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Murray's AP Top 25: Where does Nevada fall in final ballot of season?

Jazz Johnson
Jazz Johnson and the Wolf Pack should end the season in the AP Top 25. (Julian Del Gaudio/Nevada Sports Net)

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

Team on the rise

* Auburn: The Tigers are playing their best basketball of the season and won the SEC Tournament by knocking off Missouri, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, with the latter of those two teams heading to the NCAA Tournament (Tennessee is a two seed and Auburn smacked the Vols by 20). The Tigers began the season 0-7 in Quad 1 games but is 5-0 in such games in March, which really boosted their overall résumé. I moved Auburn from No. 22 to No. 17 on my ballot. The selection committee gave the Tigers a five seed.

Team on the fall

* Marquette: The Golden Eagles have been on this line in some form or fashion for the last three weeks. Marquette before St. John’s in the Big East Tournament before losing to Seton Hall. Marquette has lost five of its last six games heading into the NCAA Tournament, where the Golden Eagles drew a fifth seed and will play Murray State (never doubt a Murray). Marquette is 10-5 in Quad 1 games, so perhaps I’m unduly harsh for the late-season swoon, but I dropped the Golden Eagles from No. 23 on my ballot last week to unranked this week.

About the Wolf Pack

* Nevada: This is the final AP Top 25 of the season (we don’t do one after the NCAA Tournament because why would we?). The Wolf Pack earned a seventh seed from the selection committee and was placed 26th on the official seed list, meaning the committee would not have Nevada on its final Top 25. I did. I put the Wolf Pack at 20th, down from No. 14 last week following its MW Tournament semifinal loss to San Diego State. Since starting the season 24-1, Nevada is 5-3 over its last eight games to go from a two or three seed down to a seven. The lack of Quad 1 wins (Nevada was 1-1 in such games) doomed the Wolf Pack’s seeding. But we don’t have to talk about Quad 1 games anymore. It’s tournament time.

Chris Murray’s AP Top 25

1. Virginia (1)

2. Duke (5)

3. Gonzaga (2)

4. Tennessee (4)

5. North Carolina (3)

6. Michigan State (8)

7. Michigan (9)

8. Kentucky (6)

9. Texas Tech (10)

10. Houston (7)

11. LSU (11)

12. Florida State (12)

13. Virginia Tech (13)

14. Kansas (15)

15. Purdue (16)

16. Kansas State (17)

17. Auburn (22)

18. Buffalo (18)

19. Wofford (19)

20. Nevada (14)

21. Wisconsin (20)

22. Cincinnati (n/r)

23. Villanova (25)

24. Maryland (21)

25. Mississippi State (24)

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

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