As we approach the beginning of February, the college basketball AP top 25 poll starts to mean less about early-season impressions and more about postseason tournament implications.
With the Week 10 rankings now on the books, we're starting to get a better look at some teams with the capacity to make deep March Madness runs.
For the fourth week in a row, the top three teams remain completely unchanged.
Just as the have been since the preseason poll, Gonzaga sits atop the list at No. 1. With 95-49 win over Pacific on Saturday, the Bulldogs notched their largest margin of victory on the season and extended their record to 15-0.
At No. 2, Baylor also remained undefeated on the season this week. Over the past two weeks, the Bears have notched two wins over AP top 25 opponents (No. 15 Texas Tech and No. 9 Kansas). An 81-66 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday was the icing on the cake to this solid run.
After suffering an upset loss to Virginia Tech in Week 1, Villanova has worked its way back into the top five at No. 3. Following a COVID-19 outbreak in the program that resulted in the postponement of six straight games, the Wildcats have now won two in a row.
With two solid wins over Maryland and Purdue this week, 13-1 Michigan continued to skyrocket up the list into the No. 4 spot. Unfortunately, this incredible run will have to be put on pause. Due to an outbreak of the UK variant of COVID-19, all Wolverine athletic programs have been suspended for at least 14 days.
Texas rounds out the top five despite dealing with COVID-19 issues of their own. With head coach Shaka Smart testing positive for the virus, both of the Longhorns' scheduled games this week were postponed.
While the top five remained relatively unchanged, the rest of the top 10 had some notable shifts.
Houston continues to impress this year, moving up into the No. 6 spot after notching two solid wins over Tulsa and Temple this week.
Iowa dropped out of the top five to No. 7 with their second unranked loss of the season to Indiana.
After hovering in the teens for most of this season, Virginia has leaped back into the top 10 this week. The Cavaliers massive jump over the past couple weeks can in large part be attributed to a 85-50 routing of No. 12 Clemson last Saturday.
Coming in at No. 9 is arguably the biggest story of this week's AP top 25. Unranked two weeks ago, Alabama has risen in the ranks faster than any team this year. In a three game stretch over the past two weeks, the Crimson Tide took down SEC opponents by a margin of 81 points. This is the first time since 2007 the program has cracked the top 10.
Texas Tech moved two spots up the list into No. 10 despite not playing this week due to opponent COVID-19 issues
POLL ALERT: Gonzaga, Baylor remain atop AP Top 25 men's basketball poll; Alabama cracks top 10 for first time since 2007.
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Middle of the Pack
As usual, there are some quick risers and heavy fallers in the middle of the pack.
Tennessee and Kansas were this week's victims to the latter.
After starting off the season with an outstanding 10-1 record, the Volunteers dropped two straight games this week. On Tuesday, Tennessee fell to unranked Florida in a blowout 75-49 loss -- then suffered another defeat to No. 19 Missouri on Saturday. As a result, they now fall 12 spots in No. 18.
The Jayhawks have endured an even more difficult stretch, now losing three straight games after starting the season at 10-2. With losses to Oklahoma State, Baylor and Oklahoma, Kansas fell six spots into No. 15.
When some fall, others rise.
With its win over No. 6 Tennessee, Missouri has catapulted itself from No. 19 all the way up to No. 12.
Moving In, Kicked Out
The biggest jump from unranked to AP top 25 this week was from Florida State. With the Seminoles' Final Four potential, many college basketball analysts wondered why the program wasn't already ranked coming into this week. Wins over Louisville and No. 20 Clemson in Week 9 certainly grabbed the voters' attention, propelling FSU into No. 16.
Further down the list, we have two new teams claiming the final two spots.
Following three straight wins (including one over No. 9 Kansas), Oklahoma moves from unranked into the No. 24 spot. Just below them at No. 25, Louisville reclaims an AP top 25 spot with a win over Duke.
Unfortunately, this weekend marked the end to some solid ranked runs for a few programs.
Starting with its embarrassing 85-50 loss to Virginia, Clemson has now been blown out in three straight games. As a result, the Tigers fell from No. 20 to unranked this week.
An unfortunate turn of events for Oregon also shook their early-season mojo. After having three games canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, the Ducks lost their first game back and fell out of the top 25.
Finally, after hovering at the cusp for the last few weeks -- UCONN's luck has now run out. With two straight losses, the Huskies were the final victim claimed in the Week 10 rankings.