Luke DeCock

Luke DeCock’s AP Top 25 basketball poll ballot: Week 9

With Villanova’s loss at Butler, Michigan State returns to the No. 1 spot on Luke DeCock’s AP top 25 poll ballot.
With Villanova’s loss at Butler, Michigan State returns to the No. 1 spot on Luke DeCock’s AP top 25 poll ballot. AP

There’s actually a decent argument to be made for leaving Villanova in the No. 1 spot despite Saturday’s loss at Butler, but it’s hard to look past Michigan State. The Spartans’ only loss is to Duke and they have hit triple digits in four straight games. Duke is a clear No. 2. Villanova falls to No. 3. At the moment, those are the only three contenders for the spot.

TCU takes a precipitous fall based on a one-point home loss to Oklahoma, but it slots the Horned Frogs about where they probably should be, behind Seton Hall, Purdue, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas Tech but ahead of Arizona, Miami and Kentucky. So it’s less about TCU being penalized than it is getting Purdue, Oklahoma and Texas Tech into appropriate spots.

This week’s close-but-not-quite contender is Arkansas which is top-25 worthy but squeezed out at the moment. Consider the Hogs 26th on my ballot, with a pretty big gap to the rest of the chasing crowd.

PAST BALLOTS

Week 1 (Preseason) Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8

MY TOP 25

1. Michigan State (Last week: 2)

2. Duke (3)

3. Villanova (1)

4. West Virginia (5)

5. Xavier (6)

6. North Carolina (9)

7. Arizona State (4)

8. Wichita State (10)

9. Virginia (11)

10. Kansas (12)

11. Seton Hall (14)

12. Purdue (16)

13. Oklahoma (18)

14. Texas A&M (7)

15. Texas Tech (20)

16. TCU (8)

17. Arizona (24)

18. Miami (17)

19. Kentucky (19)

20. Gonzaga (21)

21. Notre Dame (22)

22. Tennessee (15)

23. Baylor (13)

24. Cincinnati (23)

25. Clemson (25)

OUT None

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserver.com, @Luke DeCock

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