AP Top 25 College Basketball Rankings: Week 7 Takeaways

    AP Top 25 college basketball rankings reactions and takeaways from week 7.

    December 21, 2015

    After an action-packed Saturday that saw four of the nation’s top-10 teams fall, expectations were set for a heavy shift in the Associated Press’ Week 7 rankings.

    After all, both No. 4 Kentucky and No. 7 Duke lost on the same day. That marks the first time in college basketball history that both flagship programs have fallen to unranked squads on the same day while being ranked in the top 10.

    Week 7 AP Top 25 College Basketball Rankings

    1. Michigan State (12-0)
    2. Kansas (9-1)
    3. Oklahoma (8-0)
    4. Maryland (10-1)
    5. Virginia (9-1)
    6. Xavier (11-0)
    7. North Carolina (9-2)
    8. Arizona (11-1)
    9. Butler (9-1)
    10. Providence(11-1)
    11. Iowa State (9-1)
    12. Kentucky (9-2)
    13. Miami (9-1)
    14. Purdue (11-1)
    15. Duke (9-2)
    16. Louisville (9-1)
    17. Villanova (8-2)
    18. SMU (9-0)
    19. West Virginia (9-1)
    20. George Washington (10-1)
    21. Texas A&M (9-2)
    22. Cincinnati (10-2)
    23. Baylor (8-2)
    24. Utah (9-2)
    25. South Carolina (10-0)

    The AP voters certainly don’t seem to take those Kentucky and Duke losses lightly. Both teams dropped eight spots, respectively. Other notable demotions were appointed to Iowa State (previously No. 5), Purdue (previously No.9), and Baylor (previously No. 16).

    UCLA was dropped from the rankings after failing to stop Brice Johnson from having a career night for the now No. 7-ranked Tar Heels. What’s most notable, though, is that despite winning the lone game against UMass-Lowell in their Week 6 slate, UConn’s spot in the polls was snatched as well. The Associated Press instead decided to reward the South Carolina Gamecocks with the final slot, thanks to an unblemished record thus far.

    It’s not too often the AP demotes a team that went through its respective week undefeated, even if it’s based off of just one game against an inferior opponent. You have to give credit to South Carolina here, though. The Gamecocks have matched their best start since the 1993-94 season, when they opened the year 17-0.

    On the reverse side, the Butler Bulldogs catapulted up eight slots after an extremely impressive win over Purdue. Likewise, the Texas A&M Aggies moved up three slots to No. 21 in the nation after dismantling Baylor on Saturday.

    Utah also found its way back into the rankings after emerging victorious in the nail-biting overtime win over Duke. This is a remarkable jump for the Utes, who just last week were not receiving even a single vote by the AP voters. Hurdling from No. 36 to No. 24 just goes to show how much value this Duke team holds and how much credit Utah deserves for the big win — regardless of Amile Jefferson’s absence.

    Looking ahead to Week 7, there are some considerable matchups that should be on everyone’s radar:

    Kentucky vs. Louisville

    It’s that time of the year again! One of the best rivalries in college basketball is right around the corner, and the big question leading in is centered on how Kentucky will respond after losing to an unranked Ohio State team.

    The Wildcats can’t afford to dwell on their loss to the Buckeyes heading into Saturday. Damion Lee (18.3 PPG) is one of the most effective players in the nation and Chinanu Onuaku is a beast on the boards (7.5 RPG). Kentucky will need Jamal Murray to continue his hot shooting, while Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress will need to bang on the defensive boards to limit second-chance points.

    Iowa State vs. Cincinnati

    Similar to the Kentucky-Louisville game, the big question here is how Iowa State will handle losing its first game of the year — especially with Cincinnati up next.. The Bearcats are a talented squad, and if the Cyclones can’t bounce back, they might be staring at their second straight loss.

    Purdue vs. Vanderbilt

    It’s starting to sound like a broken record here — how will Purdue handle itself after losing its first game of the year? Vanderbilt may have lost consecutive games to Baylor and Dayton, but you shouldn’t count out this Commodores squad.

    Wade Baldwin IV and Damian Jones are two of the best players in the country. While Purdue is the more talented team here,  if the Boilers come out sluggish, Vandy could launch itself back into the rankings.

    MORE: NCAA Basketball Rankings, Week 7: Power 32


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