Monday, February 20, 2017

Jayhawks maintain No. 3 spot in latest AP poll

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets fired up as the Jayhawks close in on the West Virginia lead during the second half, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets fired up as the Jayhawks close in on the West Virginia lead during the second half, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


A pair of victories over top-10 teams this past week didn’t nudge Kansas into one of the top two spots in the latest Associated Press college basketball poll, released Monday.

Bill Self’s Jayhawks remained at No. 3 for the fourth week in a row, following wins over West Virginia and Baylor.

Gonzaga (28-0), the only undefeated team remaining in the country, retained the No. 1 spot, as expected, while defending national champion Villanova (26-2), which has won seven consecutive games, held steady at No. 2.

KU (24-3) stumbled at home against Iowa State Feb. 4 before rattling off road wins at Kansas State and Texas Tech, followed by last week’s crucial Big 12 wins over WVU at BU.

It is the fourth week at No. 1 for Gonzaga. The Zags received 59 first-place votes. Villanova received five first-place votes and Kansas got the other No. 1 vote.

Three teams from the Pac-12 — Arizona, UCLA and Oregon — are fourth through sixth. Louisville is seventh, followed by North Carolina, Baylor and Duke.

Baylor, which lost to Texas Tech and KU, dropped five places from fourth.

West Virginia (21-6) dropped three spots, to No. 12, following an overtime loss at Allen Fieldhouse.

Wichita State makes its first Top 25 appearance since last year.

This marks the 10th week this season for KU at the No. 3 spot. The Jayhawks, who have been ranked as high as No. 2 by the AP, have spent 15 of 16 weeks ranked in the top five.

AP TOP 25 — Feb. 20, 2017

No. 1. Gonzaga

No. 2. Villanova

No. 3. Kansas

No. 4 Arizona

No. 5. UCLA

No. 6. Oregon

No. 7. Louisville

No. 8. North Carolina

No. 9. Baylor

No. 10. Duke

No. 11. Kentucky

No. 12 West Virginia

No. 13. Florida

No. 14. Purdue

No. 15. Cincinnati

No. 16. Wisconsin

No. 17. SMU

No. 18. Virginia

No. 19. Florida State

No. 20. Saint Mary’s

No. 21. Notre Dame

No. 22. Butler

No. 23. Creighton

No. 24. Maryland

No. 25. Wichita State


Jay Scott 5 years, 7 months ago

Anyone who really believes that 3 of the best 6 teams come from the PAC is on drugs.

RJ King 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree, as I see their games up close and personal. More like 9-15 range. However, I do think Gonzaga is for real. If they falter in the tournament it will not be for lack of talent. It will be for lack of being tested on a regular basis during league play vs worthy competition.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 7 months ago

Really good drugs. All 3 teams have risen in the ranks during conference play which doesn't say much for the Pac 12

Joe Ross 5 years, 7 months ago

How does one stack up records of teams that dont play in the same conference? This question is being tackled by numbers crunchers and statisticians who will be unleashed on the tournament selection process. But it should extend to weekly polls as well, because all is not right with how the rankings work. As it is, Gonzaga and Villanova will hold on to their positions as long as they dont lose, whether their resume is better than a lower-ranked team or not. Sure its not locked in that way, but thats how it goes 94% of the time. Kansas has 5 wins over top ten teams, which is five times as much as Gonzaga and Villanova have between them.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 7 months ago

They beat Arizona, Florida and Iowa State in pre-conference play. I'm not saying they deserve to be #1 but saying they haven't played anyone just isn't true.

Joe Ross 5 years, 7 months ago

I never said they didnt play anyone. Im saying they havent beaten as many top ten teams. For that matter, Kansas has also beaten ranked opponents outside of the top ten. Sure, the metric by which Im judging is an arbitrary one, but whether you choose top five, top ten, top 25, whatever, it all boils down to an arbitrary choice. Again, its of no use to find falsity in a point that I havent made. I never said they "didnt play anybody".

Besides, you missed the main point, which is the fault in a system which values win total over the total of quality wins, and how that relates to the current ranking system.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 7 months ago

You're correct and I apologize Joe. I meant to reply to Chris DeWeese above you.

