The Kentucky Wildcats (6-0) remained No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls, and even gained a little on No. 2 Maryland (6-0). The Wildcats received 59 first-places (1,619 points) in the AP poll and 29 first-place votes (797 points) in the USA Today poll, which was one more first place vote and an increase of 27 points from the previous week.
Kentucky has won each of its first six games by double digits with three by 20 or more. Point guard Tyler Ulis (hyperextended elbow) missed the Wildcats 75-63 victory over Illinois State Monday night. With the victory, Kentucky moved 7-0.
Maryland remains No. 2 in both polls for a second consecutive week. The Terrapins received four first place votes (1,510 total points) from the AP writers and three first place votes (759 points) from the Coaches. That equates to a six point decrease in the AP poll, and 23 point increase in the Coaches’ poll, from Week 3’s voting.
Maryland won three games last week, defeating Illinois State (77-66) and then Rhode Island (86-63) for the Cancun Challenge Tournament title. Melo Trimble was named MVP of the tournament after posting 40 points, 17 assists, and 10 rebounds in the three games. The Terrapins travel to North Carolina on Dec. 1 for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Michigan State (7-0) is No. 3 in both polls after moving up one spot in the Coaches this week. The Spartans, who received two first place in the AP poll, went 4-0 this week — which includes three victories in the Wooden Legacy Classic.
Kansas (4-1) and Iowa State (5-0) round out the top-5 in the AP poll — which is a switch from last week — while the Coaches poll has Iowa State (No.4), 6-1 Duke (No.5) and Kansas (No. 6).
Oklahoma (4-0) moved up one spot in the AP poll to No. 6, while Duke dropped a peg to No. 7. Villanova (6-0), North Carolina (5-1) and Virginia (5-1) round out the top-10 in the press’ poll.
After the top-10 is when the movement of teams gets a little crazy. Xavier (7-0) and Syracuse (6-0) jumped double-digit spaces to No. 12 and No.14, respectively. Purdue (6-0) made a modest move of five ticks up, to No. 11, while Gonzaga (4-1) dropped to paces to No. 13 following its one-point loss to then-No. 25 Texas A&M (62-61) in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
No. 16 Vanderbilt (5-1) moved up three spots, despite losing to Kansas in Maui championship game, while Cincinnati (7-0), Texas A&M (6-1), Arizona (6-1) and West Virginia fill out the AP’s top-20. Miami (FL) fell from No. 15 to No. 21 after losing to Northeastern 78-77 in its only game this past week, and SMU (4-0) moved up three places to No. 22. No. 23 Providence (6-1), No. 24 Louisville (5-0) and No. 25 Baylor (4-1), along with West Virginia, enter the poll.
In the meantime, six teams fell from the AP rankings this week — Indiana, California, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Wichita State, and LSU. UConn received the most votes in the other receiving votes category.
The USA Today Coaches poll has virtually the same teams in their top-25, with the exception of Butler, which is ranked No. 25 and unranked in the AP poll. Villanova is No.7, Oklahoma is No. 8, North Carolina is No. 9, and Virginia is No. 10. Following Virginia is Purdue, Gonzaga, Vanderbilt, Arizona, West Virginia, Oregon, Cincinnati, Xavier, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Miami (FL), Louisville, Baylor, Providence, and Butler.
California, Indiana, LSU, Notre Dame, Wichita State and UConn fell from the Coaches poll. Utah is the top other team receiving 62 votes.
Team of the Week: Syracuse
The Orange went from unranked in both polls to No. 14 in the AP and No. 19 in the Coaches poll after going 3-0 and winning the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Syracuse opened the tournament with a 13-point win over Charlotte (83-70) and then defeated then No. 18/21 Connecticut (79-76) in the semifinals before taking down then-NR/No. 25 Texas A&M (74-67) in the championship game.
Michael Gbinije was named the tournament MVP after scoring 20 points, on 4-of-11 shooting including 4-of-6 on three-pointers against Texas A&M. He finished the tournament with 63 points, 15 assists, and seven rebounds. Gbinije made 20-of-34 (58.8 percent) of his shots from the field, and 12-of-20 from beyond the arc (60.0 percent). Trevor Cooney also made the all-tournament team, while freshman Tyler Lydon earned ACC Rookie of the Year after averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 caroms during the tournament.
Upcoming team of the Week: Monmouth
The Hawks are 4-2 overall, but made quite a splash in the Advocare Invitational, defeating then No. 17/No. 18 Notre Dame (70-68) in the first round before losing to Dayton (73-70) by three points in the semifinals. Monmouth rebounded from its loss to Dayton and defeated USC (83-73) in the third-place game. As a result of their weekend, the Hawks received one vote in the AP poll and four in the Coaches poll — marking the first time they have received votes in either poll, according to ESPN. Monmouth had lost to USC by 11 (101-90) earlier in the season.
Justin Robinson, who leads the team with 24.8 points a game, tallied a Advocare invitational record 77 points during the three-day tournament. Robinson was named the Lou Henson National Player Of The Week as a result of his performance.
[photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]