The coaches poll for this week is about as perfect an illustration of the chaos we’ve seen at the top end of college basketball this season as is possible.
Villanova is your new No. 1 team in the country, receiving only 11 of the possible 32 first-place votes in the poll. Behind the Wildcats is Maryland at No. 2, who also garnered 11 first-place votes. Overall, seven different teams had first-place votes in this week’s poll. There is no clear No. 1 in college hoops this season folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride to the end.
Behind the top two, Oklahoma is No. 3, followed by Xavier sitting at No. 4 — a new program high for the Musketeers — and Iowa at No. 5.
Two teams fell out of the poll this week, as well. Louisville dropped from No. 18 to out, as teams that are ineligible for the postseason are ineligible for this poll (although, that didn’t stop the Cardinals from getting 12 votes). Also, Saint Mary’s dropped out of the rankings following a loss to BYU.
Replacing them in the standings were USC, who is now at No. 23, and Texas at No. 25. The rise of the Longhorns this season is a pretty fun one, given that they were 9-6 following a road loss to TCU a month ago. However, they have ripped off seven wins in their last eight games under Shaka Smart, including victories over Iowa State, Baylor and West Virginia to push their record to 16-7 overall and only one game out of the Big 12 conference title race.
Here is the full poll.
1. Villanova (11 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (11)
3. Oklahoma (3)
5. Iowa (3)
6. Kansas (2)
8. North Carolina (1)
9. Michigan State (1)
10. West Virginia
11. Miami (Fla.)
13. Texas A&M
15. Iowa State
20. South Carolina
23. Southern California
24. Wichita State
No longer ranked: Louisville, Saint Mary’s
Newly ranked: USC, Texas
Next five: Notre Dame, Gonzaga, Duke, Saint Mary’s, Pittsburgh