AP Top 25: Indiana State ranked for first time since 1979

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AP Top 25: Indiana State ranked for first time since 1979

This week’s AP Top 25 delivered a surprise with Indiana State entering the rankings for the first time since the Larry Bird era in the 1978-79 season.

The Sycamores are riding a nine-game win streak and debuted at No. 23 after taking a two-game lead over Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference with an 11-1 record. Indiana State has five players scoring in double figures led by dynamic duo Isaiah Swope and social media sensation Robbie Avila.

The AP Top 10 experienced minimal changes, with Iowa State being the sole new addition. Notably, there were shifts below the top 2 positions, as both Kansas and Tennessee faced losses. Houston ascended by two places, while Marquette and Arizona each climbed three spots. Iowa State reentered the top 10 after an absence since the 2021-22 season.

South Carolina, ranked for the first time since 2017, ascended four spots to No. 11 this week.

Kentucky faced a challenging week, sliding five spots after three consecutive home losses, a feat not seen since 1976. Meanwhile, Wisconsin dropped nine spots due to their own four-game losing streak.

Saint Mary’s secures a spot in the Top 25 with an eight-game winning streak, joined by Oklahoma, who defeated BYU and Oklahoma State.

Full Top 25

  1. UConn
  2. Purdue
  3. Houston
  4. Marquette
  5. Arizona
  6. Kansas
  7. North Carolina
  8. Tennessee
  9. Duke
  10. Iowa State
  11. South Carolina
  12. Baylor
  13. Auburn
  14. Illinois
  15. Alabama
  16. Dayton
  17. Creighton
  18. Saint Mary’s
  19. BYU
  20. Wisconsin
  21. Virginia
  22. Kentucky
  23. Indiana State
  24. Florida Atlantic
  25. Oklahoma

Indiana State ranked?

It’s about time, AP voters. The Sycamores are one of the best offensive teams in the country. They’re No. 1 in effective field goal percentage and, in about a month, someone is going to draw them in the bracket, pull up the tape and wonder what they did to the committee to get paired with these guys.

They have a center who is the college Nikola Jokić an elite passer who often initiates the offense and can also post up and shoots 41.8 percent from 3. They have three quick guards who can all shoot and a wing at the four who is a capable shooter and elite cutter. Coach Josh Schertz has one of the most incredible backstories you’ll come across, and the longtime Division II coach has long been known as a great evaluator of talent and that’s evident with the roster he’s built in just three seasons. — C.J. Moore, college basketball staff writer

Marquette returns to top five

Marquette is back in the top five for the first time since November, just in time for the game of the week on Saturday at Connecticut. The Golden Eagles are on a seven-game winning streak, and point guard Tyler Kolek is playing at an All-American level right now. Kolek, who has struggled shooting the ball in Marquette’s losses, is averaging 25.3 points and 10 assists over his last three games while making 13-of-23 3s.

His matchup with UConn’s Tristen Newton and Marquette big man Oso Ighodaro’s matchup with Donovan Clingan will be fun to watch. Marquette probably needs to steal one on the road to have any chance at winning back-to-back Big East titles. — Moore

Top 10 thoughts

It’s difficult to rank the teams from three to eight right now, and the AP voters gave Arizona the biggest bump among that group for winning back-to-back roadies at Utah and Arizona. It’s the first time the Wildcats have finished that road trip 2-0 since 2015, so they certainly earned it.

I’m skeptical of the Pac-12 and have docked Arizona for losing against some mediocre teams in its league, but winning that road swing is reason to believe early-season Arizona is back. — Moore

Required reading

(Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images)