Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Duke remains unanimous No. 1 in AP Top 25; Seton Hall now No. 19
By JOHN MARSHALL
Notre Dame won the Maui Invitational with an impressive comeback against Wichita State.
The Fighting Irish didn’t fare as well against another top 10 team, leading a shuffling at the top half of The Associated Press Top 25 poll .
Duke (10-0) received all 65 first-place votes in the poll released Monday after a pair of easy victories, its second straight week as the unanimous No. 1. The next three spots also remained the same from last week: Kansas, Michigan State and Villanova.
Notre Dame was No. 5 last week, but dropped to No. 9 following its 81-63 loss to the Spartans.
“They come at you with fresh bodies, they just keep coming at you and it takes its toll,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of Michigan State.
Florida moved up to No. 5 despite not playing last week, followed by Wichita State, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Miami at No. 10 behind the Irish.
Notre Dame (7-1) pulled off an impressive comeback in Maui to beat Wichita State for its first title in paradise.
The Irish were no match for Michigan State last week, taken out of rhythm by the Spartans while falling into an early hole. Notre Dame did make a push in the second half, but Michigan State pushed back to run away with it.
The Irish bounced back to beat St. Francis Brooklyn on Sunday despite the ejections of preseason All-American Bonzie Colson (flagrant two foul) and Brey. The pair ended up in the locker room watching the rest of the game on Colson’s phone.
“That’s new territory for me,” Brey said. “That was very unusual.”
PACK ON THE RISE
Nevada has made big strides in Eric Musselman’s three seasons and this was expected to be his best team yet.
A year after making it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007, the Wolf Pack were picked as the favorites to win the Mountain West Conference title behind Jordan Caroline and Lindsey Drew.
Nevada has lived up to expectations so far, winning its first eight games for its best start as a Division I program (since 1970). The Wolf Pack were No. 22 in this week’s poll for their first ranking since finishing the 2006-07 season at No. 15.
“It’s great to see that we have that record now, but we have to keep improving and don’t want to stop now and be 8-1 or 8-2,” Caroline said after the Wolf Pack shook off an ugly first half to beat UC Irvine 76-65 last week. “We’re rolling and we have to keep moving along.”
Xavier had the biggest rise in this week’s poll, moving up eight spots to No. 13 after a pair of Top-25 wins. The Musketeers beat No. 16 Baylor 76-63 and No. 11 Cincinnati 89-76 last week.
Arizona State moved up four spots to No. 20 after being ranked last week for the first time since 2009.
Louisville dropped out of the poll from No. 17 after losing to Purdue and Seton Hall.
USC is down 11 spots to No. 25 following consecutive losses and Baylor fell seven places to No. 23 after losses to Xavier and Wichita State. Cincinnati was down six spots to No. 17 following its loss to Xavier.
No. 19 Seton Hall, No. 21 Purdue and No. 24 Tennessee joined Nevada in moving into the poll this week.
Texas Tech dropped out from No. 22 after losing to Seton Hall, Alabama dropped from No. 24 after losing to UCF. Creighton is out from No. 25 following a lopsided loss to then-No. 15 Gonzaga. The Zags moved up three spots to No. 12.
Here’s the poll:
2. Kansas (7-0)
3. Michigan State (7-1)
4. Villanova (8-0)
5. Florida (5-1)
6. Wichita State (6-1)
7. Texas A&M (7-0)
8. Kentucky (7-1)
9. Notre Dame (7-1)
10. Miami (7-0)
11. North Carolina (8-1)
12. Gonzaga (7-1)
13. Xavier (7-1)
14. Minnesota (8-1)
15. Virginia (8-0)
16. Arizona State (7-0)
17. Cincinnati (7-1)
18. West Virginia (7-1)
19. Seton Hall (7-1)
20. TCU (8-0)
21. Purdue (8-2)
22. Nevada (8-0)
23. Baylor (5-2)
24. Tennessee (6-1)
25. Southern Cal (4-2)
Others receiving votes: Texas Tech 82, UCLA 75, Rhode Island 73, Creighton 53, Louisville 50, Texas 32, Alabama 21, SMU 15, Mississippi State 11, Kansas State 10, Arizona 10, Georgia 9, Washington State 9, Oklahoma 7, Providence 6, Florida State 6, Clemson 5, Valparaiso 5, Georgetown 4, Oklahoma State 3, UT Arlington 3, Western Kentucky 2, and Towson 1.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.