The USA Today Coaches poll in college basketball features a lot of turnover this week, as six new teams enter the poll following a madness-filled Thanksgiving week.
Previously ranked No. 13 California, No. 14 Indiana, No. 17 LSU, No. 18 Notre Dame and No. 20 Wichita State were all top-20 teams who completely fell out of the poll following bad weeks. Each of those teams dropped multiple games, and really struggled when faced with playing tough competition.
Entering the poll this week are teams that have succeeded thus far in the early portion of the season. Particularly, Xavier moved from being unranked all the way up to No. 18 following a win in the Advocare Invitational. The Musketeers have been one of the most impressive teams in college hoops thus far, featuring a well-rounded, experienced roster that could build upon its Sweet 16 appearance a year ago.
Other teams to enter the poll included Syracuse (winner of the Battle 4 Atlantis), Texas A&M, Louisville, Providence, and Butler.
The early storyline in college basketball this season has been chaos, so it won’t be surprising if we continue to see turnover like this throughout the early part of the year as young teams continue to grow and learn and other talented teams separate themselves.
1. Kentucky (29 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (3)
3. Michigan State
4. Iowa State
9. North Carolina
15. West Virginia
20. Texas A&M
Dropped out: California, Indiana, LSU, Notre Dame, Wichita State, Connecticut
Newly ranked: Xavier, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Louisville, Providence, Butler
Next five: Utah, Connecticut, California, Indiana, LSU