Gonzaga and Baylor maintained their grip on the top two spots in The Associated Press men's basketball poll Monday.
If third-ranked Villanova ever plays a game, perhaps it will make a run a them.
The Bulldogs again racked up all but the two first-place votes that went to the Bears, while the Wildcats remained firmly behind the preseason top two despite not playing a game since Dec. 23. They had a pair of COVID-19 pauses broken up by a single day, including one involving coach Jay Wright, effectively sidelining them for a month.
“Everyone has dealt with this,” said Wright, whose team finally gets back on the court Tuesday night against Seton Hall. “It’s not just the days you are out. It’s getting the guys going after a pause.”
The same teams made up the top 5 this week, though Iowa and Texas swapped places. Luka Garza and the Hawkeyes moved into fourth after ripping Northwestern by 23 points on the road Sunday, while the Longhorns fell back a spot after their six-game winning streak was stopped by No. 12 Texas Tech in a narrow defeat earlier in the week.
“Obviously the loss on Wednesday was devastating and really, really disappointing for our team and staff,” said Texas coach Shaka Smart, whose bunch rebounded to beat Kansas State on the road Saturday. “We knew we had to turn the page. The guys were really mature with their approach on Thursday in practice and their film session Friday.”
Texas doesn’t play again until Saturday after its game against Iowa State was postponed.
Tennessee climbed from 10th to sixth and was followed by Michigan, which remained No. 7 after losing its first game of the season to No. 17 Minnesota. Houston climbed three spots to eighth, Kansas fell three spots to ninth and Wisconsin rounded out the top 10 after following up a lopsided loss to the Wolverines with a gritty win at Rutgers.