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Kansas drops seven spots behind Wichita State in latest AP college basketball poll

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Kansas started the week with a horrendous half of basketball in which it had 18 turnovers at Florida and finished the week with a terrific half that had Joel Embiid dominating and Naadir Tharpe facilitating against New Mexico in the Sprint Center. It translated to a tumble from 13th to 18th, seven spots behind Wichita State, in the Associated Press college basketball poll released Monday.

The AP top 25, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 15, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:

            Record Pts Prv
  1. Arizona (63)— 11-0— 1,623— 1
  2. Syracuse (2)— 10-0— 1,528— 2
  3. Ohio St.— 10-0— 1,464— 3
  4. Wisconsin— 12-0— 1,381— 4
  5. Michigan St.— 8-1— 1,297— 5
  6. Louisville— 9-1— 1,264— 6
  7. Oklahoma St.— 9-1— 1,165— 7
  8. Duke— 7-2— 1,053— 8
  9. Villanova— 10-0— 1,053— 10
  10. UConn— 9-0— 1,035— 9
  11. Wichita St.— 10-0— 923— 12
  12. Baylor— 8-1— 898— 14
  13. Oregon— 9-0— 834— 15
  14. North Carolina— 7-2— 792— 18
  15. Memphis— 7-1— 755— 16
  16. Florida— 7-2— 699— 19
  17. Iowa St.— 8-0— 698— 17
  18. Kansas— 7-3— 482— 13
  19. Kentucky— 8-3— 414— 11
  20. Colorado— 10-1— 405— 21
  21. Gonzaga— 10-1— 376— 20
  22. UMass— 9-0— 351— 22
  23. Missouri— 10-0— 222— 24
  24. San Diego St.— 7-1— 176— 25
  25. Iowa— 10-2— 72— 23
    Others receiving votes: UCLA 69, Pittsburgh 66, Saint Mary's (Cal) 11, George Washington 5, Harvard 4, Oklahoma 4, Michigan 3, Toledo 3.

My AP ballot:

  1. Arizona: Freshman star Aaron Gordon knows how to draw fouls, which isn’t necessarily such a good thing for nation’s top-ranked team. Gordon shooting just .447 from line.

  2. Syracuse: With the possible exception of Indiana center Noah Vonleh, Orange point guard Tyler Ennis is the nation’s most underrated freshman. Canadian shoots .429 from three and has a 5-to-1 assists-turnover ratio.4. Ohio State: All 10 victories by double digits. ... With as much trouble as Trey McDonald has shooting from 15 feet (6 for 18), it’s no surprise he hasn’t attempted a trey.

  3. Ohio State: With as much trouble as Trey McDonald has shooting from the free-throw line (6 for 18), it's no surprise he hasn't attempted a trey.

  4. Wisconsin: All five starters shoot .390 or better from three and three of them are at .419 or better.

  5. Louisville: Rick Pitino’s coaching tree bears a ton of fruit: Mick Cronin (Cincinnati), Billy Donovan (Florida), Richard Pitino (Minnesota), Herb Sendek (Arizona State), Tubby Smith (Texas Tech), Reggie Theus (Cal State Northridge) and Kevin Willard (Seton Hall). Pitino not only had excellent vision as a UMass point guard, he can see future head coaches when he hires them as assistants.

  6. Michigan State: Nation’s top backcourt battling injuries. Gary Harris (out with ankle injury) and Keith Appling (playing with sore wrist and hip) make the Spartans go.

  7. Oklahoma State: Marcus Smart settling for threes as often as he does is akin to a flame-thrower feeding the No. 9 hitter off-speed pitches.

  8. Duke: Comparisons to Carmelo Anthony looking pretty good for Jabari Parker so far.

  9. North Carolina: The season opened with Kentucky, Michigan State and Louisville holding down the top three spots in the AP poll. Carolina has beaten all three of them by a combined margin of 28 points, overshadowing losses to Belmont and UAB.

  10. Villanova: A whopping 45.6 percent of Wildcats’ shots are three-pointers, eighth-highest percentage in the nation, yet they make only 32.1 percent. So how do they stay undefeated? By playing terrific defense.

  11. Wichita State: Shockers hit the road to try to make it two victories against SEC schools in four days Tuesday vs. Alabama. Senior Trevor Releford, brother of former KU starter Travis, leads Crimson Tide in scoring (16.4), three-point shooting (.386) and turnovers (3.5). Getting the ball inside will be key to staying undefeated for Shockers.

  12. UConn: Huskies No. 1 in nation with .465 three-point accuracy, compared to .295 for opponents.

  13. Baylor: Cory Jefferson and Rico Gathers hammer the offensive boards consistently for Bears.

  14. Kentucky: Youngest team in nation gets 83 percent of its points from freshmen, led by Julius Randle (17.2), who also gives UK 11.4 rebounds per game.

  15. Oregon: For more than a quarter-century people looked at me funny when I told them field-goal percentage is meaningless since it assigns equal value to three-point and two-point field goals, instead of giving a three-point bucket 150 percent of the value of a two-pointer. In recent years, the stat is tracked and called “effective field-goal percentage.” Oregon ranks fourth in the nation at .594.

  16. Florida: What a week for the Gators. It started with defeating Kansas (24 turnovers) and ended with news that 6-10 McDonald’s All-American Chris Walker had been admitted to school and cleared to practice with the team. He still needs to make it through the NCAA Clearinghouse before he can play in games.

  17. Kansas: Georgetown started its winning streak with a 27-point victory against Kansas State. Streak should grow to seven after Hoyas play Elon on Tuesday. KU will be facing confident squad Saturday (11 a.m. tipoff) in Allen Fieldhouse.

  18. Memphis: Tigers have tough one Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden against Florida in Jimmy V Classic.

  19. Iowa State: Some day, Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle can tell his grandchildren he played the part of Ben McLemore in Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg’s recurring nightmare. Tuttle, as McLemore did a year ago, banked in a three-point shot after Hoiberg, up three points, decided not to foul. It forced overtime. The difference this time: The Cyclones went on to win. “I’m sick of seeing people bank in threes,” Hoiberg said. Put in the same situation vs. Iowa, Hoiberg told his players to foul, but they didn’t execute his wishes and Iowa launched a potential game-tying three. Seeing a terrific coach like Hoiberg struggle with a no-brainer decision is like watching a great basketball player struggle at the free-throw line. Foul. Period.

  20. UMass: Junior center Cady Lalanne, who originally signed with Georgia but was denied admission at the last minute, having break-through season, his first without injuries. Averaging 15.2 points and 9.8 rebounds.

  21. Colorado: Fourth-year coach Tad Boyle has Buffs on course for third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Last season was first time CU made the field in consecutive years since 1962-63.

  22. Gonzaga: Zags, shooting .444 from three-point land, will face pro-K-State crowd against Wildcats for 2:30 tipoff Saturday.

  23. Pittsburgh: Young, undefeated team fattening up on soft schedule won’t have that luxury once ACC season starts.

  24. Missouri: Averaging 37.2 minutes, 19 points and 5.5 rebounds and shooting .422 from three, Jabari Brown isn’t the best Jabari in college basketball, but he is the Tigers’ most valuable player.

  25. San Diego State: Hot-shooting Aztecs visit Allen Fieldhouse Jan. 5. Senior Xavier Thames and freshman Matt Shrigley combining to shoot .532 from three.

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