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Mark Berman's AP Top 25 men's basketball ballot

Mark Berman's AP Top 25 men's basketball ballot

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Zags

Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi.

It's time to send another Top 25 men's basketball ballot to the Associated Press.

I kicked out Rutgers after it lost to Michigan State and Ohio State. Rutgers has lost four of its last five games, including three straight.

I evicted Northwestern after its lopsided loss to Illinois. Northwestern has lost three in a row.

I booted Oregon after it lost at Colorado.

I kicked out Florida after it lost to Alabama and Kentucky.

I did not have to add Louisville or Ohio State because I had those teams on my ballot last week.

Here is the ballot:

1. Gonzaga (12-0) stays here after beating BYU and winning at Portland. Next: Thurs. against Pepperdine and Sat. at Saint Mary's.

2. Baylor (11-0) stays here after beating Oklahoma and winning at TCU. Next: a big game Tuesday at West Virginia and a big game Saturday at Texas Tech.

3. Villanova (8-1) stays here after another idle week. Next: another idle week. The Wildcats' COVID pause is not expected to end until Jan. 19 at the earliest.

4. Texas (10-1) stays here after beating Iowa State and winning at West Virginia. Next: a big game Wed. against Texas Tech and a Sat. game with Kansas State.

5. Kansas (10-2) stays here after winning at TCU and beating Oklahoma. Next: a big game Tues. at Oklahoma State and a Sat. game with Iowa State.

6. Creighton (10-2) stays here after beating Seton Hall and St. John's. Next: Sat. at Butler.

7. Iowa (11-2) stays here after winning at Maryland and beating Minnesota. Next: a big game Thurs. against Michigan State.

8. Michigan (10-0) stays here after beating Minnesota. Next: a big game Tuesday against Wisconsin and a big game Sat. at Minnesota.

9. Tennessee (9-1) stays here after beating Arkansas and winning at Texas A&M. Next: Tues. at Vanderbilt and a Sat. rematch with Vandy.

10. Wisconsin (10-2) moves up two spots after beating Indiana in double OT. Next: the big game Tues. at Michigan and a big game Friday at Rutgers.

11. Houston (10-1) stays here after beating Wichita State and Tulane. Next: Thurs. at South Florida and a Sunday game with UCF.

12. Clemson (9-1) moves up six spots after beating N.C. State in OT. Next: hopefully the Tigers' COVID pause ends with Saturday's big game against UVa.

13. Louisville (8-1) moves up 12 spots after beating Virginia Tech. Next: Wed. at Wake Forest and Sat. at Miami.

14. West Virginia (9-4) moves up two spots after winning at Oklahoma State and losing to Texas in a close shave. Next: the big game Tues. at Baylor and a Sat. game with TCU.

15. Missouri (7-2) falls five spots after losing at Miss. State. Next: Sat. at Texas A&M.

16. Illinois (9-4) falls two spots after winning at Northwestern and losing at home to Maryland. Next: Wed. at Nebraska and a big game Sat. against Ohio State.

17. Minnesota (10-4) falls two spots after losing at Michigan and at Iowa. Next: the big game Sat. against Michigan.

18. Ohio State (9-3) moves up two spots after winning at Rutgers. Next: a good game Wed. against Northwestern and a big game Sat. at Illinois.

19. Virginia Tech (9-2) falls two spots after losing at Louisville and beating Notre Dame. Next: a big game Tues. against Duke and a Sat. game at Wake Forest.

20. Alabama (9-3) cracks my ballot here after beating Florida and winning at Auburn. Alabama has won five in a row, including a win at Tennessee. Next: Tues. at Kentucky and Sat. against Arkansas.

21. UCLA (9-2) cracks my ballot here after winning at Arizona State and at Arizona. UCLA has won four in a row, including a win over Colorado, since losing to Ohio State. UCLA also beat Marquette last month. Next: Thurs. against Wash. State and Sat. against Washington.

22. Saint Louis (7-1) stays here after an idle week. Next: another idle week; the team's COVID pause is not expected to end until a Jan. 20 game at UMass.

23. Colorado (8-3) cracks my ballot here after beating Oregon. Colorado has also won at Southern Cal. Next: Monday at Utah, Wed. against Cal and Sat. against Stanford.

24. Oklahoma State (8-3) falls one spot after losing at home to WVU and winning at Kansas State. Next: the big game Tues. against Kansas and a Sat. game with Oklahoma.

25. For this last spot, I looked hard at Boise State, Southern Cal, Winthrop and Drake. I also eyed Texas Tech, UVa and Duke. But in the end, I decided to have UConn (6-1) crack my ballot at No. 25 after its wins at Marquette and at Butler. UConn also has a win over Southern Cal. Its lone loss was in OT to Creighton. Next for UConn: Monday at DePaul.

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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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