The college basketball AP Top 25 poll for Week 3 was released Monday, and while there were no changes in the order of the top seven teams, the schools that played for last season’s national championship were responsible for the biggest changes in the poll. The bottom fell out for one, while the other made a push into the top 10.
Here are our reactions to the latest AP Top 25.
Michigan storms into the top 10
The Wolverines played for the national championship last season, but they could be even better this season if we extrapolate their No. 1-ranked defense and 5-0 start that’s headlined by a 73-46 thrashing at then-No. 8 Villanova.
Michigan backed up that win with back-to-back victories against George Washington and Providence en route to the Air Force Reserve Tip-Off title. On Monday, the Wolverines jumped nine spots to No. 9 — the biggest positive move in the poll among teams that were ranked last week.
See ya, Villanova
Speaking of the Wildcats, the defending national champions fell out of the AP Top 25 after consecutive home losses to Michigan and Furman. It would be foolish to write Villanova off after four games, but it needs to make some significant improvements in its ball-handling and three-point shooting.
Don’t be surprised if the Wildcats reemerge in the AP Top 25 poll and once again enter March as the most dangerous team from the Big East.
Syracuse also fell out of the poll entirely after an 0-2 showing at the 2K Classic and Oregon dropped eight spots to No. 21 after its loss to Iowa in the 2K Classic.
Big Ten takeover
We hinted last week how the Big Ten, despite only having three teams ranked in Week 2, could potentially double the number of teams it had ranked in the AP Top 25 with a productive week in the Gavitt Tipoff Games against the Big East. Well, that’s exactly what happened as the Big Ten won the event five games to three, including Michigan’s win at Villanova, Indiana’s blowout win against then-No. 24 Marquette and a road win by Ohio State at Creighton.
In addition to No. 9 Michigan and No. 11 Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin are ranked between No. 20 and No. 25, with Nebraska, Indiana and Maryland sitting as the first three teams in “Others receiving votes.”
Virginia Tech approaches the top 10
The Hokies moved up three spots to No. 13, and not because three teams ranked ahead of them dropped. Virginia Tech beat then-No. 23 Purdue 89-83 on Sunday night in the Charleston Classic, which is one of the better wins nationally in the first two weeks of the season.
The Hokies are 4-0 and they have the chance to pick up a quality road win at Penn State on November 27.