A slew of holiday tournaments throughout the men’s college basketball landscape produced wholesale changes in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll, including a new No. 1.
Houston takes over the top spot for the first time since USA TODAY Sports started administering the coaches poll in the 1991-92 season. The Cougars, who were second last week, have 23 of 32 first-place votes and inherit the top spot in the wake of a pair of losses by North Carolina. The Tar Heels, meanwhile, tumble all the way to 15th, a precipitous decline for a No. 1 team.
Texas climbs a couple of notches to No. 2, receiving five first-place nods. Virginia makes a three-position jump to No. 3 and was picked first by one voter.
The significant movers begin at the No. 4 spot, where Arizona makes an eight-place jump thanks to an unbeaten start that includes a two-point win against Creighton. Purdue vaults all the way to No. 5 from No. 23 a week ago due to decisive wins against Gonzaga and Duke. The Boilermakers were voted No. 1 on three ballots. Connecticut also makes a big leap from No. 22 to No. 6. All three won their respective holiday tournaments last week.
Creighton, despite the close loss to the Wildcats, climbs a spot to No. 7. Indiana, Kansas and Baylor round out the top 10 as Gonzaga slides to 12th and Duke to 16th. Making another significant move up is Tennessee, climbing eight spots to No. 13.
Iowa State, the first to upend the Tar Heels over the weekend, enters the poll at No. 23. No. 25 Ohio State also moves in as Texas Tech and Iowa drop out.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Houston tops men's basketball poll; Purdue, Connecticut surge ahead