With the help of two impressive wins, Virginia stretched its lead a bit to retain the No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports men’s basketball coaches poll. In order to keep it for another week, however, the Cavaliers will have to get past their closest challengers.
Virginia kept its record unblemished and picked up 15 of 32 No. 1 votes this week and now leads No. 2 Duke by 16 poll points. The Blue Devils, who escaped Florida State with a buzzer beater over the weekend, received six first-place votes.
The No. 1 ranking will likely be on the line when Duke hosts the Cavaliers this Saturday.
Tennessee with seven No. 1 votes and Michigan with six retain the third and fourth spots, respectively. Gonzaga overtakes Michigan State to check in at No. 5 this week.
TOP 25: Complete USA TODAY Sports men’s basketball coaches poll
Virginia Tech, Kansas, Texas Tech and Nevada round out the top 10.
It was a very good week for Ole Miss, which upended a pair of ranked teams in SEC play. The Rebels make their season debut in the poll at No. 20 following wins against Auburn and Mississippi State.
Villanova returns to the rankings at No. 21 as the new-look Wildcats seem to have found their groove with Big East play underway. No. 22 Maryland also rejoins the top 25 this week.
Ohio State, Iowa State and St. John’s drop out.