• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Houston jumps Kansas into No. 2 spot in men’s college basketball poll


Jan 9, 2024 #Sports


Purdue held its place atop the AP Top 25 on Monday following its win over Illinois in a top-10 showdown, while Houston jumped Kansas into second place as the last unbeaten team in Division I men’s college basketball.

The Boilermakers, who beat the No. 9 Illini 83-78 last week, picked up five more first-place votes and had 54 of the 63 possible to remain at No. 1 for the fourth straight week. The Cougars received seven first-place votes and were second, while the Jayhawks had the other two first-place votes but fell a spot to third after their down-to-the-wire win over TCU.

Houston is 14-0 for the third time in school history after beginning its Big 12 tenure with a romp past West Virginia. Losses by James Madison and Ole Miss left the Cougars with the only unblemished record.

“I think our kids have always had a bit of a chip on their shoulders here,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We’ve had to get some of our own fans to understand that we’re pretty good. They were so bad for so long. Some of them still have not figured it out. Our kids have, and our coaches have, and we know who we are. And what we’re capable of doing.”

In truth, the Cougars have been doing it for a while now. They went to the Final Four three years ago, the Elite Eight two years ago and the Sweet 16 last season, when they spent seven week atop the AP poll.

“Every team is different,” Cougars guard Jamal Shead said. “I think with this team, just like all the other teams, we’re bonded off the court. I think that plays a big part in being able to get onto each other in game and be able to say anything to each other. We know we aren’t going to take it the wrong way, so we’re able to get on each other and keep pushing.”

Defending national champion UConn remained at No. 4, Tennessee was fifth and Kentucky sixth. North Carolina moved up one spot to seventh, Arizona and Oklahoma each bumped up two, and Illinois fell one spot to round out the top 10.

Marquette dropped four spots into a tie at No. 11 with Duke following its loss to Seton Hall, which made quite a statement last week and nearly entered the poll after a pair of wins over ranked teams; the Pirates also defeated Providence.

The Golden Eagles and Blue Devils were followed by Memphis, Baylor and Wisconsin, which jumped six spots after wins over Iowa and Nebraska. Auburn made the biggest move after beating Pennsylvania and blowing out Arkansas, climbing nine spots to No. 16, and was followed by Colorado State and BYU, which lost to Cincinnati in the Big 12 debut for those two schools.

San Diego State returned to the poll at No. 19 and Utah State entered at No. 20, the first time the Aggies have been ranked since the first five weeks of the 2019-20 season. Clemson, Creighton, Gonzaga, FAU and Texas rounded out the Top 25.


Auburn is up to No. 16 on the strength of seven consecutive wins, the second-longest streak in the SEC behind Georgia’s nine-game run. The Tigers are just behind the Badgers, whose only loss since mid-November came at No. 8 Arizona.

No. 24 FAU’s fall continued with a loss to Charlotte. The Owls were seventh two weeks ago before losing to Florida Gulf Coast.


San Diego State and Creighton are ranked again, while Utah State’s debut at No. 20 comes amid a 13-game winning streak that is tied with Samford for the second-longest nationally behind unbeaten Houston.

Those three replaced Ole Miss and James Madison, who each lost for the first time, and Providence, which lost twice last week.


The Big 12 had two of the top three teams and six in the Top 25, double the total of any other conference. The Mountain West added San Diego State and Utah State to Colorado State and is tied with the Big Ten, Big East, ACC and SEC with three apiece.


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