throughout the week and somewhat middling resumes that don’t have a ton of ton of quality wins — West Virginia, Ohio State and SMU stayed in the poll at 21st, 23rd and 25th, respectively. The moral of the story here is that once you enter the poll, it’s awfully hard to fall out.

And this season, with teams being as close as they are in quality, it seems like voters are going to give their preconceived notions the benefit of the doubt as far as who the best teams are. Even the two teams that enterered the poll this week, Oklahoma State and Arkansas, have already been ranked this season. They replace Texas and Georgetown, both of whom have eight losses and have also been given the benefit of the doubt all season.

None of this is bad, by any means. It’s just merely an observation regarding the jumble in college hoops this season, where it seems like there are legitimately 30 or so teams that could make a Sweet 16 run or even further.

Here’s the rest of the full poll.

1. Kentucky (65 first-place votes)

2. Virginia

3. Gonzaga

4. Duke

5. Wisconsin

6. Villanova

7. Arizona

8. Kansas

9. Louisville

10. Notre Dame

11. Utah

12. North Carolina

13. Northern Iowa

14. Iowa State

15. Wichita State

16. Baylor

17. Oklahoma

18. Butler

19. Maryland

20. VCU

T21. Oklahoma State

T21. West Virginia

23. Ohio State

24. Arkansas

25. SMU

No longer ranked: Texas, Georgetown

Newly ranked: Oklahoma State, Arkansas

>> Want more college hoops? Top 25 (and one) | Bracketology

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