AP Top 25 College Basketball Rankings: Week 9 Takeaways

    AP Top 25 college basketball rankings, reactions and takeaways from Week 9.

    January 4, 2016

    You’re looking pretty darn good right about now, Big 12.

    With Michigan State receiving its first loss of the season, the Spartans fell out of the top spot in the AP Top 25 college basketball rankings for Week 9 and slid to No. 5 in the nation. The No. 1 ranking in the country now belongs to the Kansas Jayhawks, with the Oklahoma Sooners sitting at No. 2.

    Week 9 AP Top 25 College Basketball Rankings

    1. Kansas (12-1)

    2. Oklahoma (12-0)

    3. Maryland (13-1)

    4. Virginia (12-1)

    5. Michigan State (14-1)

    6. North Carolina (13-2)

    7. Arizona (13-1)

    8. Providence (14-1)

    9. Kentucky (11-2)

    10. Xavier (13-1)

    11. Villanova (12-2)

    12. Miami (12-1)

    13. Iowa State (11-2)

    14. Duke (12-2)

    15. SMU (13-0)

    16. Louisville (12-2)

    17. West Virginia (12-1)

    18. Butler (11-3)

    19. Iowa (11-3)

    20. Purdue (13-2)

    21. Texas A&M (11-2)

    22. South Carolina (13-0)

    23. UConn (10-3)

    24. Pittsburgh (12-1)

    25. Dayton (11-2)

    Week 9 AP Top 25 Takeaways

    The most notable addition to this list is the Iowa Hawkeyes, who were the hottest team in college basketball last week after defeating then-No. 1 Michigan State and then-No. 14 Purdue.

    Iowa didn’t even receive a single vote in the college basketball rankings last week, but it’s safe to say the Hawkeyes have earned their spot.

    Arguably the biggest surprise, though, is the Dayton Flyers being bumped into that last slot after taking down … Arkansas and Duquesne? The Flyers are a talented team, sure, but wins over middle-of-the-pack SEC and AAC teams shouldn’t be enough to jump teams like Gonzaga and George Washington, who were ranked ahead of Dayton last week and didn’t lose last week either.

    Pittsburgh jumping the Zags makes a little more sense. At least the Panthers beat Syracuse, which is a talented team despite not being in the rankings.

    Is Dayton talented enough to be in the AP Top 25? Yes. Did the Flyers do enough this week to get into the top 25? It wouldn’t seem so, but apparently they did.

    Meanwhile, as the Big 12 flexes its muscles, the Pac-12 is trying to stop the bleeding. Both Utah and UCLA were knocked out of the college basketball rankings after upset losses last week. Utah lost consecutive games to Stanford and California, while UCLA lost back-to-back games against Washington and Washington State. Arizona is now the lone Pac-12 representative in the AP Top 25. That might change in the coming weeks with five other Pac-12 schools receiving votes this week.

    And how is Arizona ranked over Providence when the Wildcats’ sole loss is to Providence? The Friars just took down Butler, too.

    Week 9 Marquee Matchups

    No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Oklahoma

    Could there be a better showdown to start off the week then this monster matchup on Monday?

    The Sooners are coming off a big victory over the Iowa State Cyclones and are off to their best start in school history. The Jayhawks haven’t lost since letting their lead slip away to Michigan State on Nov. 17 and just dismantled a talented Baylor Bears squad last week.

    Make some popcorn, kick your feet up, and if need be, stream it from the office. You will not want to miss this game.

    Cincinnati vs. SMU

    It truly is a shame that SMU isn’t eligible for the AAC Tournament or NCAA Tournament this year because the Mustangs are a fun team to watch. Led by three seniors, SMU is built to make noise in March. Wins over Michigan and Colorado are more impressive than a lot of people realize.

    But come Thursday, we’ll see what SMU is really made of. The Cincinnati Bearcats will provide their toughest test of the season. Don’t expect the Mustangs to stumble, though. Cincy is fresh off a heartbreaking loss to Iowa State and a discouraging loss to Temple.

    It’s safe to say that facing SMU on the road isn’t exactly the easiest way for the Bearcats to regain some momentum, but if they can pull off the upset, that sour taste in their mouths will become significantly sweeter.

    Arizona vs. UCLA

    What a roller coaster of a season it’s been for the Bruins. UCLA opened with a home loss to Monmouth — makes more sense now than we originally thought — skyrocketed up with wins over then-No.1 Kentucky and Gonzaga in one of the most raucous environments in college basketball, and it followed that up with consecutive losses to Washington and Washington State.

    So which UCLA team is going to show up when the Wildcats come into town?

    The Bruins better figure it out fast. Arizona hasn’t lost since slipping in a nail-biter against an incredibly talented Providence team. The Cats will obliterate UCLA in Westwood if there’s any sign of a hangover from their trip to the Evergreen State.

    Villanova vs. Butler

    Here’s your chance, Butler. The Bulldogs could not have been handed a more difficult start to their conference schedule. A home loss to Providence and a beat down by Xavier have made things bleak in Indianapolis, Ind., but a bounce-back win over Villanova on Sunday would certainly add some color to the scene for Butler.

    The Bulldogs are capable of taking down anyone in the Big East – it just hasn’t happened yet. Butler will be starving for a top-notch conference victory, so expect them to come out guns blazing on Sunday.

    MORE: NCAA Basketball Rankings, Week 9: Power 32


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