Steve Helber/Associated Press
For weeks, Villanova, Virginia and Purdue were pillars of consistency while the rest of the country struggled to keep pace.
All three teams lost at least once over the last week, with Purdue dropping a pair of games, which would have seemingly set the stage for Michigan State to take over as No. 1.
Virginia instead ascended to the top spot in the land, with Michigan State coming in at No. 2. Villanova, Xavier and Cincinnati round out the Top Five.
Here is a look at how the entire poll played out:
2. Michigan State
7. Texas Tech
8. Ohio State
14. North Carolina
15. Saint Mary’s
16. Rhode Island
19. Wichita State
20. West Virginia
21. Texas A&M
25. Arizona State
Virginia sits as the nation’s top-ranked team for the first time since the 1982-83 season. The Cavaliers’ rise is a major surprise to many, given they opened the season unranked. They were also named the top overall seed by the NCAA Tournament committee Sunday, as part of a new preview system that seeds the country’s top 16.
Neither the AP nor the tournament committee were affected by Virginia’s 61-60 double-overtime loss to rival Virginia Tech.
Michigan State has won eight straight games despite the athletic program being embroiled in controversy following the Larry Nassar verdict and subsequent investigations into the basketball and football programs.
An Outside the Lines report revealed a Spartans assistant coach was charged with punching a female Michigan State student in 2010. He was allowed to continue coaching the team and was later dismissed after being accused by sexual assault later that year.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has declined to publicly go into detail on the matter, saying only that he has cooperated with any investigation.
“I said, ‘That was one for you,'” Miles Bridges told reporters after hitting a game-winning three to beat Purdue. “All season he’s been taking heat for so much stuff. For us to win that game, for him and Coach Heathcote, it’s great for both of them.”
Bridges’ three gave the Boilermakers their second loss in as many games, as they dropped a game to Ohio State earlier in the week. Matt Painter’s team fell three spots to No. 6 following the rough week.
“We were right there on the road against the No. 4 team in the country,” Purdue guard P.J. Thompson said, per Nathan Baird of the Journal & Courier. “I thought we played well. I thought we played hard. We just could have been a little bit better, and that’s how they got us.”
Villanova dropped to No. 3 after a surprising 79-75 loss to St. John’s. The Wildcats have lost a pair of games to unranked opponents in an otherwise unbeaten season. They atoned for one of those defeats by getting a win over Butler on Saturday.
Fifteen different Top 25 teams lost at least one game, hence the relative lack of movement for the teams at the top. Oklahoma is teetering on the edge of falling out of the Top 25 after losing three straight games, including a pair to West Virginia and Iowa State this week.
Kentucky did exit the rankings after losing to Tennessee and Texas A&M, giving the Wildcats three straight defeats as well.
The Aggies are at No. 21 as one of the two new teams in the Top 25. No. 25 Arizona State is the other.