Mea Culpa

Freddie Garza 5 years, 7 months ago

Playing a good team in November is a WHOLE lot different than playing that team in February. Teams are still gelling and trying to figure out what their identity is in November. For example...KU lost to Indiana in the first game of the season. Does anyone have much doubt about what the outcome would be if the two were to play again today?

Gonzaga is a good team, but are they the best team in America? I have a VERY hard time buying that. Are they deserving of the #1 ranking? Sure, absolutely they are, anyone who is undefeated at this point in the season deserves that high of a ranking. But in all honesty...if I'm a team that is a #2 or a #3 seed, I'm really hoping to get put in the same bracket as Gonzaga, just based on the idea that they haven't really been tested at all to this point due to the lack of competition that they face in their league.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 7 months ago

I don't think I've heard anyone say that Gonzaga is the best team in America. The polls don't always work out the way most people would expect. When it comes to seeding in the NCAA, I would be surprised if they were the #1 overall.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 7 months ago

I watched Gonzaga play St. Mary's. I was not that impressed.

Barry Weiss 5 years, 7 months ago

that high school gym holds 3,500 fans. it was not like what I expected.

RJ King 5 years, 7 months ago

And that is Saint Mary's downfall. They would love to take on stronger competition, but power conference teams do not want to travel to play in front of such a limited audience (revenue). Plus national exposure is reduced due to the time zone.

Thus, each year even strong Saint Mary's teams stress over the bubble. Randy Bennett is a good coach. He deserves a bigger stage.

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 7 months ago

This won't be possible but I'd love to see this happen:

First Round - Wichita State

Second Round - Indiana

Sweet Sixteen - Kentucky

Elite 8 - Duke

Final Four - UCLA

National Championship - Villanova

And while down 3 and 2 seconds left Frank Mason hits a half courter and gets fouled, then sinks the free throw to win it all.

Mike Greer 5 years, 7 months ago

My dad always used to say, ". . . if your gonna wish, wish big . . . " I'd say you meet that criteria. ;)

I understand most of those picks, but not sure why you want to beat Kentucky and Duke again this year? Also, I think you're trying to give us old guys a heat attack with your final request.

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 7 months ago

What's better than beating Duke and Kentucky once in a year? Beating them twice and crashing their National Title hopes. Also, the buzzer beater would give me a heart attack too but talk about a game for the ages.

Dale Stringer 5 years, 7 months ago

Passing Kentucky in all-time wins. If UK losses in the first round, that two less wins they get this year.

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years, 7 months ago

Gonzaga beat U of A... that's about it. Quality win, but the rest of that schedule is pretty meh. And how is UVA still in the top 20? 3 game losing streak, with a loss to Va tech? I get Duke and UNC were in there... so tough stretch of course. All based on sweeping Louisville? I don't see many other quality wins, other than a close game against Nova. Plus the most losses of a ranked team...

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 7 months ago

Miami just beat UVA so they should be gone by next week.

Mallory Briggans 5 years, 7 months ago

i read Trevon Duvals blog about his official visits to Kansas and then Duke......He gave both visits a 10 ....but he said KU fans didnt really acknowledge him during the game he attended but they chanted his name during the Duke - N. Carolina game....he also said Coach K. played the " I will give you the keys line" which he liked to hear .....sounds like Duke may be closing the deal.He still has a visit this weekend at Arizona ....Baylor and Seton Hall.

RJ King 5 years, 7 months ago

Every time I saw Duval behind the bench on TV at KU he was on his phone. He looked pretty unengaged even when the action on the court was at its peak. Makes me wonder about a kid who thinks his presence is more significant than the current team vs a ranked conference rival.

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years, 7 months ago

oh boo hoo... they didn't chant his name:) Come on, kid... be part of the team and not just their for yourself. We all know who you are. You want to be part of something special, then come on over. If you want to be the only star of the show then good luck at Seton Hall.

