Sunday, January 24, 2016

My AP Top 25 ballot this week

I defy anyone to put together a Top 25 that makes sense after this week's carnage, in which seven of the top eight teams from last week's rankings lost once. Pretty sure I didn't.

Here's how I see it: North Carolina vaults to No. 1 after beating Wake Forest and Virginia Tech while Oklahoma only drops a spot after losing at Iowa State and beating Baylor. You could make a case for the Sooners staying No. 1, and I'm sure they'll get some votes. I was tempted.

After that, it's a real mishmash, but I had to do one thing: vault Providence back into the top 10. And, really, after the Friars beat Villanova, on the road, in overtime on Sunday, how can you not have them ranked above the Wildcats? Both teams are 17-3, with PC owning the one head-to-head showdown. On the road.

Elsewhere, we've ousted Duke, Butler, South Carolina and Arkansas-Little Rock and welcomed Oregon, St. Mary's, Charlotte and Dayton. UConn was among a group of teams, along with Michigan, Wichita State and UAB, that we strongly considered. But we don't have any five-loss teams on this week's ballot. And, well, while the Huskies took care of business at home against Tulane and Georgetown, that wasn't quite enough to put them back in the rankings.

Beat Cincinnati on Thursday, hold serve at UCF next Sunday, and I can pretty much guarantee the Huskies will be back on my ballot.

1. North Carolina
2. Oklahoma
3. Iowa
4. Kansas
5. Maryland
6. Texas A&M
7. Providence
8. Villanova
9. SMU
10. Xavier
11. Virginia
12. Arizona
13. Purdue
14. West Virginia
15. Kentucky
16. Michigan State
17. Louisville
18. Baylor
19. Indiana
20. Iowa State
21. Miami
22. Oregon
23. St. Mary's
24. Chattanooga
25. Dayton