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Life at the top isn’t easy: How Jay voted in his AP Top 25 ballot

For the third time this season, the No. 1 and No. 2 men's basketball teams in the Associated Press Top 25 lost in the same week.
Credit: AP
Purdue's Zach Edey (15) dunks against Indiana's Race Thompson (25) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

BOISE, Idaho — NOTE: The official AP Top 25 poll was released at 10 a.m. MT on Monday. KTVB sports director Jay Tust has a vote in the poll, and discusses his ballot in this article.

Top Team in the NCAA

  • Purdue: The Boilermakers lost in Bloomington over the weekend, but for me, they’re still the clear cut best team in college basketball. Their only losses are on the road to teams currently in my top 25, as they remain a NCAA-best 9-2 against Quad 1 opponents this season. With Naismith College Player of the Year candidate Zach Edey (22.4 PTS, 13.2 REB, 62.7 FG%) leading the way, Purdue has the No. 1 ranked offense in the country (121.1 points per 100 possessions), according to KenPom.

Biggest Jump

Biggest Drop

  • Clemson: The Tigers are down to No. 64 in the NET rankings and No. 68 in KenPom. After losing to NET189 Boston College and NET39 Miami, Clemson is on the outside looking in at the top 25 this week.
  • Gonzaga: Two weeks after their first Quad 3 defeat in the existence of the NET rankings, the Zags lost at NET6 Saint Mary’s this week. Gonzaga has claimed at least a share of 10 straight WCC regular season championships, but that streak is in serious jeopardy as the Gaels own a two-game lead in the conference standings with just six games remaining.

Entering (or Re-Entering) the Tust Top 25

  • Creighton: The Bluejays are on a six-game winning streak, but a difficult two-game stretch looms this week. They travel to NET53 Seton Hall on Wednesday, before hosting NET7 UConn on Saturday.
  • Miami: The Hurricanes picked up a big road win at NET64 Clemson on Saturday, and are now within a half-game of first place in the ACC.
  • Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have won 10 of 13 games dating back to mid-December. With back-to-back road games at NET22 Indiana and NET26 Illinois, we’re about to find if Rutgers is real or not.

The “Tust Top 25” AP Ballot:

1. Purdue (22-2)

2. Alabama (20-3)

3. Houston (22-2)

4. Arizona (21-3)

5. Texas (19-4)

6. Tennessee (19-4)

7. UCLA (19-4)

8. Iowa State (16-6)

9. Kansas (18-5)

10. Virginia (17-4)

11. Kansas State (18-5)

12. Baylor (17-6)

13. Xavier (19-5)

14. Marquette (19-5)

15. Saint Mary's (21-4)

16. Indiana (16-7)

17. Providence (17-6)

18. TCU (17-6)

19. San Diego State (18-5)

20. Gonzaga (19-5)

21. Miami (FL) (18-5)

22. NC State (19-5)

23. UConn (18-6)

24. Rutgers (16-7)

25. Creighton (15-8)

Dropped out: Boise State, Clemson, FAU

Also in consideration: Auburn, Clemson, Duke, FAU, Maryland, Nevada, Pittsburgh

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