The top four teams in this week’s AP Top 25 poll are unchanged, but there has been plenty of movement elsewhere. The odds to win the Men’s National Championship continue to shift as well, which opens up many intriguing possibilities for futures bettors.
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Let’s take a look at the current odds, starting with the favorites to win it all.
Duke Blue Devils
Top 25: 2
The Blue Devils remain the top choice in the eyes of oddsmakers to be cutting down the nets at the end of the season. The team has ripped off four wins since its upset home loss to Syracuse, four of which have come by double digits. Duke will be facing four ranked teams over its next seven games, a tough stretch which will help to decide the ACC.
Top 25: 3
The Cavaliers fell to Duke back on January 19, but the team has won four in a row since then. All four of those wins were by 10 points or more. Virginia has a brutal stretch upcoming in which they face four ranked squads, with three of those game coming on the road. If they still have just one loss when that run is in the books, the hype train will start getting crowded.
Top 25: 1
The #1 team in the AP Top 25 poll hasn’t lost since November 23 when they dropped a six-point decision to Kansas in overtime. The winning streak stands at 16 in a row, and it’s relatively smooth sailing up ahead. Just three games versus currently ranked teams remain the rest of the way, but that span includes a home and away set with #5 Kentucky.
Top 25: 4
On the other side of the country, the Bulldogs have quietly racked up 21 wins and counting. Barring any major hiccups the rest of the way, we are looking at a top seed in the tournament. Gonzaga’s only two losses of the season came in a tough back-to-back set against Tennessee and North Carolina, two of the top programs in the nation.
The Next Tier
Top 25: 7
The Wolverines suffered their second loss of the season last Friday night on the road versus Iowa. That marked the team’s second loss in its last five, with both defeats coming on the road to Big Ten rivals. The program has a chance to avenge one of those losses this Saturday when they welcome the #19 Wisconsin Badgers to town for a noon EST tip-off.
Michigan State Spartans
Top 25: 9
The Spartans have dropped their last two in a row. Last time out, it was 4-point upset loss in overtime at home to Indiana. The team remains in a three-way tie for 1st place in the Big Ten with a mark of 9-2 in conference play. A home and away set with in-state rival Michigan highlights the remaining schedule, and the Spartans have a tough game with #19 Wisconsin on tap for next Tuesday.
Top 25: 5
Since dropping a 2-point road decision to Alabama on January 5, the Wildcats have won eight in a row. That span includes a pair of victories over ranked teams. Kentucky has two games remaining with Tennessee in the regular season, a team they trail by just a single game in the SEC standings. Outside of that, the program has only one other game with a currently ranked squad.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Top 25: 8
The tar Heels are riding a five-game winning streak and continue to climb up the polls. The team’s last loss came at home to Louisville by a score of 83-62. North Carolina’s last three wins have been by 10 points or more. Three of the team’s next six come against ranked teams, and they close out the regular season on March 9 with a home game versus Duke.
Nevada Wolf Pack
Top 25: 6
In the battle for the unofficial top team out west, B=Nevada is neck-and-neck with Gonzaga. The Wolf Pack have also quietly racked up 20+ wins, with their lone defeat on the year sandwiched between a 14- and seven-game winning streak. No games with ranked squads remain, so signs point to Nevada having a lofty seed come tournament time.
Top 25: 13
The Jayhawks dropped two spots in this week’s poll after dropping two of their last three. Both defeats came on the road – nine points to #8 Kentucky and 10 points to unranked Texas – but they righted the ship with a big 16-point win over Texas Tech on Saturday. As of right now, only one game versus a ranked squad remains on the regular season schedule.
Top 25: 14
The Wildcats stayed put at #14 in this week’s poll, but they continue to resemble a team on the rise. The winning streak now stands at 10 games since the program dropped back-to-back games in December. A big test looms on Saturday when they hit the road to take on #10 Marquette, the first game of a home-and-away set for the Big East powerhouses.
Marquette Golden Eagles
Top 25: 10
Speaking of the Golden Eagles, they have also stayed put in this week’s poll. The team has won eight in a row since falling on the road to St. John’s on New Year’s Day. Two games with Villanova are the biggest tests for the remainder of the regular season, but there are plenty of potential landmines up ahead in the form of other Big East rivals.
