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

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Sampson

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson

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

I evicted Wisconsin after it lost to Michigan State and Indiana.

I kicked out San Diego State after it lost to New Mexico.

I booted Duke after it lost at Clemson.

I kicked out Arkansas after it lost to Alabama and Vandy.

I booted Missouri after it lost to Texas A&M and Florida.

Here is the ballot.

1. Houston (17-1) stays here after beating South Florida. Next: Tues. at Tulane and Sunday against Temple.

2. Kansas (16-1) stays here after beating Oklahoma and Iowa State. Next: a big game Tuesday at Kansas State ad a big game Saturday against TCU.

3. Purdue (16-1) stays here after beating Nebraska. Next: an intriguing game Monday at Michigan State, a Thursday visit to Minnesota and a Sunday game against Maryland.

4. Gonzaga (16-3) moves up two spots after winning at BYU and beating Portland. Next: Thurs. against Loyola Marymount and Saturday at Pacific.

5. Alabama (15-2) moves up two spots after winning at Arkansas and crushing LSU. I thought about moving Alabama up to No. 4. But Gonzaga beat Alabama last month, so I'm gong to keep the Zags ahead of the Crimson Tide. Next: Tuesday at Vandy and a good game Saturday at Missouri.

6. UCLA (16-2) moves up two spots after beating Utah and Colorado. Next: Thursday at Arizona State and a big game Saturday at Arizona.

7. Texas (15-2) moves up four spots after beating TCU and Texas Tech. Next: a big game Tuesday at Iowa State and a Saturday game at West Virginia.

8. Xavier (15-3) moves up four spots after beating Creighton and Marquette. Next: Wed. at DePaul and Sat. against Georgetown.

9. Tennessee (14-3) falls four spots after beating Vanderbilt and losing to Kentucky. Next: Tues. at Miss. State and Sat. at LSU.

10. Virginia (13-3) moves up five spots after beating North Carolina and winning at Florida State. Next: Wednesday against slumping Virginia Tech and Saturday at Wake Forest.

11. The College of Charleston (18-1) moves up five spots after winning at UNC Wilmington and beating Elon. Next: Monday against William and Mary, Thursday at Monmouth and Saturday at Northeastern.

12. Iowa State (13-3) moves up a spot after beating Texas Tech and losing by two at Kansas. Next: the big game Tuesday against Texas and a Sat. game at Oklahoma State.

13. TCU (14-3) moves up five spots after losing at Texas and beating Kansas State. Next: Wed. at WVU and the big game Saturday at Kansas.

14. Kansas State (15-2) falls four spots after beating Oklahoma State and losing at TCU. Next: the big game Tues. against Kansas and a Saturday game against Texas Tech.

15. Arizona (15-3) falls six spots after winning at Oregon State and losing at Oregon. Next: Thursday against USC and the big game Saturday against UCLA.

16. Marquette (14-5) moves up eight spots after beating UConn and losing at Xavier. Next: Wed. against Providence and Sat. at Seton Hall.

17. UConn (15-4) falls 13 spots after losing at Marquette and falling at home to St. John's.  UConn has lost four of its last five. Next: Wed. at Seton Hall and Sunday against Butler.

18. Miami (14-3) drops four spots after beating Boston College and losing in OT at North Carolina State. Miami is now 1-1 against State, and also owns wins over Providence, Rutgers and UVa. So I'm going to keep Miami ahead of ballot newcomers Clemson and State. Next: Monday against Syracuse and a good game Saturday at Duke.

19. Clemson (15-3) cracks my ballot here after beating Louisville and Duke to improve to 7-0 in ACC play. Clemson has also beaten North Carolina State this season. Next: Tuesday at Wake Forest and Saturday against Virginia Tech.

20. North Carolina State (14-4) cracks my ballot here after beating Miami in OT. State has also beaten Duke this month. Next: Tues. at Georgia Tech and Sat. at North Carolina.

21. Florida Atlantic (16-1) moves up four spots after winning at FIU in OT and beating North Texas. Next Monday at Western Kentucky, Thursday at UTSA and Saturday at UTEP.

22. Providence (14-4) falls three spots after losing at Creighton. Next: the big game Wed. at Marquette and a Saturday game against DePaul.

23. Baylor (12-5) returns to my ballot here after a one-week absence after snapping a three-game losing streak and winning at WVU and beating Oklahoma State. Baylor, which beat UCLA and Gonzaga earlier this season, seems to have righted itself. Next: Tuesday at Texas Tech and Saturday at Oklahoma.

24. Rutgers (13-5) cracks my ballot here after winning at Northwestern and beating Ohio State in OT. Rutgers also won at Purdue this month. Next: an intriguing game Thursday at Michigan State.

25. For this last spot, I looked hard at Auburn, Illinois and Saint Mary's. But in the end, I decided to put New Mexico (16-2) back on my ballot here after a one-week absence after the Lobos bounced back from back-to-back losses to beat Oral Roberts and win at San Diego State. The Lobos now own road wins over Saint Mary's and San Diego State, so they deserve to be No. 25. Next: Tuesday against San Jose State and Friday against Boise State.

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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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