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Houston holds tight grip on No. 1, Kansas drops out of top 10 for first time in 3 years

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LA Post: Houston holds tight grip on No. 1, Kansas drops out of top 10 for first time in 3 years
March 04, 2024

Houston still has a tight grip on No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

The Cougars received 52 first-place votes from a 62-person media panel in the poll released Monday to hold the top spot for the second straight week.

UConn moved up a spot to No. 2 and had six first-place votes to leapfrog No. 3 Purdue, which had four first-place votes. Tennessee and Arizona rounded out the top five.

Houston moved to No. 1 for the first time this season a week ago and won both of its games last week: a 67-59 home win over Cincinnati and, thanks to Jamal Shead's last-second shot, a win at Oklahoma 87-85.

Houston is still leading the country in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency despite giving up 85 points to the Sooners. The win allowed coach Kelvin Sampson to have a triumphant return to Norman, where he coached from 1994 to 2006.

UConn had a nice bounce back after being knocked from the No. 1 spot following a six-week run, blowing out Seton Hall 91-61 at home for its first outright Big East title in 25 years. The Huskies, the reigning national champions, had not won even a share of the Big East regular-season title in 18 years.

“The hardest thing to do is to be excellent over the course of three, four months in a brutal, hard league,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said.

Purdue dropped a spot despite an 80-74 win over Michigan State that clinched a share of a second straight Big Ten title. The Boilermakers have a two-game lead with two games left.


Kansas spent the first three weeks at No. 1 and has been in the top 10 for three years.

Consecutive losses last week ended the Jayhawks' run.

Kansas fell seven spots to No. 14 in this week's poll, its worst ranking since hitting No. 15 midway through the 2020-21 season. The Jayhawks were in the top 10 for 55 straight weeks, which had been the longest active streak. Houston now has the longest active top-10 run at 36 straight weeks.

Losses to No. 20 BYU and No. 11 Baylor ensured Kansas can't win the Big 12 regular-season title. The Jayhawks have seven conference losses for the first time in 21 years under coach Bill Self.


No. 15 Baylor and No. 19 Gonzaga had the biggest climbs among teams in the poll this week, each moving up four spots. No. 23 Saint Mary's had the biggest drop, losing six places after Gonzaga ended the Gaels' 16-game winning streak.


BYU moved back into the poll after dropping out last week, coming in at No. 20 after wins over Kansas and TCU. Florida dropped out from No. 24 after losing at No. 17 South Carolina.


The Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 each have five ranked teams after BYU re-entered the poll and Florida dropped out.

The Big East has three, followed by the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast, Pac-12, Mountain West and West Coast conferences with two. The Atlantic 10 and AAC each have one.


Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here. AP college basketball: and


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