Bubble banter: Ole Miss among those trying to crash the dance

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The bubble reached new heights and depths on Friday.  That leaves us with about 11 spots up for grabs.  We have potential party crashers in Conference USA (Marshall), SEC (Ole Miss), and Atlantic 10 (St. Bonaventure/Massachusetts).  The Pac-12 will have an upset winner, too – with Arizona and Colorado in the championship game.   Then there’s NC State, which can greatly improve its position by beating North Carolina in the ACC semis.

Here’s your latest and final bubble update.  Selection Sunday is just one day away.

Bubble Banter highlights the teams we believe are on the NCAA Bubble. If a team isn’t listed, they aren’t a bubble team at the time of the update. RPI and SOS data is credited to CollegeRPI.com.

RPI data is for games played through Friday, March 9. Records reflect games through Friday, March 9.

UPDATED: Saturday, March 10 | 11:45 a.m. ET

Total Spots (68): Number of teams in the Field.

Automatic Bids (31): Murray State (OVC), Belmont (A-SUN), UNC-Asheville (Big South), VCU (Colonial), Loyola-Md (MAAC), Creighton (MVC), Harvard (IVY), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt), South Dakota State (Summit), Detroit (Horizon), LIU-Brooklyn (NEC), Lehigh (Patriot), Montana (Big Sky), Davidson (Southern)

