The topsy-turvy world of the college basketball Top 25 rankings was predictably unpredictable last week, which led to yet more upheaval in the Top 25. Four teams in the Top 10 lost and one team -- Auburn, who had been undefeated on the season -- lost twice. Hell, the #1 ranking in the AP Poll saw another change and last week's #1-ranked team (Gonzaga) didn't lose -- in fact, they didn't even have any close calls, thrashing Santa Clara by 50 points and downing BYU by 23 points. But they still got replaced at the top by Baylor, who became the seventh different team to be ranked #1 this season. The all-time record for a single season is eight different teams ranked #1.
Meanwhile, what about our beloved Iowa Hawkeyes? Thanks to the upheaval elsewhere in the Top 25 and their two wins last week -- including a win over previous #19 Michigan -- Iowa is on the rise in the polls. They went from just outside the Top 25 to #19 in the new AP Poll and from #24 in the Coaches Poll to #19.
New AP Top 25
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As noted earlier, there was a LOT of movement in the Top 25 this week. Iowa's seven-spot rise from (effectively) #26 to #19 was the second-biggest move up of the week, behind only Seton Hall's eight-spot leap from #18 to #10. Dayton (up six spots from #13 to #7), Louisville (up five spots from #11 to #6), Villanova (up five spots from #14 to #9), and Texas Tech (up five spots from #23 to #18) were the other big risers of the week. Auburn was the biggest dropper, tumbling 12 spots from #4 to #16. Butler (down eight spots from #5 to #13), Wichita State (from #16 to unranked), and Michigan (from #19 to unranked) were the other big droppers. In fact, four teams dropped out entirely (Wichita State, Michigan, Ohio State, and Creighton)
Five Big Ten teams are included in the current Top 25. Two of those -- Michigan State at #11 and Maryland at #17 -- were entirely expected, given that they among the favorites to win the Big Ten before the season began. The other three -- Iowa at #19, Illinois at #21, and Rutgers at #24 -- are considerably more unexpected. Imagine telling your six weeks ago self that in mid-January Michigan and Ohio State would be out of the Top 25 entirely and Iowa, Illinois, and Rutgers would be ranked in the Top 25. The Rutgers ranking is particularly noteworthy since it marks the first time that the Scarlet Knights have been ranked in the AP Top 25 since 1979. That was forty-one years ago!
New Coaches Poll Top 25
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There isn't too much difference in the Coaches Poll Top 25, aside from Gonzaga (narrowly) holding onto the top spot ahead of Baylor. Louisville and Florida State also flip spots at #5 and #6 -- behind former Iowa opponent San Diego State at #4. The Aztecs are the only remaining unbeaten team in college basketball after Auburn took their first (and second) L last week. Michigan State and Villanova also have swapped spots at #9 and #11 in the Coaches Poll, which gives the Spartans (and the Big Ten) a presence in the Top 10 in at least one of the polls. Maryland (#17), Iowa (#19), Illinois (#22), and Rutgers (#25) are the other Big Ten squads ranked in the Coaches Poll.
Incidentally, Iowa's next game is a home game on Wednesday against... newly-ranked Rutgers. That's right: Iowa vs Rutgers is going to be a TOP 25 THROWDOWN. Imagine what the odds on that happening were before the season began. This season is absolutely wild.