Recent win over previously unbeaten Baylor propels Kansas to No. 13 in latest AP poll

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) roars after swatting a Baylor shot late in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 at Allen Fieldhouse. At right is Baylor guard Mark Vital (11).

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) roars after swatting a Baylor shot late in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 at Allen Fieldhouse. At right is Baylor guard Mark Vital (11).

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Kansas men’s basketball team is knocking on the door of the top 10 in the Associated Press Top 25 college hoops poll.

Last weekend’s 71-58 win over previously unbeaten Baylor vaulted the Jayhawks four spots to No. 13 in this week’s poll. Baylor, meanwhile, fell just a spot from No. 2 to No. 3.

Kansas is one of seven teams from the Big 12 Conference ranked in the Top 18 of this week’s AP poll.

The Jayhawks (18-8 overall, 12-6 Big 12) are behind No. 3 Baylor and No. 6 West Virginia, and they sit ahead of No. 15 Texas, No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 17 Oklahoma State and No. 18 Texas Tech as the conference enters the final week of the regular season.

Kansas is the only team in the conference that finished its 18-game Big 12 slate by the original end of the regular season. The other nine teams all will play conference games over the next several days, during a week that was built in to the conference schedule as a period for make-up games before the Big 12 tournament because of the anticipation of COVID-19 delays.

Conference tournament seeding will be determined by the end of the week and the Big 12 tourney will begin Wednesday, March 10 at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Despite being done with Big 12 play, KU has added one more non-conference game — 7 p.m. Thursday vs. UTEP at Allen Fieldhouse — in order to ensure that the Jayhawks do not get rusty with what would have been an 11-day layoff between last Saturday’s win over Baylor and their first game in the Big 12 tournament.

The Jayhawks have been one of the hottest teams in college basketball in the past month, winning six of their last seven, with three victories over ranked opponents.

That has KU’s arrow pointing up as the postseason draws near and teams continue to jockey for position for the NCAA Tournament, which is slated to open March 17 in Indianapolis.

ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi currently has Kansas projected as a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has the Jayhawks as a 4 seed in his latest update.

Plenty of basketball still to be played between now and Selection Sunday on March 14, which means that both the AP poll and those projected seeds could look a lot different in two weeks.

For now, here’s a look at this week’s complete AP Top 25:

1 – Gonzaga, 24-0, 1,571 (59 first-place votes)

2 – Michigan, 18-1, 1,512 (4)

3 – Baylor, 18-1, 1,450

4 – Illinois, 18-6, 1,350

5 – Iowa, 18-7, 1,266

6 – West Virginia, 17-6, 1,210

7 – Ohio State, 18-7, 1,163

8 – Alabama, 19-6, 1,130

9 – Houston, 20-3, 1,109

10 – Villanova, 15-4, 942

11 – Florida State, 14-4, 897

12 – Arkansas, 19-5, 847

13 – Kansas, 18-8, 785

14 – Creighton, 17-6, 669

15 – Texas, 14-7, 650

16 – Oklahoma, 14-7, 584

17 – Oklahoma State, 16-6, 553

18 – Texas Tech, 15-8, 494

19 – San Diego State, 19-4, 406

20 – Loyola Chicago, 21-4, 367

21 – Virginia, 15-6, 362

22 – Virginia Tech, 15-5, 335

23 – Purdue, 16-8, 192

24 – Colorado, 19-7, 150

25 – Wisconsin, 16-9, 106

Others receiving votes: BYU 101, USC 88, Clemson 47, Florida 24, Tennessee 19, St. Bonaventure 16, Oregon 15, Missouri 13, Wichita State 11, Maryland 9, Toledo 8, Connecticut 5, Belmont 5, Winthrop 4, North Carolina 4, UCLA 2, Louisville 2, UC Santa Barbara 1, Drake 1