  • Projected Locks (32): Teams who project to have secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Should Be In (5): These teams are in solid position to receive an at-large bid.
  • Bubble: (28): Teams projected to be under consideration for at-large selection.
  • Spots Available (11): Estimated number of openings after Automatic Bids, Locks, and Should Be Ins are considered.
  • RPI and SOS: RPI and SOS data are updated through games completed on Friday, March 9.
Atlantic 10
Locks: Temple | Should Be In: St. Louis | Bubble: Dayton, St. Joe’s, Xavier
  • Dayton (20-12 | 9-7) | RPI: 79 | SOS: 67 | – The Flyers have eight Top 100 RPI wins, including victories over Temple, Alabama, and Xavier. The Flyers have also beaten Ole Miss and Minnesota. But troubling losses – particularly defeats to sub-200 RPI teams Miami-OH and Rhode Island really hurt UD’s profile. A loss to Xavier in the A10 quarterfinals and a sinking RPI will probably push the Flyers into the NIT.
  • St. Joe’s (20-13 | 9-7) | RPI: 70 | SOS: 54 | – St. Joe’s stayed in the bracket for a while thanks to good non-conference wins over Creighton and Drexel. They also beat Temple. But a loss to St. Bonaventure in the A10 quarterfinals – their second defeat to the Bonnies in two weeks – probably drops SJU below the cutline.
  • Xavier (29-11 | 10-6) | RPI: 44 | SOS: 45 | – Non-conference wins over Vanderbilt, Purdue, and Cincinnati continue to help the Muskies. And a come-from-behind win against rival Dayton in the A10 quarterfinals keeps XU in the picture. Xavier is 8-10 vs. the Top 100 which actually looks pretty good these days compared to other bubble teams. A victory over St. Louis in the A10 semis likely seals it for the Musketeers.
ACC
Locks: Duke, North Carolina, Florida State | Should Be In: Virginia | Bubble: Miami-FL, NC State, Virginia
  • Miami-FL (19-12 | 9-7) | RPI: 59 | SOS: 43 | – Miami has a huge win at Duke and a victory over Florida State at home. But they are just 3-11 vs. Top 100 teams. They have also lost Durand Scott to indefinte suspension. That could work against the Canes. So will a quarterfinal loss to Florida State. Miami isn’t dead-in-the-water, but they will most likely need help. On a side note, the Canes were swept by NC State.
  • NC State (22-11 | 9-7) | RPI: 49 | SOS: 32 | – The Wolfpack have a season sweep of Miami and a neutral court win over Texas. But a 1-7 mark vs. the Top 50 remains troubling – although Virginia and Miami are in the 50-60 range. NC state is 6-9 vs. the Top 100. The Wolfpack are right on the cutline at the moment. If they find a way to beat North Carolina in the ACC semis that would probably be enough. If the Wolfpack fall short, it may very well depend on how those final few spots shake out.
BIG EAST
Locks: Syracuse, Georgetown, Marquette, Louisville, Notre Dame, Cincinnati | Should Be In: Connecticut | Bubble: Seton Hall, South Florida, West Virginia
  • Seton Hall (20-12 | 8-10) | RPI: 62 | SOS: 44 | – The Pirates ended their season with a loss to Louisville in the second round of the Big East tournament Wednesday night. That’s 3 losses in 4 games – including dropped games to Rutgers and DePaul. Victories over VCU, St. Joe’s and Dayton will help, along with wins over Georgetown, Connecticut, and West Virginia. SHU finished 7-9 vs. the Top 100. That may keep SHU as one of the 37 best at-large teams, but these are anxious moments.
  • South Florida (19-12 | 12-6) | RPI: 44 | SOS: 24 | – USF completed its season with an overtime loss to Notre Dame in the Big East quarters. Despite 12 regular-season Big East wins, only two were against Top 50 opponents (Louisville, Cincy). Outside the BE, the Bulls managed to beat Cleveland State, that’s about it. USF ended 5-8 on the road and just 6-10 vs. the top 100. They lost to Penn State and Auburn.
  • West Virginia (19-13 | 9-9) | RPI: 51 | SOS: 14 | – The Mountaineers fell in overtime Wednesday to Connecticut and the wait continues. With victories over Kansas State and Miami-Fla outside the conference, the Mountaineers likely still have an inside track to a bid. They finised 9-11 vs. Top 100 teams and beat Georgetown, Cincinnati and South Florida in the Big East. A top 20 SOS will help. WVU had five losses to Top 35 RPI teams by a total of 11 points.
BIG 10
Locks: Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Northwestern
  • Northwestern (18-13 | 8-10) | RPI: 61 | SOS: 18 | – The Wildcats ended their season with a 1-10 mark vs. Top 50 teams and a 5-12 mark vs. Top 100 teams. NW has a marquee win over Michigan State and a bubble win over Seton Hall. The loss to Minnesota in the opening round of the Big Ten tourney will be hard to overlook, however. Close losses help Northwestern, but it’s looking less likely they will be enough to warrant an NCAA at-large bid.
BIG 12
Locks: Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Texas
  • Texas (20-13 | 9-9) | RPI: 48 | SOS: 19 | – The Longhorns beat Iowa State for a second time to give them 4 wins against Top 50 opponents. A strong SOS is helping, but like many other bubble teams, the Horns have a troubling mark against the Top 100 (4-11). Texas did not beat any of the Big 12’s best teams. The Longhorns’ best out-of-conference wins are UT-Arlington and UCLA. Tense times in Austin.
CONFERENCE USA
Locks: Memphis | Should Be In: Southern Mississippi | Bubble: Central Florida, Marshall
  • Central Florida (20-10 |10-6) | RPI: 55 | SOS: 76 | – We’ll leave the Knights on the at-large board, but they have certainly fallen off the pace and are probably done. They were blown out by Memphis in the C-USA tourney. A 3-7 mark vs. Top 100 teams isn’t helping.
  • Marshall (19-9 |10-6) | RPI: 61 | SOS: 89 | – The Herd’s win at Cincinnati keeps looking better, and Marshall also handily beat fellow bubble team Iona. That said, UM may still need to beat Memphis and win the league’s auto bid. Beating Southern Miss in the semis improved Marshall to 4-4 vs. the Top 50. A Top 10 non-conference schedule will also be noticed.
MISSOURI VALLEY
Locks: Wichita State, Creighton | Should Be In: None | Bubble: None
  • Creighton won the automatic bid and ensured that the MVC will be a two-bid league.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Locks: UNLV, San Diego State, New Mexico | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Colorado State
