Associated Press Top 25 basketball poll: Jerry Carino's ballot

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1. Gonzaga (15-2)

2. Auburn (18-1)

3. Arizona (16-1)

4. Baylor (17-2)

5. Kansas (16-2)

6. UCLA (13-2)

7. Michigan St. (15-3)

8. Houston (17-2)

9. Purdue (16-3)

10. Wisconsin (15-3)

11. Duke (15-3)

12. Texas Tech (15-4)

13. Kentucky (15-4)

14. Villanova (14-5)

15. Southern Cal (16-2)

16. Ohio State (12-4)

17. Providence (16-2)

18. Tennessee (13-5)

19. UConn (13-4)

20. Marquette (14-6)

21. Xavier (14-4)

22. LSU (15-4)

23. BYU (17-4)

24. Davidson (16-2)

25. Colorado State (15-1)

Marquette head coach Shaka Smart is shown during the second half of their game Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. Marquette beat Xavier 75-64.
Marquette head coach Shaka Smart is shown during the second half of their game Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. Marquette beat Xavier 75-64.

Dropped out: No. 15 Iowa State (14-5) after losses to No. 18 Texas Tech and TCU; No. 17 Illinois (13-5) after losses to No. 4 Purdue and Maryland; No. 22 Loyola-Chicago (14-3) after a loss to Missouri State; No. 23 Texas (14-5) after a loss to Kansas State.

Entered: Marquette at No. 20 after wins over No. 11 Villanova and No. 20 Xavier; BYU, which has an 8-4 record against Quads 1-2, at No. 23; Davidson, which has won 15 straight and is 6-0 on the road, at No. 24; Colorado State, which is 4-1 against Quads 1-2, at No. 25.

Also considered: Boise State (15-4); Murray State (17-2).

Analysis: It’s a tough, tough call for No. 1 but I don’t want to penalize Gonzaga for comfortably winning the games on its league schedule. This is a quandary we run into with the Bulldogs seemingly every year…There are so many teams missing key personnel at one point or another, it’s becoming difficult to weigh the absences heavily. At some point, you have to assess how teams cope with the hands they’re dealt…the big riser is Michigan State, which jumps seven spots after beating Wisconsin by 12…With Marquette almost certain to be ranked, Seton Hall (NET: 29; Kenpom: 27) will have a good chance to get back into the poll Jan. 31 with a sweep of St. John’s and the Golden Eagles this week.

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By conference: Big East (5), Big Ten (4), SEC (4), Big 12 (3), Pac-12 (3), West Coast (2), ACC (1), American (1), Atlantic 10 (1), Mountain West (1).

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Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Associated Press Top 25 basketball poll: Jerry Carino's ballot

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