My AP Top 25 ballot this week
The biggest change will be at No. 1, where Oklahoma resided in the AP poll (and North Carolina resided on my ballot). The Sooners lost to Kansas State, while Carolina lost twice, so there'll be a new No. 1 this week.
For me, it's the team I had atop my ballot at the very start of the season: Maryland. The Terps had some early-season struggles and haven't always looked dominant. But they're 21-3, fresh off an 11-point win over Purdue, and, quite frankly, may have the most talented starting five in the country. I simply think they're the best team right now.
Among the other notable changes, Providence plunges from No. 7 down all the way down to No. 21 after a two-loss week. Sure, a home loss to Villanova isn't the end of the world -- especially considering the Friars beat 'Nova a couple weeks earlier in Philly. But it's the way the Wildcats thoroughly dismantled PC on Saturday that raised my eyebrows (and also convinced me to catapult 'Nova up to No. 2, even though I haven't been a huge fan of theirs this season).
Oh, that and the fact that the Friars lost to DePaul earlier in the week, too. Yeah, that's worthy of a 14-spot drop.
I dropped Baylor, Saint Mary's, Iowa State and Wichita State from this week's poll and added USC, Gonzaga, South Carolina and ... UConn. Yeah, I went with the Huskies. Really like what I'm seeing from them right now, even if they haven't exactly knocked off a huge opponent lately (though at Memphis Thursday night wasn't bad). Bottom line, there are about 15 different teams that could very deservedly occupy the final 2-3 spots on the ballot. Having witnessed what the Huskies have done over the past couple of weeks up close, I went with them.
8. North Carolina
9. Michigan State
11. West Virginia
19. Texas A&M
24. South Carolina