AP men’s basketball Top 25: UConn survives chaotic week to claim No. 1 spot

Only two teams ranked in the top-10 last week made it out without a loss to an unranked team

UConn was one of two top-10 teams that made it through last week without taking a loss to an unranked team.
UConn was one of two top-10 teams that made it through last week without taking a loss to an unranked team. (Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This is March.

Well, not quite. But last week brought a ridiculous amount of upsets as teams settled into conference play across the country.

Here’s everything you missed in Week 10 of the season, and the latest Associated Press men’s basketball poll.

UConn survives to take No. 1 ranking

The Huskies survived this past week, and are now on top of the ranking.

UConn survived a tight matchup with Xavier and then cruised past Georgetown on Sunday afternoon to keep its win streak alive. As a result, thanks to plenty of losses elsewhere, the Huskies jumped up to No. 1 in the poll this week.

Now UConn absolutely deserves to be there. The Huskies are 15-2 this season and seem very capable of running the Big East — despite a rough 15-point loss to Seton Hall to open conference play. But the Huskies are only No. 1 this week after almost every other team in the top 10 lost.

Eight of the top 10 teams in last week’s poll lost at least once this past week, and almost all of those losses came at the hands of unranked teams. Top-ranked Purdue stumbled at Nebraska, which sent them back to No. 2, and Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma and Illinois all lost, too. Houston, which was the only undefeated team left in the country last Monday, fell twice — but we’ll get into that in a minute.

Kansas fell to UCF on Tuesday, though the Jayhawks bounced back and beat Oklahoma on Saturday. The Jayhawks stayed at No. 3. Oklahoma slipped six spots to No. 15 after it lost back-to-back games.

Tennessee fell to Mississippi State on the road last week, but bounced back with a solid win over Georgia. The Vols fell one spots to No. 6 this week. Kentucky, after cruising past Missouri, fell at Texas A&M on Saturday. The Wildcats dropped to No. 8.

Arizona fell to No. 12 this week after it lost at Washington State on Saturday — which marks the Wildcats’ second loss in four games. Then Illinois lost to Maryland in Champaign on Sunday afternoon for its second loss in its last three games. The Illini are ranked No. 14 this week.

While things settle down beneath them, the Huskies will have a chance to back up their No. 1 ranking right away when they host No. 18 Creighton on Wednesday night.

Houston fell to both Iowa State and TCU last week after entering the week as the country's last undefeated team.
Houston fell to both Iowa State and TCU last week after entering the week as the country's last undefeated team. (Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Houston drops back-to-back games in Big 12

Let’s get into Houston, which seems to be struggling early in the Big 12.

The Cougars were college basketball’s only remaining undefeated Division I team last Monday, and they were fresh off a 42-point win over West Virginia in their Big 12 opener. Since then, however, things haven’t been great for Kelvin Sampson.

Iowa State knocked off Houston on Tuesday night in Ames after a go-ahead bucket from freshman Milan Momcilovic in the final minute. It marked the Cyclones’ seventh win over top-10 opponents in the last two seasons, which is the most in the country. They entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 24.

Then on Saturday, the Cougars fell again. Unranked TCU stunned Houston in Fort Worth after Emanuel Miller powered through a contented layup with just six seconds left to seal a 68-67 win — which sparked a huge court celebration at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

The Horned Frogs have looked great in conference play. They barely lost to then-No. 2 Kansas earlier this month, and then beat No. 9 Oklahoma before their win over Houston. They entered the poll this week at No. 19.

As a result of the back-to-back losses, Houston slipped three spots to No. 5 this week. The Cougars will host Texas Tech and UCF this week, where they’ll try to get back on track in the Big 12.

Games to watch this week

Tuesday, Jan 16

No. 24 Iowa State at No. 20 BYU | 9 p.m. ET | Big 12

Wednesday, Jan. 17

No. 18 Creighton at No. 1 UConn | 7 p.m. ET | FS1

Mississippi State at No. 8 Kentucky | 7 p.m. ET | ESPN2

No. 25 Texas Tech at No. 5 Houston | 9 p.m. ET | ESPNU

Saturday, Jan. 20

No. 9 Baylor at Texas | 12 p.m. ET | ESPN

Alabama at No. 6 Tennessee | 2 p.m. ET | ESPN2

AP Top 25

The full AP Top 25 poll from January 15, 2024.

1. UConn (15-2)

2. Purdue (15-2)

3. Kansas (14-2)

4. North Carolina (13-3)

5. Houston (14-2)

6. Tennessee (12-4)

7. Duke (13-3)

8. Kentucky (12-3)

9. Baylor (14-2)

10. Memphis (15-2)

11. Wisconsin (13-3)

12. Arizona (12-4)

13. Auburn (14-2)

14. Illinois (12-4)

15. Oklahoma (13-3)

16. Utah State (16-1)

17. Marquette (11-5)

18. Creighton (13-4)

19. TCU (13-3)

20. BYU (13-3)

21. Dayton (13-2)

22. Ole Miss (15-1)

23. FAU (13-4)

24. Iowa State (13-3)

25. Texas Tech (14-2)

Others Receiving Votes: Colorado St. 169, San Diego St. 153, Seton Hall 89, Alabama 60, Grand Canyon 49, Clemson 38, Boise St. 22, Nevada 22, Texas 20, Oregon 17, St. John's 15, New Mexico 14, NC State 8, Princeton 5, Gonzaga 5, Utah 3, Mississippi St. 3, South Carolina 2, Villanova 2, McNeese St. 1, James Madison 1.