Mike Greer 5 years, 7 months ago

I stated in another post that I'd take all the Josh Jackson clones you could send my way if I were a coach. I'll stand by that statement, Josh Jackson has done everything within his power to get the team to a win, I like that spirit in a team sport. I'm not so sure that you're going to get that level of hustle from a guy who gets off on having his name chanted at a game where he's not even playing. You're way better off with a player you can coach up in the long run, than with a guy who thinks he's God's gift to the world. Get another Frank Mason or Devonté Graham.

RJ King 5 years, 7 months ago

Totally agree about Jackson. His passing and willingness to pass are such a pleasant surprise. Most of all, it seems that his mistakes are the trying-too-hard type, not the lackadaisical type. He is a GEM.

Kit Duncan 5 years, 7 months ago

Trevon could very well decide to go to Duke based on how he was received. But when he talked about all the things they did to make him feel welcome it reminded me of the joke about a politician who dies and has to spend 24 hrs in Hell before choosing where he wants to spend eternity.

He finds the underworld to be quite enticing, family, friends and even strangers come up to him and tell him how great it is to be there. He is allowed to play all the golf he wants on any of five championship courses. He is taken to a beach populated by the most beautiful women he's ever seen. Wait staff constantly ply him with the best tasting alcohol he's ever had. It is nothing like he thought Hell would be.

When the 24 hrs is up he appears before St. Peter, who asks him to make his decision. The man considers spending eternity in Heaven sitting around all day wearing only a white robe praising God while singing in a choir, or the alternative, playing golf, lounging on the beach with beautiful women all around and drinking the best alcoholic beverages and never getting drunk. So, he chooses Hell over Heaven.

Instantly he finds himself transported to a dark forbidding place, the smells of burning flesh and the screams of people being tortured, all around him. The devil comes over to him and asks him if he is satisfied with his choice. Shocked with what he now sees, smells and hears, the politician asks the devil what happened to the championship golf courses, the beautiful women and all the booze he was given on his prior visit. The devil replies, "Yesterday we were campaigning, today you voted!"

Matt Gonzo 5 years, 7 months ago

To me Duval has always been a Duke lean. That's why I was hoping for a Young surprise pick. But like all other misses in the past, KU will Rock Chalk on. I like the one factor we always seem to have....Bill Self on our bench. Best non player we have.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 7 months ago

The No. 3 spot is the best spot for us for now. Hopefully it'll keep the boys in blue hungry for more respect going forward.

Let's go handle our business with the Horny Toads and win a share of #13 tomorrow night!

RJ King 5 years, 7 months ago

Agree. I have zero interest in a #1 ranking. For now.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 7 months ago

Number 13 is all but clinched but what about the Big One, Number 14?

There is lots of young talent coming back next year around the league and KU will be losing a lot [although not as much as I first thought].

Yes, Frank, Landon and Josh will be gone but, as it stands, Devonte, Carlton and Svi should probably stay. Then add a recovered Azu and Coleby [who is hurt more than we know], Include Lightfoot and Vick and you've got a darn decent rotation right there.

And that's not counting Billy P., Malik, Garrett or Cunliffe and any other trick up Bill's sleeve.I think the quest for #14 will be one of the toughest for KU but I think it is doable.

After all, we have Bill Self and everyone else doesn't!!!

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years, 7 months ago

I think if we don't lose Devonte and Svi, it will be huge. Just to have the leadership and veteran factor. I really like our depth in the backcourt at least and think next year could be really exciting to see all the guys get in

Mallory Briggans 5 years, 7 months ago

the polls dont mean as much come selection sunday if you temember a few years ago michigan state was no.8 the last regular season poll....but was awarded a no 1 seed because of their body of work.......quiet as kept the talk of Duke getting a 1 seed is starting to rear its ugly head so there is no such thing as a meaningless loss regardless of us winning the conference title ......just keep winning and dont leave it to the commitee to give us a 2 seed if we have a couple losses down the stretch ....its obvious the matchup of Duke and Kentucky is what was predicted preseason so we cant let that happen....

Tom Jones 5 years, 7 months ago

Sprint Center for S16/E18 is all that matters now that the title is in the bag. Pretty much locked in for it barring a couple regular season losses and a first game exit in the Big 12 tourney.

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