Predicting the College Basketball AP Top 25 Poll for Week 11

Ranked teams lost 17 times since the release of last week’s AP poll, including 12 times to unranked opponents. However, the top 10 teams in the AP Top 25 went undefeated in Week 10 so there may not be many changes atop Monday’s poll.

Here are our predictions for the college basketball AP Top 25 poll for Week 11.

 

1. Duke (14-1): With National Player of the Year frontrunner Zion Williamson sidelined after getting poked in the eye, the Blue Devils picked up a road win over No. 13 Florida State thanks to Cam Reddish’s game-winning three and one of RJ Barrett’s most efficient performances of the season. They host Syracuse on Monday and Virginia on Saturday. The latter game could be one that decides who wins the ACC.

 

2. Michigan (17-0): The Wolverines are off to their best start in school history after beating Illinois by 10 on the road and Northwestern by 20 at home in Week 10. A road trip to Wisconsin on Saturday could be Michigan’s toughest game to date.

 

3. Tennessee (14-1): The Volunteers have won their last seven games by double figures and their last victory that wasn’t by at least 10 points was over then-No. 1 Gonzaga. They beat Missouri and Florida on the road last week by a combined 35 points. Tennessee will host two home games this week – versus Arkansas on Tuesday and Alabama on Saturday.

 

4. Virginia (15-0): The Cavaliers’ defense was so strong for the opening 11 minutes on Saturday that Clemson was on pace to score eight points a quarter of the way through the game. Of course, the Tigers eventually found a way to score on the Cavaliers but their 43 points marked the seventh time in 15 games this season that Virginia has won while holding its opponent to fewer than 50 points.

 

5. Gonzaga (16-2): The Bulldogs picked up a Quadrant 1 victory on Saturday as they beat San Francisco (No. 44 NET) on the road 96-83. Gonzaga is better positioned than Nevada, another top-10 team from the West Coast that doesn’t play in a power conference, in the sense that the Zags will have more opportunities in conference play to add Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2 wins to its resume thanks to San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, San Diego and BYU.

 

6. Michigan State (15-2): The Spartans won their 10th straight game on Sunday as they won at Penn State 71-56. Michigan State and Michigan are tied for first in the Big Ten with a 6-0 record in conference play and the two schools play each other twice in the final four games of the regular season.

 

7. Kansas (14-2): The Jayhawks are 2-0 since the announcement that starting center Udoka Azubuike will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ligament in his right hand. It helps when Dedric Lawson goes for 31 points and 14 rebounds like he did in Kansas’ win over TCU or a more diverse stat line like his 17 points, three rebounds, five blocks and five steals in a win at Baylor.

 

8. Texas Tech (15-1): The Red Raiders’ 87th-ranked offense may keep them from blowing out many opponents in the Big 12 but their top-ranked defense has them alone in first place in the conference. Texas Tech has won in conference play by three, six, seven and six points, respectively, in its first four games and it’s only projected to lose at Kansas and at Iowa State, according to kenpom.com.

Despite losing Keenan Evans and Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech is off to another incredible start.

 

9. Virginia Tech (14-1): The Hokies are undefeated in ACC play through three games but their next game will arguably be the toughest they play all season. Virginia Tech travels to Virginia for a game Tuesday and kenpom.com gives the Hokies a 22 percent chance of victory.

They won in Charlottesville in overtime last season and they were one of just three teams to beat Virginia during the 2018 season.

 

10. Nevada (16-1): The Wolf Pack bounced back from their 85-58 loss at New Mexico with a 2-0 week with wins over San Jose State and Fresno State. Nevada won 74-64 at Fresno State on Saturday while playing what was essentially a six-man rotation with reserve guard Jazz Johnson playing 29 of the team’s 36 bench minutes.

 

11. Florida State (13-3): The Seminoles let a great opportunity for a signature win slip away on Saturday when they lost to No. 1 Duke 80-78 as the Blue Devils were without Zion Williamson after halftime. If there’s good news for Florida State it’s that it won’t have to play Duke or Virginia again in the regular season after losing to both schools in the first three games of ACC play.

 

12. Auburn (12-3): It only took one game for the Tigers to lose ground on Tennessee in the SEC Championship race. Auburn dropped its conference opener at Ole Miss on Wednesday, then beat Georgia by 15 on Saturday. The Tigers travel to Texas A&M for a game Wednesday, then host Kentucky on Saturday in tricky week of SEC play.

