It's time to send a new Top 25 men's basketball ballot to The Associated Press.
I kicked out Providence after it loss to St. John's.
I booted TCU after it lost to Kansas State and Baylor. No shame in those losses, but injury-plagued TCU has now lost four of its last five games, including three in a row.
I also need a new No. 1 after Purdue lost to Northwestern. I kept Purdue No. 1 on my ballot last week after it lost at Indiana, but I am not doing that again. And I won't be moving up my No. 2 last week, Arizona, to No. 1 because Arizona lost to Stanford.
Here is the ballot:
1. Alabama (22-3) moves up two spots to No. 1 after beating Florida and winning at Auburn. I know Alabama has one more loss than Houston, but Alabama has actually beaten Houston. I have had Alabama ahead of Houston my ballot the past three weeks, so why would I change now? Alabama deserves to be No. 1. If you are choosing between Alabama and Houston for No. 1, head-to-head matters. Next: a big game Wed. at Tennessee and a Saturday game with Georgia.
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2. Houston (23-2) moves up two spots after beating Tulsa. Next: Thursday at SMU and Sunday against Memphis.
3. Purdue (23-3) moves down two spots after beating Iowa and losing at Northwestern. Next: Thursday at Maryland and Sunday against Ohio State.
4. UCLA (21-4) moves up two spots after winning at Oregon State and at Oregon. Next: Thursday against Stanford and Saturday against Cal.
5. Texas (20-5) stays here after losing at Kansas and beating West Virginia. Texas is still in first place in the Big 12, so I am still going to keep the Longhorns ahead of Kansas on my ballot and not drop them, despite the loss at Kansas. I also want to keep Texas ahead of the Baylor team it beat. Next: Monday at Texas Tech and Saturday against Oklahoma.
6. Baylor (19-6) moves up three spots after beating Oklahoma and winning at TCU. Next: Monday against West Virginia and a big game Saturday at Kansas.
7. Kansas (20-5) moves up four spots after beating Texas and winning at Oklahoma. Next: a good game Tuesday at Oklahoma State and the big game Saturday with Baylor.
8. Arizona (22-4) falls six spots after winning at Cal and losing at Stanford. Next: Thursday against Utah and Saturday against Colorado.
9. Virginia (19-4) moves up three spots after beating N.C. State and defeating Duke in OT (well, with an officiating asterisk). Next: Wednesday at Louisville and Saturday against Notre Dame.
10. Creighton (17-8) moves up seven spots after winning at Seton Hall and beating UConn. Creighton has won eight in a row, including wins over Providence and Xavier. Next: a good game Tuesday at Providence and a Saturday game at St. John's.
11. Gonzaga (21-5) moves up five spots after beating San Francisco and BYU. Next: an intriguing game Thursday at Loyola Marymount and a Saturday game at Pepperdine.
12. Xavier (19-6) falls four spots after losing at Butler. Next: a big game Wed. at Marquette and a Sat. game against DePaul.
13. Kansas State (19-6) stays here after beating TCU and losing at Texas Tech. Next: Tuesday at Oklahoma and a big game Saturday against Iowa State.
14. Marquette (20-6) stays here after losing at UConn and winning at Georgetown. Next: the big game Wed. against Xavier.
15. Tennessee (19-6) drops eight spots after buzzer-beating losses to Vandy and Missouri. Next: the big game Wed. against Alabama and a Saturday game at Kentucky.
16. Pittsburgh (18-7) moves up two spots after beating Louisville and winning at Florida State. This is my third straight week ranking Pitt, and I am not sure why I am in the minority. Pitt has beaten Northwestern, N.C. State, UNC, Virginia, Wake Forest and Miami. Seems like a good resume to me. Pitt is now tied with UVa atop the ACC standings. Next: Tuesday against Boston College and Saturday at Virginia Tech.
17. Miami (20-5) moves up two spots after thrashing Duke and beating Louisville. Next: Monday at North Carolina and Saturday against Wake Forest.
18. Indiana (18-7) moves up three spots after beating Rutgers and winning at Michigan. Next: a big game Wednesday at Northwestern and a good game Saturday against Illinois.
19. Iowa State (16-8) falls nine spots after falling at West Virginia and losing to Oklahoma State. Iowa State has lost four of its last five games. Next: a big game Wed. against TCU and a big game Saturday at Kansas State.
20. Saint Mary's (22-5) falls five spots after losing at Loyola Marymount in OT and winning at Portland. Next: Thursday at San Diego and Saturday against Portland.
21. San Diego State (20-5) moves up two spots after winning at Utah State and beating UNLV. Next: Wed. at Fresno State.
22. UConn (19-7) moves up two spots after beating Marquette and losing at Creighton. Next: Saturday against Seton Hall.
23. Northwestern (18-7) cracks my ballot here after winning at Ohio State and beating Purdue. Northwestern has also beaten Illinois and Indiana. They also swept Wisconsin and won at Michigan State. Northwestern is now tied with Indiana for second in the Big Ten. Next: a big game Wednesday against Indiana and a Sunday game against Iowa.
24. North Carolina State (20-6) moves up a spot after losing at UVa and winning at Boston College. Next: Tuesday at Syracuse and Sunday against North Carolina.
25. For this last spot, I looked hard at Illinois, Nevada and Florida Atlantic. But in the end, I decided to put Missouri back on my ballot after a one-week absence after the Tigers (19-6) beat South Carolina and won at Tennessee. The Tigers now own marquee wins over Iowa State and Tennessee. Plus they beat the Illinois team I was eyeing for this spot. Next: Tues. at Auburn and Saturday against Texas A&M.