The NCAA men’s basketball AP top 25 rankings for Week 15 find the Big 12 and Pac-12 with three teams apiece in the top 10. The Duke Blue Devils, meanwhile, are starting to live up to the hype.
It’s become common knowledge that the ACC is the best conference in college basketball this season. No conference, from top to bottom, is as stacked as that of the Atlantic Coast. As proof, six ACC schools find themselves in this week’s AP Top 25.
But other Power Five conferences aren’t too far behind. The Big 12 and Pac-12 both have strong representation in the latest AP poll, with three schools apiece sitting firmly in the top 10 of the rankings.
Following a narrow loss to UCLA, Oregon dropped two spots from last week’s poll and now sit at No. 7 in the country. Arizona, a team the Ducks beat back on February 4th, leapfrogged two slots ahead of Oregon to No. 5 following consecutive wins over Stanford and Cal. UCLA, meanwhile, got bumped up four spots to No. 6 after its 82-79 victory over Oregon.
The Cincinnati Bearcats took the biggest stumble this week, dropping from No. 11 to No. 18 after a road loss to then-No. 25 SMU. That’s a tough blow to Mike Cronin’s squad, who were victors of their previous 15 games before the loss in Dallas.
The biggest jumps belong to Duke (No. 12) and SMU (No. 19), both up six spots from the last AP poll. Winners of their last five games in a row, the Blue Devils are starting to look like the powerhouse we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing. The embarrassment of riches that Coach K boasts are starting to gel, understand their roles and play as a team. If Duke continues to mold together in the coming weeks, it’ll arguably be the nation’s most dangerous team entering March Madness.
Week 15 AP Top 25 Rankings
- Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-0, 1 previous rank)
- Villanova Wildcats (24-2, 2)
- Kansas Jayhawks (22-3, 3)
- Baylor Bears (22-3, 6)
- Arizona Wildcats (23-3, 9)
- UCLA Bruins (23-3, 10)
- Oregon Ducks (22-4, 5)
- Louisville Cardinals (20-5, 4)
- West Virginia Mountaineers (20-5, 13)
- North Carolina Tar Heels (21-5, 8)
- Wisconsin Badgers (21-4, 7)
- Duke Blue Devils (20-5, 18)
- Kentucky Wildcats (20-5, 15)
- Virginia Cavaliers (18-6, 12)
- Florida Gators (20-5, 17)
- Purdue Boilermakers (20-5, 16)
- Florida State Seminoles (21-5, 14)
- Cincinnati Bearcats (22-3, 11)
- SMU Mustangs (22-4, 15)
- Creighton Bluejays (21-4, 23)
- South Carolina Gamecocks (20-5, 19)
- Saint Mary’s Gaels (22-3, 20)
- Maryland Terrapins (21-4, 21)
- Butler Bulldogs (19-6, 22)
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (19-7, N/A)