 

13. North Carolina (12-4): After starting ACC play with a pair of road wins against Pittsburgh and NC State, North Carolina suffered its worst home loss under Coach Roy Williams on Saturday against Louisville. The Tar Heels were held to 0.87 points per possession, 47.2 percent shooting on twos and 13.6 percent shooting on threes in the defeat.

 

14. NC State (14-2): The Wolfpack lost to in-state rival North Carolina 90-82 on Tuesday after losing the rebounding battle by 18 and being unable to capitalize on the Tar Heels’ 23 turnovers. NC State will look to improve upon its 2-1 start in conference play with games against Wake Forest and Notre Dame this week.

 

15. Kentucky (12-3): The Wildcats rebounded from losing their SEC opener at Alabama with wins over Texas A&M and Vanderbilt last week. Kentucky’s game at Auburn on Saturday is the start of a potentially challenging five-game stretch that also includes home games against Mississippi State and Kansas before trips to Vanderbilt and Florida.

 

16. Buffalo (15-1): Conference play has been a breeze so far for Buffalo, which has won its first three MAC games by a combined 70 points. The Bulls have an 8.1 percent chance of going undefeated in conference play in the regular season, per kenpom.com.

 

17. Houston (16-1): The Cougars finally suffered their first loss of the season, leaving Michigan and Virginia as the country’s only remaining unbeaten teams, at Temple on Wednesday. Three of Houston’s next four games are on the road against SMU, South Florida and Tulsa.

 

18. Marquette (14-3): After losing by 20 at St. John’s to open Big East play, Marquette has won three games in a row, including wins over Creighton and Seton Hall last week. The Golden Eagles on 106-104 in overtime over the Bluejays behind a clutch three-pointer at the end of regulation by Sam Hauser and 53 points from Markus Howard.

 

19. Ole Miss (13-2): The Rebels have won 10 straight games dating back to November 28 and they’re tied for the SEC lead with a 3-0 record in conference play. Ole Miss beat Auburn at home and Mississippi State on the road last week in one of the most impressive weeks by any team in the country.

 

20. Villanova (13-4): The Wildcats should climb back into the AP Top 25 poll after five straight wins, including victories over St. John’s and Creighton since the release of the last poll. They handled a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska, with relative ease as they overcame a 42-38 halftime deficit in a 90-78 win.

Villanova’s fifth-year seniors Phil Booth and Eric Paschall both had big games. Booth had 28 points, seven assists, four rebounds, while Paschall had 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

 

21. Maryland (14-3): The Terrapins are off to a 5-1 start in Big Ten play after wins over Minnesota and Indiana last week. Maryland hasn’t played Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State or Wisconsin yet but its start is really encouraging in one of the deepest conferences in the country.

 

22. Oklahoma (13-3): The Sooners have already lost two games in conference play but that’s a result of the Big 12 schedule-makers as much as anything. Oklahoma lost by seven at Kansas and Texas Tech, which are currently the two best teams in the conference, so its schedule can only get easier from here on out.

 

23. Iowa (14-3): The Hawkeyes recovered from an 0-3 start in Big Ten play with three consecutive wins over Nebraska, Penn State and Ohio State. Iowa held Ohio State to 0.85 points per possession and the Buckeyes’ leading scorer, Kaleb Wesson, scored just two points in 24 minutes.

 

24. Mississippi State (12-3): The Bulldogs are off to an 0-2 start in SEC play after going 12-1 in non-conference action. The losses were against South Carolina and Ole Miss, two schools that weren’t considered to be among the conference’s best teams, but they’re both tied with Tennessee at 3-0 in the SEC. Mississippi State will host Florida on Tuesday before traveling to Vanderbilt for a game on Saturday.

 

25. Indiana (12-4): The Hoosiers lost their only game since the release of the last AP poll 78-75 at Maryland after taking an eight-point lead into halftime. It would’ve been Indiana’s best win of the season but it could now come back to bite the Hoosiers in the crowded middle of the Big Ten standings. They host Nebraska on Monday before traveling to Purdue on Saturday.

 

Dropped out of rankings: No. 16 Ohio State, No. 20 Iowa State, No. 24 St. John’s, No. 25 TCU