LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) — A bit of a strange week in college basketball.

This deep into conference play, I’m usually forced to rotate three-to-five teams out of the poll. 

This week I have one newcomer — Northwestern, which has won four Big Ten road games and is projected to finish 12-6 in the league by Ken Pomeroy.

There was shuffling, course, Kentucky gained a spot after UCLA’s defense was exposed again. (And, yes, I remember the Bruins won in Rupp Arena in early December). 

Enough prelude. On to my weekly ballot in the Associated Press Top 25.

1. Kansas (18-1) — At West Virginia. At Kentucky. Show us what ya got this week, Rock Chalk.

2. Villanova (19-1) — Interesting week. At Marquette Tuesday. Home with Virginia Sunday. I don’t expected Jay Wright’s team to lose. But I wouldn’t be shocked.

3. Kentucky (17-2) — The Pomeroy ratings have upgraded the Wildcats’ projected SEC record to 17-1. What’s the one?

4. Gonzaga (19-0) — Of the Zags’ 19 wins, 16 have been by double figures. The three that weren’t came against Florida, Iowa State and Arizona, a solid trio.

5. Arizona (18-2) — Looked like the class of the Pac-12 while handling UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.

6. Baylor (18-1) — The Bears finally get Kansas — next week.

7. North Carolina (18-3) — The Tar Heels are still Pomeroy’s pick to win the ACC with a 14-4 record.

8. Oregon (18-2) — Anybody who wrote off the Ducks after that awful loss to Georgetown should be advised they have won 16 straight.

9. Florida State (18-2) — After winning five of six against Top 25 teams, let’s see if the Seminoles suffer a letdown playing their next three on the road against not Top 25 teams.

10. UCLA (19-2) — Play some defense.

11. Virginia (15-3) — Good week to keep an eye on the Cavaliers: at Notre Dame Tuesday, at Villanova Sunday.

12. Louisville (16-4) — I’m calling it early: Trap game at Pittsburgh Tuesday. Not calling it a loss but Pitt won't play like a 1-5 team. Pitt is a desperate team that’s been off since last Tuesday..

13. Notre Dame (17-3) — At 6-1 in the ACC, the Irish are in good shape with two games left against BC, two against Georgia Tech and one with N.C. State.

14. Wisconsin (16-3) — The Badgers are about to put it on cruise control with Penn State, Rutgers and Illinois next.

15. Duke (15-4) — The Blue Devils were on the ropes against Miami Saturday — and rallied in the second half

16. Cincinnati (17-2) — Applause for Mick Cronin, please.

17. Purdue (16-4) — The Boilermakers can K.O. Michigan State in East Lansing Tuesday.

18. West Virginia (15-4) — I can excuse the road loss at West Virginia. But not the home loss to Oklahoma.

19. Maryland (17-2) — Slump ahead? Pomeroy projects the Terps will split their final 12 Big Ten games.

20. Butler (17-3) — One-point overtime win against DePaul after already losing to St. John’s. Hmmm.

21. Creighton (18-2) — Hard to imagine the Bluejays will linger without Maurice Watson.

22. Northwestern (16-4) — The Wildcats have won four Big Ten road games and will make the NCAA Tournament.

23. Saint Mary’s (17-2) — The Gaels are killing time until their Gonzaga rematch.

24. South Carolina (15-4) — The Gamecocks won the game they needed to win last week — beating Florida.

25. Florida (14-5) — Yes, I also considered your favorite team and I know they have great credentials.

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