BOZICH | My weekly AP college basketball Top 25 ballot - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | My weekly AP college basketball Top 25 ballot

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Rick Bozich shares his weekly ballot in the AP college basketball poll. Rick Bozich shares his weekly ballot in the AP college basketball poll.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – This was not an easy ballot. It went through several rewrites and revisions.

I didn’t struggle with moving Oklahoma into the top spot. Only Kansas has been able to slow the Sooners.

But check the loss totals of the teams outside the Top 10. You’ll see three, four, and five. For the record, Michigan State, Miami and Duke all lost twice last week.

I still believe they’re Top 20 teams, even if they’re having a difficult time proving it.

Did I mention that this was not an easy ballot?

1. Oklahoma (15-1) – Welcome to the top spot, Lon Kruger and the Sooners. Let’s see if you can hold it longer than North Carolina (2 polls), Kentucky (2 polls), Michigan State (4 polls) and Kansas (2 polls).

2. North Carolina (16-2) – If you’re 5-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, you’re good. The Tar Heels have even won twice on the road.

3. Kansas (15-2) – No embarrassment losing at West Virginia, but there is a penalty for losing by 11 points.

4. Villanova (16-2) – The Wildcats go to Seton Hall Wednesday and the Pirates just won at Providence. Worth a look.

5. Maryland (16-2) – The Terps roared back from a three-point stumble at Michigan by overwhelming Ohio State.

6. Xavier (16-1) – The Musketeers should keep rolling with two more home games this week.

7. Iowa (14-3) – Big win against Michigan Sunday followed a bigger win at Michigan State earlier in the week. Probably should have ranked the Hawkeyes higher.

8. SMU (17-0) – It’s time to start asking if the Mustangs can finish the regular season unbeaten.

9. West Virginia (15-2) – The Mountaineers were this close to beating Kansas and Oklahoma in the same week.

10. Texas A&M (15-2) – Are the Aggies the best team in the SEC? Stay tuned. But they’re certainly the team to beat.

11. Arizona (15-3) – The Wildcats need to prove they can win on the road this weekend.

12. Michigan State (16-3) – The homecourt beatdown by Iowa was more alarming than the one-point loss at Wisconsin Sunday. Now they get Maryland Saturday.

13. Miami (13-3) – Yes, the Hurricanes lost twice last week, but they stumbled on the road both times. When you get to this spot, everybody has major flaws.

14. Louisville (14-3) – Spectacular defensive performance by the Cardinals against Pittsburgh.

15. Duke (14-4) – The Blue Devils also lost twice last week. The loss bug was definitely going around.

16. Butler (13-4) – Tough week ahead for the Bulldogs – at Providence and at Creighton. Don’t be shocked if they lose once. Or twice.

17. Purdue (15-3) – The Boilermakers play twice in four days – at Rutgers and at home against sagging Ohio State. Better be two Ws.

18. Virginia (13-4) – After watching this group lose three of its last four, it’s tough to believe the Cavaliers beat West Virginia and Villanova.

19. Indiana (15-3) – The Hoosiers have benefited from a favorable Big Ten schedule and they have taken advantage of the opportunity.

20. Pittsburgh (15-2) – The Panthers didn’t look like a Top 20 team against Louisville, but their win at Notre Dame looks better after the weekend.

21. USC (15-3) – The Trojans have won twice on the road in the Pac 12 and will be tested again this week at Oregon and Oregon State.

22. Kentucky (13-4) – Here is what is troubling about John Calipari’s team: The four losses have been to teams that don’t figure to make the NCAA Tournament.

23. Providence (15-3) – The Friars have lost two of their last three – to Marquette and Seton Hall. Not impressed.

24. South Carolina (16-1) – Unlike Kentucky, the Gamecocks won at Auburn and lost at Alabama.

25. Wichita State (12-5) – Now that Fred VanVleet is healthy, the Shockers are rolling through the Missouri Valley again.

Dropped out: Iowa State.

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