  • Colorado State (19-11 | 8-6) | RPI: 27 | SOS: 5 | – The Rams have beaten UNLV, San Diego State and New Mexico at home, and their power numbers are very strong, if not slightly inflated. The concerns are a 3-9 road record – CSU’s best road win is UTEP (No. 158) – and nothing out of conference other than a win over Montana. Losing to SDSU in the semifinals leaves the door open for Colorado State to be squeezed.
PAC 12
Locks: None | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington
  • Arizona (22-10 | 12-6) | RPI: 73 | SOS: 115 | – The Wildcats ended their regular season with a horrible loss at Arizona State but managed to reach the Pac-12 title game against Colorado. With a weak 1-3 mark vs. Top 50 teams, a runner-up finish may not be enough. Arizona’s best non-conference win is New Mexico State.
  • California (24-9 | 13-5) | RPI: 36 | SOS: 83 | – With nine (9) Top 100 wins, Cal continues to have the best at-large resume of the Pac-12 group. At the same time, the Bears are 0-3 vs the Top 50 and have not beaten a team that would be at at-large team in the NCAA as of this update.
  • Colorado (22-8 | 13-5) | RPI: 71 | SOS: 81 | – The Buffaloes’ profile is improving among the Pac-12 contenders. If that means much. Colorado has beaten Cal twice (after winning late Friday in the Paac-12 tourney), Oregon twice, and Washington once. Like everyone else here, however, there’s nothing outside the league. So CU’s best bet is to win the automatic bid.
  • Oregon (22-8 | 13-5) | RPI: 64 | SOS: 94 | – A loss to Colorado in the Pac-12 quarters probably ended the Ducks’ at-large hopes. Oregon finished 0-4 vs. Top 50 teams and 5-8 vs. the Top 100.
  • Washington (21-10 | 14-4) | RPI: 54 | SOS: 83 | – The Huskies will present an interest test case for the committee. They won the outright Pac-12 title. Historically, leaving out the Huskies would be rare, given the league’s stature as a BCS conference. But this is a historically bad year for the Pac-12, and Washington is 0-4 vs. Top 50 teams and 4-8 vs. the Top 100. Neither of those inspire confidence as an at-large selection.
SEC
Locks: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt | Should Be In: Alabama | Bubble: Mississippi State, Mississippi, Tennessee
  • Mississippi State (21-11 | 8-8) | RPI: 74 | SOS: 71 | – The Bulldogs ended their season with a surprising loss to Georgia in the SEC’s first round. But with 7 Top 100 wins (7-9), and a non-conference win over West Virginia, MSU might be able to survive a very bubbly profile. Still, MSU (2-4 vs. Top 50 teams) is certainly in danger of being squeezed.
  • Mississippi (21-10 | 8-8) | RPI: 65 | SOS: 66 | – The Rebels are alive in the SEC tourney and have moved onto the bubble after a win over Tennessee on Friday. A 1-6 mark vs. Top 50 teams is an issue, and a 6-11 mark vs. the Top 100 looks like a half-dozen other teams. A win over Miami-Fla could help some, but Ole Miss probably has to upset Vandy to have a realistic at-large chance.
  • Tennessee (17-14 | 10-6) | RPI: 84 | SOS: 31 | – How the Committee evaluates the arrival of Jarnell Stokes in early January will be a major factor for the Vols. That said, Friday’s loss to Ole Miss drops UT’s RPI into very dangerous territory. There’s also 14 losses overall. The Vols beat Florida twice, and topped Vandy and Connecticut. But a 3-11 mark away from home is concerning.
WEST COAST
Locks: St. Mary’s, Gonzaga | Should Be In: None | Bubble: BYU
  • BYU (23-8 | 12-4) | RPI: 43 | SOS: 99 | – BYU failed in its attempt to beat Gonzaga a second time and finished 1-4 vs the Zags and St. Mary’s. If the Cougars miss the NCAAs that will be one reason why. Their best non-conference victories are Nevada and Oregon. Good wins, but perhaps not enough to make an NCAA bid hold up. BYU is a team that could easily be squeezed if bids get tight. Their resume is complete. It will be a long wait until Selection Sunday.
BEST OF THE REST
Locks: None | Should Be In: None | Bubble: Drexel, Iona, Long Beach State, Middle Tennessee State, Oral Roberts
  • Drexel (27-6 | 16-2) | RPI: 66 | SOS: 213 |The Dragons may prove to be the ultimate “eye test” team for this year’s Selection Committee. Drexel had won 19 straight games before losing in the CAA championship to VCU. They were also the outright regular-season champions of the Colonial. Strictly by the numbers, Drexel finished 1-2 vs. Top 50 teams and just 4-3 against the Top 100. While they lost to St. Joseph’s and Virginia, Drexel beat Cleveland State by 20 on the road. All the Dragons can do now is wait and hope a few other things fall their way.
  • Iona (25-7 | 15-3) | RPI: 41 | SOS: 144 | – The Gaels ended their season by losing to Fairfield in the MAAC semifinals. Now, it’s a long wait until Selection Sunday. Iona has to hope that wins over Nevada and St. Joseph’s hold up and that a few things go their way. The Gaels finished 1-1 vs. the Top 50 and 5-3 vs. the Top 100. Losses to sub-200 teams Siena and Hofstra may ultimately doom Iona to the NIT.
  • Long Beach State (21-8 | 15-1) | RPI: 37 | SOS: 130 | – The 49ers nearly completed a perfect Big West season. And while early wins over Pittsburgh and Xavier help, they aren’t as strong as once thought. LBSU played the No. 1 non-conference schedule but went 0-6 vs. Top 50 teams and just 2-7 vs. the Top 100. Several close losses will help, but how much?
  • Middle Tennesse State (24-6 | 14-2) | RPI: 57 | SOS: 181 | – The Blue Raiders’ chances are very slim after losing in the Quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament. Their best wins are Ole Miss, Akron and Belmont. But they ended the season with back-to-back losses to Western Kentucky and Arkansas State (both sub-200 teams). MTSU ended 0-1 vs. Top 50 teams.
  • Oral Roberts (27-6 | 17-1) | RPI: 50 | SOS: 191 | – ORU beat Xavier, Missouri State, and Akron (BracketBusters) in non-conference play, although XU was without several players. But a loss to Western Illinois in the league tournament semis puts a damper on the Eagles’ at-large hopes. They finished 0-2 vs. Top 50 teams and just 3-3 against the Top 100. ORU has to hope a dominate season in the Summit is enough.

