Time to send another Top 25 ballot to The Associated Press.
I kicked out UNC after its loss at UAB. I thought about keeping UNC in, but I think I need to see more of the Tar Heels before I rank them again.
I evicted Creighton after its losses to San Diego State and George Washington.
I booted Gonzaga after its loss to Dayton.
I kicked out Belmont after its loss to VCU.
I also evicted Iowa, after some hesitation, after its OT loss to Villanova.
I did not need to kick out Marquette because I had already done so a few weeks ago.
Here is the ballot.
1, Michigan State stays here after beating Mount St. Mary’s. Next: big game Wed. against UNC.
2. Syracuse moved up seven spots after beating Minnesota, Cal and Baylor to win the Maui Invitational. Good week. Next: big game Tuesday vs. Indiana, and a Sat. game with Binghamton.
3. Arizona moves up three spots after beating Drexel and Duke to win the NIT Season Tip-Off. Next: Tuesday vs. Texas Tech and Sat. vs. UNLV.
4. Ohio State stays here after beating Wyoming and North Florida. Next: Wed. vs. Maryland and Sat. vs. Central Connecticut.
5. Kentucky stays here after beating Cleveland State, Eastern Michigan and Providence. Next: big game Friday against Baylor.
6. Villanova cracks my ballot here after beating Southern Cal, Kansas and Iowa to win the Battle 4 Atlantis. Great week. Villanova has three starters back from an NCAA tournament team. I had considered Villanova for my preseason poll, and I am certainly sold now. Next: Wed. against Penn and Sat. against St. Joe’s.
7. Memphis moves up 16 spots after beating Siena, LSU and Oklahoma State to win the Old Spice Classic. Big win over the Cowboys. Next: Sat. vs. Northwestern State.
8. Oklahoma State falls five spots after beating South Florida, Purdue and Butler and losing to Memphis. Next: Friday against South Carolina.
9. Iowa State falls two spots after beating Missouri-Kansas City because I needed to make room for Villanova and Memphis. next: Monday against Auburn and Sat. against Northern Ill.
10. Baylor stays here after beating Chaminade, Dayton and Hardin-Simmons and losing to Syracuse. Next: the big game Friday with Kentucky in Dallas.
11. UConn stays here after beating Loyola of Maryland. Next: big game Tuesday against Florida and a Friday game with Maine.
12. Wisconsin stays here after beating St. Louis and West Virginia. Next: big game Wed. at UVa and a good game Sat. against Marquette.
13. Kansas falls 11 spots after beating Wake Forest and UTEP and losing to Villanovs. Next: big game Sat. against Colorado.
14. Louisville stays here after beating Southern Miss. Next: Wed. vs. Missouri-KC and Sat. vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.
15. Wichita State stays here after beating DePaul and BYU to win the CBE Classic and winning at St. Louis. Next: Sat. vs. Oral Roberts.
16. UMass stays here after an idle week. NextL Tuesday at E. Michigan and nice test Sat. against BYU.
17. Oregon moves up a spot after beating Pacific, North Dakota and Cal Poly. Next: Sunday at Ole Miss.
18. Dayton cracks my ballot here after beating Gonzaga and Cal and losing to Baylor by one point. Next: Wed. against Delaware State and Sat. at Illinois State.
19. Boise State moves up two spots after beating Idaho and Portland State. Next: Tueseday against Utah and Thursday against Carroll College.
20. Colorado moves up two spots after beating Air Force. Next: Tuesday at Colorado State and big game Saturday against Kansas.
21. San Diego State cracks my ballot here after beating The College of Charleston, Creighton and Marquette to win The Wooden Legacy. San Diego State has two starters back from an NCAA tournament team. Next: Thursday at San Diego and Sunday against Washington.
22. UCLA moves up three spots after beating Nevada and Northwestern. Next: Tuesday against Cal Santa Barbara and good game Sat. at Missouri.
23. Florida returns to my ballot here after beating Jacksonville and Florida State. Next: big game Tuesday at UConn, starting off a three-game stretch against ranked foes.
24. VCU returns to my ballot here after beating Northeastern and winning at Belmont. VCU has bounced back after losing to FSU and Georgetown. VCU has road wins at UVa and Belmont this season. Next: Thursday against E. Kentucky and Sunday against ODU.
25. For this last spot, I looked hard at Charlotte and considered leaving UNC and Iowa on my ballot. I also eyed Pitt and UVa, among others. But in the end, I decided to drop Duke 17 spots and leave them on my ballot at No. 25 after Duke beat Alabama and lost to Arizona. Duke does not have a bad loss, having lost to Kansas and Arizona, but it does not yet have a quality win. It had better beat Michigan on Tuesday to stay on my ballot next Sunday.