Gonzaga, which beat then-No. 1 Duke on Wednesday, leapfrogged Kansas to take the top spot in the poll, as the Blue Devils fell to No. 3.
Here’s the full AP Top 25:
The Bulldogs looked unstoppable in Maui, thanks in large part to their star junior forward Rui Hachimura. In the three games against Illinois, Arizona, and Duke, Hachimura went for 23 points, 24 points and 20 points. Against the Blue Devils, he added seven rebounds and three blocks. The end of that game also showcased how strong Gonzaga can be with its back against the wall. Up 89-87 with 1:45 left, the Bulldogs’ defense got four blocks and forced seven missed shots to pull off the upset.
Keep in mind, the Bulldogs are doing all this without Killian Tillie, who is likely out until January with a stress fracture in his ankle.
The only other major movement in the Top 10 came from North Carolina, which lost to Texas 82-79 in the Las Vegas Invitational despite 33 points from freshman Coby White. North Carolina dropped from No. 7 to No. 11 after the loss, while the Longhorns entered the rankings at No. 17, now 5-1 after falling to Michigan State 78-68 in the championship of that tournament.
The Tar Heels have a brutal stretch coming up with three Top 10 opponents in its next four games in No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Kentucky, and No. 1 Gonzaga.
Speaking of Gonzaga, the Bulldogs weren’t the runaway favorite for first place this week. Kansas received 31 first-place votes to Gonzaga’s 32 and finished just six total points behind (1,590 to 1,584), making this the closest top two this season.
The Jayhawks continued their undefeated season with a 77-68 win over Marquette and an 87-81 overtime win against No. 5 Tennessee at the NIT Season Tip-Off. That win against the Volunteers was Kansas’ second over a Top 10 team this season, after it opened the season with a win over then-No. 10 Michigan State. Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson looked phenomenal in the tournament, combining for 50 points and 25 rebounds in the two games.
After that game, Tennessee fell one spot to No. 6, with undefeated Nevada taking over at No. 5.
Michigan State moved back into the Top 10 after beating UCLA and Texas in the Las Vegas Invitational.
“[Coach Izzo] can make a player do something that they never thought they were capable of doing.”
Josh Langford reflects on Coach Izzo with @TheAndyKatz after @MSU_Basketball took home the Las Vegas Invitational title! pic.twitter.com/DmBCcp6Muy
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 24, 2018
Both games were impressive for entirely different reasons. Against UCLA, the Spartans shot 51.6 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from beyond the arc en route to a blowout win, 87-67. In the championship game vs. Texas, fresh off an upset of North Carolina, Michigan State found itself in a deep hole early, trailing by 25-6 with 11:21 left to play in the first half. But the Spartans closed the gap to eight by halftime, and ran away with the game in the second half, winning 78-68.
Elsewhere in the Top 25, Iowa jumped up in the rankings after demolishing Alabama State 105-78. The Hawkeyes now have four players averaging double digit points in one of the best-shooting offenses in the country — hitting 48.7 percent of their shots from the field.
Now, teams are preparing for the meat of their non-conference schedules. Expect a lot of shakeup in the Top 25 before conference play begins.