UConn's first loss of the season pushed it to its lowest ranking in the Coaches Poll in nearly a month as the Huskies on Monday dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 in the latest rankings released on Monday. The fall from near-No. 1 to the lowest ranking since Dec. 5 came as a result of UConn falling 83-73 on Saturday at Xavier, dropping it to 14-1 on the season and leaving just two teams — Purdue and New Mexico — still undefeated on the season.
Purdue (13-0) as such tightened its grip on the No. 1 spot by receiving 30 of a possible 32 first-place votes this week. The Boilermakers received 25 last week and 24 the week before, the first times all season it drew out a majority of first-place votes by voters. Purdue began the season unranked but has charged up the rankings behind a bona fide Naismith Player of the Year contender in Zach Edey and a balanced offensive attack that rates as one of the best in the sport. The 13-0 start is the third-best start in school history.
While the two unranked preseason teams UConn and Purdue have had a dream season and climbed the ranks, the opposite has been true thus far for Kentucky as it continued its downward spiral closer to unranked territory on Monday. The Wildcats came in at T25 in Monday's poll along with Iowa State, dropping eight spots after falling last week to Missouri and a win over lousy Louisville. Kentucky has a tough slate on deck this week with LSU and Alabama on tap that could serve as a launching pad into unranked territory if it continues its inconsistent play.
The top 25 teams in the USA Today college basketball Coaches Poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sunday, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:
Others receiving votes: Mississippi State 47; Kansas State 38; Louisiana State 35; Providence 30; West Virginia 28; Charleston 24; San Diego St. 17; Michigan St. 14; Marquette 14; Saint Mary's 12; Penn St. 11; Maryland 9; Virginia Tech 6; Florida Atlantic 3; UAB 2; Texas Tech 1.