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Houston, Alabama top men's AP Top 25; Marquette climbing, Pitt in


The top five spots in The Associated Press men’s collegebasketball poll remained the same. The rest of the AP Top 25 was abig jumble.

Houston was No. 1 for the second straight week in the pollreleased Monday, receiving 49 first-place votes from a 62-personmedia panel. No. 2 Alabama had five first-place votes and No. 3Kansas received eight.

UCLA and Purdue rounded out the top five. The Boilermakers heldat No. 5 despite losing to No. 15 Indiana.

In the rest of the poll, only No. 20 Providence kept the sameposition from last week as teams get ready for conferencetournaments next week and the start of March Madness.

Alabama held its spot after winning two games despite achallenging week off the court. Brandon Miller had a pair of hugegames since police alleged that he brought a gun to former teammateDarius Miles, who is charged with capital murder in a fatalshooting.

Against Arkansas on Saturday, Miller’s regular pregameintroduction with a Crimson Tide staffer giving him a pat downdidn’t sit well with coach Nate Oats — or anyone else.

“I can assure you it definitely will not happen again theremainder of this year,” Oats said.

Miller had 24 points in the 86-83 win over the Razorbacks afterscoring 41 in a two-point win over South Carolina.


Marquette has made a quick rise under coach Shaka Smart.

The Golden Eagles wrapped up a share of their first Big Eastregular-season title in a decade with a 90-84 win over DePaul onSaturday and climbed four spots in this week’s poll to No. 6. It isMarquette’s highest ranking hitting No. 1 in 1977-78.


Houston moved into the top spot last week and held onto it aftera pair of routs last week. The Cougars’ 76-57 win at East Carolinaon Saturday clinched the American Athletic Associationregular-season championship, the fourth time in five seasonsthey’ve at least shared the conference title.

“Our kids know how to win — I say that a lot,” Houston coachKelvin Sampson said. “But we’ve figured out how to play our system,be unselfish.”


Marquette matched No. 14 UConn and No. 18 San Diego State withthe week’s biggest jump among teams in the poll, each climbing fourspots.

No. 13 Virginia took the biggest tumble, losing seven spotsfollowing losses to Boston College and North Carolina lastweek.


No. 21 Maryland is back in the AP Top 25 after wins overMinnesota and then-No. 23 Northwestern.

No. 23 Kentucky returned to the poll after a seven-week absence.The Wildcats had a rapid fall from being No. 4 in the preseasonpoll, but reeled off wins over No. 12 Tennessee, Florida andAuburn.

No. 25 Pittsburgh is ranked for the first time since 2016 afterbeating Georgia Tech and Syracuse last week.

Northwestern’s return to the poll for the first time in twoyears didn’t last long. The Wildcats dropped out this week afterlosses to Maryland and Illinois.

Iowa State fell out from No. 23 after three straight losses andconsecutive losses knocked out Creighton from No. 19.

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