Villanova holds off Virginia for No. 1 spot in USA TODAY Sports men’s basketball poll



The top three teams once again remained the same in the E News All Sports men’s basketball coaches poll. But the gap between No. 1 and No. 2 narrowed considerably.

Villanova is still at the head of the class. The Wildcats survived a road test over the weekend at Marquette and received 22 of 31 first-place votes cast. But second-ranked Virginia is now getting significant support for No. 1 as well. The Cavaliers were first on eight ballots this week on the heels of their huge win at Duke.

Purdue, which kept its Big Ten record unblemished with a Sunday win at Indiana, is again No. 3 with one first-place nod. Michigan State climbed back to No. 4 and Duke was demoted only one position to round out the top five.

Auburn was the biggest riser of the week. The Tigers, now alone atop the SEC standings, gained six places to No. 13. North Carolina fell seven spots to No. 17 after dropping a pair of ACC contests, including a home setback to North Carolina State on Saturday.

Kentucky is back in the poll at No. 22 following a big comeback victory at West Virginia. The Wildcats fell out of the poll last week, ending a run of 79 consecutive appearances.


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