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Monday, December 30, 2019

Jayhawks jump two spots to No. 3 in latest AP poll

Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) dribbles between Stanford forward Oscar da Silva, left, and guard Daejon Davis during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) dribbles between Stanford forward Oscar da Silva, left, and guard Daejon Davis during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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Sunday’s win at Stanford, coupled with a big win by their next opponent over No. 2 Ohio State, was enough to clear the way for the Kansas Jayhawks to climb in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Bill Self’s squad jumped from No. 5 to No. 3 in the latest AP poll, coming in just behind No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Duke in the rankings.

The Jayhawks received one first-place vote this week, while Duke also got one and Gonzaga got the remaining 63.

West Virginia, meanwhile, which knocked off Ohio State on Sunday and will come to Lawrence on Saturday for a 3 p.m. clash with Kansas to open Big 12 play at Allen Fieldhouse, jumped six spots from No. 22 to No. 16.

“That was very impressive what they did today,” KU coach Bill Self said on Sunday of the Mountaineers’ 67-59 win over the Buckeyes in Cleveland. “That may be the best league win (the Big 12 has) had so far.”

Four Big 12 teams are ranked in this week’s poll, with KU leading the way at No. 3, Baylor not far behind at No. 6, West Virginia 10 spots behind the Bears and Texas Tech sitting at No. 22.

No other Big 12 teams received votes in the poll this week.

SOARING DUCKS

Oregon entered the season loaded with expectations behind do-everything guard Payton Pritchard and another stellar recruiting class landed by coach Dana Altman.

The Ducks (11-2) have lived up to the hype, their only losses coming in back-to-back games against Gonzaga and North Carolina at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.

Oregon has wins over three ranked teams and blew out Alabama State 98-59 on Sunday to move into the top five for the first time since reaching No. 4 in 2016-17, when the Ducks went to the Final Four.

Oregon also got a huge boost earlier this month when 6-foot-11 freshman N’Faly Dante became eligible after reclassifying as a 2019 signee.

STILL UNDEFEATED

The number of undefeated Division I teams is down to two following Liberty’s 74-57 loss to LSU.

No. 8 Auburn has continued to play well following its run to last year’s Final Four, improving to 12-0 after rolling over Lipscomb 86-59 last week. The Tigers have had two close games this season, beating South Alabama by 1 and outlasting Furman in overtime.

No. 13 San Diego State improved to 13-0 and moved up two spots this week following a 73-57 win over Cal Poly. The Aztecs have wins over Utah, Brigham Young and Creighton this season and moved atop the NCAA’s NET rankings last week.

San Diego State is off to its best start in nine seasons.

RISING

West Virginia had the biggest jump in this week’s poll with its six-spot climb. No other team climbed more than two places.

FALLING

No. 7 Louisville had the biggest fall this week, losing four spots. No. 19 Virginia lost three spots after beating Navy by 9 on Sunday.

MOVING IN/OUT

Wichita State was the only team to move into the poll this week, debuting at No. 24. The Shockers, who beat Abilene Christian 84-66 on Sunday, are ranked for the first time since climbing to No. 3 in 2017-18.

Washington dropped out of the AP Top 25 from No. 21 following a 75-71 loss to Houston in the Diamond Head Classic title game in Honolulu on Christmas Day.

Here’s a quick look at the complete Top 25:

1 – Gonzaga, 13-1, 1,621 (63)

2 – Duke, 11-1, 1,516 (1)

3 – Kansas, 10-2, 1,497 (1)

4 – Oregon, 11-2, 1,361

5 – Ohio State, 11-2, 1,277

6 – Baylor, 9-1, 1,267

7 – Louisville, 11-2, 1,196

8 – Auburn, 12-0, 1,159

9 – Memphis, 11-1, 1,055

10 – Villanova, 9-2, 970

11 – Butler, 12-1, 883

12 – Michigan, 10-3, 880

13 – San Diego State, 13-0, 780

14 – Michigan state, 10-3, 747

15 – Maryland, 11-2, 720

16 – West Virginia, 11-1, 719

17 – Kentucky, 9-3, 674

18 – Florida State, 11-2, 531

19 – Virginia, 10-2, 506

20 – Dayton, 10-2, 483

21 – Penn State, 11-2, 312

22 – Texas Tech, 9-3, 175

23 – Iowa, 10-3, 137

24 – Wichita State, 11-1, 135

25 – Arizona, 10-3, 113

Others receiving votes: Colorado 74, Xavier 58, DePaul 47, Washington 40, Northern Iowa 32, Utah State 30, Saint Mary's 28, Marquette 27, Arkansas 19, Purdue 12, Georgetown 10, Creighton 10, Indiana 5, Houston 4, Virginia Tech 3, St. John's 3, Seton Hall 2, East Tennessee State 2, BYU 2, Florida 1, Stanford 1, Yale 1.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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