This frenzied Thanksgiving Holiday - where many teams played three games in the week in tournament challenge situations with tight turnaround times - resulted in five teams dropping from the rankings, and other teams garnering votes that preseason experts couldn’t have predicted.
In the Big East, Villanova handled competition in the Battle for Atlantis, finishing the tournament with a 64-50 win over the unexpected championship opponent, Northern Iowa.
The Creighton Bluejays slid into the top 25 rankings after a high-scoring 100-89 win over UCLA, a hard fought loss to Baylor and a bounce back win against SIU-Edwardsville, while Seton Hall dropped out of the rankings after a one point loss to Rhode Island in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
As for Xavier, the Musketeers fell victim to perhaps the most convincing team out of the Pac-12 last week, the Arizona State Sun Devils. Bobby Hurley’s team took the hammer to then-#15 Xavier in a 102-86 win in the championship of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
As an upcoming opponent for St. John’s, now #20 ASU is no pushover.
They are tough to defend, scoring 96 points a game so far against some quality competition. Senior guard Tra Holder has been outstanding, scoring 23 points and dishing out over five assists per game.
The Duke Blue Devils retained their No. 1 ranking after coming back from a deficit in all three of their PK 80 tournament games, ending the tournament with a phenomenal comeback win against the highly talented Florida Gators.
Additionally: the Big 12 saw two of its teams added to this week’s rankings with Texas Tech at No. 22 and TCU at No. 23, both continuing to build upon their undefeated records after not participating in any tournaments this week.
West Virginia moved up four spots to No. 19 after coming back from down 16 late in the second half to win the Advocare Invitational over the Missouri Tigers.
The No. 18 Virginia Cavaliers, from the ACC, entered the top 25 for the first time this year after wining the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish jumped from No. 13 to No. 5 in this week’s AP Poll after overcoming a double-digit half time deficit to win the Maui Invitational over Wichita State.
On the flipside, the formerly No. 2 Arizona Wildcats went 0-3 in the Battle for Atlantis, ending the tournament with a blowout 89-64 loss to Purdue for the 8th place game. Those losses caused Sean Miller’s Wildcats to drop from the rankings entirely.
AP Poll Rankings, 11/27
Others receiving votes: Seton Hall 87, Nevada 61, UCLA 56, Purdue 56, Arizona 34, Washington State 25, Texas 22, Arkansas 17, Tennessee 14, Providence 9, Northwestern 8, Rhode Island 6, Saint Mary's 5, Georgia 5, Oklahoma 3, UNLV 2, Vermont 1, Texas Arlington 1, Maryland 1.