For the fourth time this season, the top spot in the Associated Press Top 25 will change. And on my ballot that turnover earned Alabama its time at No. 1.
The Crimson Tide is currently on an eight game winning streak in which the closest game was an 11-point win at Mississippi State. Freshman forward Brandon Miller is a clear frontrunner to claim all the national rookie of the year awards as he leads the team with 19.8 points per game.
North Carolina started the season at No. 1, followed by Houston, Purdue and back to the Cougars before they were upset by Temple at home last week.
Kansas State continued its improbable climb thanks to its win over rival Kansas. The Wildcats, unranked to start the season, jumped into the top 10 at No. 8.
Virginia jumped five spots from just continuing to be steady. The Cavaliers moved from tenth on my ballot up to fifth after a road win at Wake Forest and a bunch of teams in front of them who stumbled last week.
The fall of Kansas was really weeks in the making. The Jayhawks had been flirting with disaster in home wins against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in which they faced double digit deficits in the second half before rallying to win.
It caught up to them this week in an overtime loss at Kansas State before getting handed a 23-point beat down at home by TCU. The pair of losses dropped KU from No. 3 on my ballot to No. 9.
Welcome to the Top 25
Saint Mary’s rides a nine game winning streak into making its poll debut. The Gaels could be poised to break Gonzaga’s stranglehold on the West Coast Conference and win at least a share of the regular season title for the first time since 2015-16.
Clemson experienced a grand opening last week with its debut at No. 24 on my ballot, to a grand closing after losing at Wake Forest 87-77.
Illinois also found its way back out of the poll with a 15-point home loss to Indiana.
C.L. Brown’s ballot
|8. Kansas State|
|14. Iowa State|
22. Florida Atlantic
|23. St. Mary’s|
|25. New Mexico|