Predicting the College Basketball AP Top 25 Poll for Week 5

    The No. 1 team in the country picked up a quality road win last week, while the No. 2 team survived an overtime scare against an unranked opponent at

    December 3, 2018

    The No. 1 team in the country picked up a quality road win last week, while the No. 2 team survived an overtime scare against an unranked opponent at home. Here are our predictions for the college basketball AP Top 25 poll for Week 5.

    1. Gonzaga (8-0): The Bulldogs went 2-0 since last week’s AP poll was released, including a 103-92 road win at Creighton. It was Gonzaga’s first road win of the season and it came in a building that’s tough for visiting teams to leave victorious, so the Zags will keep their No. 1 ranking heading into games against Washington and Tennessee.

    2. Kansas (6-0): The Jayhawks nearly lost their undefeated record at home to Stanford on Saturday but Lagerald Vick’s late three-pointer forced overtime and Kansas won 90-84 for its second straight OT win. They Jayhawks face Wofford and New Mexico State this week.

    3. Duke (7-1): The Blue Devils are ranked No. 1 on kenpom.com with the No. 3 offense and No. 5 defense, in terms of adjusted efficiency. They beat Indiana 90-69 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, followed by a 113-49 win against Stetson on Saturday in which six players scored in double figures. Duke hosts Hartford and Yale this week.

    4. Michigan (8-0): The Wolverines may have had as impressive of a Week 4 as any team in the country. Sure, both of their games were at home but they beat No. 11 North Carolina 84-67 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, then No. 19 Purdue 76-57. Michigan has the No. 1 defense in the country and North Carolina’s 67 points were the most the Wolverines have allowed this season.

    5. Virginia (7-0): The Cavaliers only played once last week but it was a big win — a 76-71 win at No. 24 Maryland that was Virginia’s first road win of the season. The Cavaliers will host Morgan State on Monday and VCU on Sunday.

    6. Nevada (8-0): The Wolf Pack have the most efficient offense in the country, adjusted based on competition, and they now own two true road wins after beating Loyola Chicago and USC last week. Nevada plays Arizona State on a neutral court on Friday, then Grand Canyon on Sunday.

    7. Tennessee (6-1): The Volunteers beat Eastern Kentucky and Texas A&M Corpus Christi last week — two wins that won’t move the needle much, if at all in March. But Tennessee only has one loss, which came on a neutral court to Kansas in overtime.

    8. Auburn (6-1): The Tigers beat Saint Peter’s 99-49 in their only game last week. They have neutral-court wins over Xavier and Arizona, along with a home win over Washington, with their only loss coming to Duke on a neutral court.

    9. Kentucky (7-1): The Wildcats have continued to compile wins against inferior competition since losing to Duke in the Champions Classic. Their latest pair of wins came at home against Monmouth and UNC Greensboro. Kentucky actually trailed at halftime to UNC Greensboro before winning 78-61.

    10. Florida State (6-1): The Seminoles beat No. 19 Purdue 73-72 on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in their only game of the week. Even with a neutral-court loss to Villanova, Florida State built a nice resume in November with wins over Florida, LSU and Purdue.

    11. Texas Tech (7-0): The Red Raiders beat Memphis 78-67 on a neutral court on Saturday in their only game of the week, which is their third quality neutral-court win of the season after Texas Tech beat USC and Nebraska in November.

    12. Michigan State (6-2): The Spartans lost at Louisville 82-78 in overtime on Tuesday, then bounced back to beat Rutgers in their Big Ten opener on Friday. Given Michigan’s dominance in November, Michigan State might be playing for second place in the Big Ten this season.

    13. North Carolina (6-2): The Tar Heels’ loss at Michigan was their only game of the week and they’ve now lost two of their last three. North Carolina’s efficiency numbers are impressive (No. 7 on kenpom.com) but it has lost to its two toughest opponents this season, with Texas being responsible for the Tar Heels’ other loss.

    14. Wisconsin (7-1): The Badgers beat North Carolina State at home and Iowa on the road in a strong week after the Badgers lost to Virginia on a neutral court in Week 4. They have five wins over teams ranked in the top 100 on kenpom.com.

    15. Arizona State (7-0): The Sun Devils beat Nebraska Omaha and Texas Southern to keep their undefeated record through the start of December.

    16. Virginia Tech (6-1): The Hokies only have one true road game on their schedule during their non-conference slate and they let a win slip away Tuesday, when they lost 63-62 at Penn State. Virginia Tech shot 52.6 percent from three but just 38.7 percent inside the arc in the game.

    17. Nebraska (7-1): The Huskers had an impressive week with a road win at Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge followed by a 75-60 win over Illinois in their Big Ten opener. Their only loss was against Texas Tech on a neutral court.

    18. Iowa (6-1): After escaping Tuesday night with a 69-68 win at home over Pittsburgh in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Hawkeyes lost to Wisconsin 72-66 in their Big Ten opener. Iowa is at risk of starting Big Ten play 0-2 with a trip to Michigan State on Monday.

    19. Kansas State (6-1): After starting 6-0 with five wins against teams ranked outside of the top 100 on kenpom.com, Kansas State lost to the toughest opponent it has faced this season. Marquette beat Kansas State 83-71 on Saturday in Milwaukee.

    20. Ohio State (7-1): The Buckeyes suffered a home loss to Syracuse on Wednesday but won their Big Ten opener over Minnesota on Sunday night.

    21. Buffalo (7-0): The Bulls beat Milwaukee and San Francisco on a neutral court on Friday and Saturday to keep their undefeated record intact. Four of their seven wins have been away from home.

    22. Villanova (6-2): The Wildcats beat La Salle 85-78 in their only game since the release of the last AP poll. Villanova has now won four straight games, all of which were away from home.

    23. Mississippi State (6-1): The Bulldogs beat Alcorn State and Dayton last week, with the latter coming on the road, to take a three-game winning streak into their home game against McNeese State on Tuesday.

    24. Iowa State (6-1): The Cyclones beat Nebraska Omaha in their only game since the release of the last AP poll but Iowa State is 6-1 with wins over Missouri, Illinois and San Diego State.

    25. Maryland (7-1): The Terrapins lost 76-71 to undefeated Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which is a respectable showing against one of the best teams in the country. Maryland bounced back to beat Penn State 66-59 in its Big Ten opener on Saturday.

    Dropped out of rankings: No. 17 Texas, No. 18 Oregon, No. 19 Purdue

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