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Murray's AP Top 25: Mountain West school returns to the rankings

Jordan Schakel
Jordan Schakel and San Diego State have won eight straight games to plow back into the Top 25. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Nevada Sports Net columnist Chris Murray is one of 65 voters in the college basketball AP Top 25 poll. Here is a look at his ballot this week.

On the rise

* San Diego State: Technically, the biggest riser was Arkansas, but we highlighted the Razorbacks last week so they don't get top billing again. But Eric Musselman’s crew moved from No. 21 to No. 15 on my ballot after beating Florida for their seventh win in eight games, the last three of which being Quad 1 victories. The team we’ll note in the headline, though, is SDSU. The Aztecs have won eight straight, all against lower-tier Mountain West teams. SDSU is 17-4, although it is 0-3 in Quad 1 games, which is a concern. I almost put Colorado State, BYU or Boise State in this spot, but the Rams haven’t played since Feb. 6, BYU has two Quad 2 losses and Boise State, which just swept Utah State, still has two losses to Nevada on its résumé.

On the fall

* Virginia: The Cavaliers have been all over the map this season and entered last week at No. 7 in the Top 25, but they lost back-to-back games – by 21 points to Florida State and by one point to a thoroughly unimpressive Duke team – to drop to 15-5. Virginia is light on Quad 1 wins (just 3-4 in those games) and has one of the worst losses of any Top 25 team – to USF, which is 10-11. The Cavaliers are still on my ballot, at No. 20, but that’s a 13-spot drop. Houston also took a big fall after losing to Wichita State, going from No. 6 to No. 14 on my ballot.

Chris Murray’s AP Top 25

1. Gonzaga (1)

2. Baylor (2)

3. Michigan (3)

4. Ohio State (4)

5. Villanova (5)

6. Illinois (8)

7. Oklahoma (9)

8. West Virginia (10)

9. Alabama (11)

10. Iowa (13)

11. Florida State (15)

12. Virginia Tech (16)

13. Creighton (17)

14. Houston (6)

15. Arkansas (21)

16. Tennessee (18)

17. Texas (12)

18. Kansas (22)

19. USC (14)

20. Virginia (7)

21. LSU (23)

22. Texas Tech (19)

23. Missouri (20)

24. Loyola Chicago (25)

25. San Diego State (n/r)

Columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.

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