Top 25: 15
The Boilermakers are in a three-way logjam atop the Big Ten standings. They are tied with Michigan and Michigan State, two squads with whom they share identical 9-2 conference records. Purdue is playing its best basketball of the season while riding a seven-game winning streak. The team returns to action on Saturday for a home date with Nebraska.
Top 25: NA
The Tigers have tailed off since a strong 9-1 start to the regular season. The team has lost five of its last 11, suffering a tough three-game losing streak along the way. All is not lost for Auburn, as they are just four games behind SEC leader Tennessee. A challenging road date with #21 LSU is on tap for this Saturday, while games with Kentucky and Tennessee highlight the remaining schedule.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Top 25: 18
The Red Raiders have hit some turbulence. The team dropped two spots in this week’s poll, but they’re fortunate it wasn’t a more pronounced drop. Texas Tech has dropped four of its last seven contests, with only one of the defeats over that span coming to a ranked team. A 31-point blowout of West Virginia on Monday night may help to steady the ship.
Top 25: 24
The Terrapins have dropped three of their last four games and are in danger of falling out of the Top 25 if the rough stretch continues. Two of the losses came on the road to ranked teams, while the third was an 11-point setback versus Illinois at a neutral location. Starting with next Tuesday’s game versus Purdue, Maryland has three games in a row versus ranked conference foes.
Top 25: 21
The Tigers dropped a one-point heartbreaker at home to Arkansas on Saturday. That defeat snapped an impressive 10-game winning streak, a span which included two victories over ranked teams. Only two games versus currently ranked teams are on the remaining docket, but they are real doozies. LSU travels to Kentucky on February 12 and welcomes Tennessee to town on February 23.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Top 25: 11
The Hokies lost at home on Monday night to Louisville, snapping a three-game winning streak. That came on the heels of an impressive 47-24 shutdown victory on the road at NC State on Saturday. Both of the team’s recent losses have come to ranked teams. Virginia Tech gets a bit of a breather over the next three versus unranked clubs.
Top 25: 23
The Bulls are one of the week’s biggest fallers. The team has dropped two of its last four to conference rivals, with both losses coming on the road. Buffalo has dropped five spots in the AP Top 25, and they are now a half-game behind Bowling Green in the MAC East division. The team gets back in action this Saturday with a home game versus Central Michigan.
Top 25: 12
The Cougars are cruising since losing by four points on the road to Temple on January 9. The team has won six in a row since that point, and they got some revenge on Temple last time out via a seven-point home victory. Houston is tied with Cincinnati atop the American Athletic Conference standings, with both squads checking in at 9-1 in conference play.
Top 25: 20
The Hawkeyes are on the rise. The team snapped a two-game losing streak in emphatic fashion on Friday night, picking up a 74-59 home victory over #5 Michigan. Iowa will be back in action on Thursday night at Indiana. The Hawkeyes are just 6-5 in Big Ten play and are currently three games behind conference leaders Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue.
Sleepers to Keep an Eye On
Top 25: 16
The Cardinals suffered a 10-point home defeat at the hands of North Carolina on Saturday, but they followed that up with an eight-point road victory over Virginia Tech on Monday. That span came on the heels of a six-game winning streak, a stretch that included two victories over ranked teams.
Iowa State Cyclones
Top 25: 17
The Cyclones have won their last four games in a row. The team is tied atop the Big 12 standings with a mark of 6-3 in conference play. No games versus ranked teams are currently on the docket, with the exception of the final game of the regular season when they welcome Texas Tech to town.
Kansas State Wildcats
Top 25: NA
The Wildcats still haven’t cracked the Top 25, but they are the fourth-highest vote getter among teams which didn’t make the cut this week. If they can find some success against in-state rival Kansas this season, we can safely expect Kansas State to rise accordingly.
Top 25: 19
The Badgers leapt five spots in this week’s poll. The team is riding a five-game winning streak, a span which includes two victories over ranked Big Ten rivals. There’s tough sledding up ahead, as Wisconsin faces off with Michigan and Michigan State in back-to-back contests after a road game at Minnesota.