Baylor gets top seed in NCAA committee's initial rankings

Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie (33) rebounds again Kansas State forwards Joe Petrakis (35) and Xavier Sneed.

It's time to send a new Top 25 men's basketball ballot to The Associated Press.

I sent Michigan State to the penalty box after it lost to Penn State at home and Michigan on the road. Spartans have lost four of their last six games, including three straight.

I evicted Arizona after it lost at home to UCLA.

Here is the ballot.

1. Baylor (21-1) stays here after winning at Kansas State and beating Oklahoma State. Next: Monday at Texas and a huge game Saturday against West Virginia.

2. Gonzaga (25-1) stays here after beating Loyola Marymount and winning big at St. Mary's. Next: Sat. at Pepperdine.

3. San Diego State (24-0) stays here after winning at Air Force. Next: Tues. against New Mexico and Sunday at Boise State.

4. Kansas (20-3) stays here after beating Texas and winning at TCU. Next: a huge game Wed. at West Virginia and a Sat. game against Oklahoma.

5. Louisville (21-3) stays here after beating Wake Forest and UVa. Next: Wed. at Georgia Tech and Sat. at Clemson.

6. Dayton (21-2) stays here after beating St. Louis. Next: a big game Tuesday against Rhode Island and a Sat. game at UMass.

7. Duke (20-3) stays here after winning at Boston College and also winning at OT thriller at North Carolina. Next: a huge game Monday against Florida State and a Sat. game with Notre Dame.

8. Florida State (20-3) stays here after beating North Carolina and Miami. Next: the huge game Monday at Duke and a Sat. game against Syracuse.

9. Seton Hall (18-5) moves up one spot after winning at Georgetown and at Villanova. Next: a huge game Wed. against Creighton and a Sat. game at Providence.

10. Maryland (19-4) moves up four spots after beating Rutgers and winning at Illinois. Next: Tuesday against Nebraska and a big game Saturday at Michigan State.

11. Auburn (21-2) stays here winning in OT at Arkansas and winning in OT against LSU. Next: Wed. against Alabama and Sat. at Missouri.

12. Kentucky (18-5) stays here after beating Miss. State and winning at Tennessee. Next: Tuesday at Vandy and Sat. against Mississippi.

13. Penn State (18-5) moves up seven spots after winning at Michigan State and beating Minnesota. Next: a good game Tuesday at Purdue and a Sat. game with Northwestern.

14. Villanova (17-6) falls five spots after losing at Butler and losing to Seton Hall. Next: a huge game Wed. against Marquette and a Sunday game at Temple.

15. West Virginia (18-5) falls two spots after beating Iowa State and losing at Oklahoma. Next: the huge game Wed. against Kansas and the huge game Sat. at Baylor. Tough week.

16. Colorado (19-5) moves up eight spots after beating Cal and Stanford. Next: a huge game Thurs. at Oregon and a Sat. game at Oregon State.

17. Texas Tech (15-8) moves up eight spots after beating Oklahoma and winning at Texas. Next; Monday against TCU and Sat. at Oklahoma State.

18. Iowa (17-7) falls two spots after losing at Purdue and beating Nebraska. Next: Thursday at Indiana and Sunday at Minnesota.

19. Illinois (16-7) falls a spot after losing to Maryland. Next: a big game Tuesday against Michigan State and a good game Saturday at Rutgers.

20. Marquette (17-6) cracks my ballot here after beating Butler. Marquette has won six of its last seven games, with the lone loss in that span coming at Butler. Marquette also boasts wins over Villanova and Purdue.

21. Butler (18-6) stays here after beating Villanova and losing at Marquette. Next: Wed. against Xavier and Sat. against Georgetown.

22. Oregon (18-6) falls three spots after losing at Oregon State. Next: the huge game Thursday against Colorado and a Sunday game against Utah.

23. LSU (17-6) falls eight spots after losing at Vanderbilt and losing in OT at Auburn. Next: Tues. against Missouri and Sat. at Alabama.

24. Houston (19-5) returns to my ballot after a one-week absence after beating Tulane and squashing Wichita State. Houston has won seven of its last eight games. Next: Wed. at South Florida and Sat. at SMU.

25. For this last spot, I looked very hard at Rhode Island. I also looked at Northern Iowa, Purdue, Stephen F. Austin and BYU. I also thought about keeping Michigan State on my ballot in this spot. But in the end, I decided to drop Creighton three spots and keep Creighton (18-6) on my ballot at No. 25. Creighton lost at Providence and beat St. John's. Don't like the loss at Providence, but Creighton has wins over Texas Tech, Marquette and Villanova on its resume -- and that win at Villanova is still pretty recent (Feb. 1). So I will keep the Bluejays on my ballot. Next: a huge game Wed. at Seton Hall and a Sat. game against DePaul.

Contact Mark Berman at or 981-3125. Follow him on Twitter: @BermanRoanoke.


Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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