No. 8 Kansas avenges earlier loss to No. 7 Kansas State, 90-78

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jalen Wilson had 20 points, Kevin McCullar Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 8 Kansas avenged a loss to Kansas State just a couple of weeks ago with a 90-78 victory over the seventh-ranked Wildcats.

Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 18 for the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12), who built a 12-point halftime lead before coasting to their 17th straight home win over the Wildcats in the 10th matchup of top-10 teams in series history.

Kansas has rebounded nicely from a rare three-game skid that included the overtime loss to Kansas State, and made sure to avoid taking back-to-back losses in its storied home for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

Markquis Nowell scored 23 points and Keyontae Johnson had 22 to lead the Wildcats (18-4, 6-3), who were trying for their first regular-season sweep of their biggest rival in four decades. Nae’Qwan Tomlin added 11 points and David N’Guessan had 10.

In their first meeting on Jan. 17, the Wildcats raced to a big early lead and controlled the game until late in the second half, when the Jayhawks forced overtime — only for Kansas State to win on Johnson’s alley-oop dunk.

It was the Jayhawks who controlled the rematch.

They used a 16-7 run in the first half that included a technical foul on Kansas State coach Jerome Tang to build a 32-19 lead. And when Johnson answered with eight straight points for the Wildcats, and the lead was eventually trimmed to four, the reigning national champs pulled away again down the stretch.

It was 37-32 when Wilson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Zach Clemence added one of his own. And by the time Wilson made two foul shots with about 10 seconds left, Kansas had built a 49-37 lead that it took to the break.

The Wildcats briefly got within six in the second half before the Jayhawks stretched their lead to as many as 16.

OFFICIATING OOPS

Johnson had to sit with two fouls just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Only problem? The crew of John Higgins, Kip Kissinger and Marques Pettigrew gave one to the wrong player. By the time they corrected their mistake, the Wildcats’ leading scorer had unnecessarily ridden the bench for several minutes.

SELLOUT … AND THEN SOME

For the first time in more than 15 years, more Kansas students redeemed tickets than there was space available inside Allen Fieldhouse. The overflow had to watch the game on screens in the adjacent Horejsi Family Athletics Center, where the Jayhawks play volleyball games. Those students also got refunds and concessions vouchers.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State’s three losses in league play have been to ranked teams on the road: TCU, Iowa State and Kansas. And with a more forgiving second half to the Big 12 schedule, the Wildcats remain firmly in the conference title hunt.

Kansas got its mojo back with its win over Kentucky last weekend. This victory over another bunch of Wildcats was crucial because the road doesn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks, who are in the midst of three straight games against teams ranked 13th or better.

UP NEXT

Kansas State returns home for another top-10 showdown Saturday against No. 10 Texas.

Kansas hits the road for the third time in four games against No. 13 Iowa State on Saturday.

BC beats No. 20 Clemson 62-54; Tigers fall into ACC tie

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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BOSTON — Makai Ashton-Langford had two key driving baskets in the closing two minutes and finished with 15 points to help Boston College beat No. 20 Clemson 62-54 on Tuesday night.

Jaeden Zackery added 13 points for the Eagles (11-12, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference). BC held Clemson to one field goal — and that came with 18 seconds left — in the final 13:16.

Hunter Tyson led Clemson (18-5, 10-2) with 22 points and Chase Hunter had 12. The Tigers fell into a first-place tie atop the ACC with No. 6 Virginia.

The Eagles used a 5-0 spurt — with T.J. Bickerstaff hitting a free throw and getting a driving layup — to pull ahead 50-45 with just over five minutes to play.

Clemson sliced it to 50-47 before Aston-Langford made his two big baskets. He followed that by making two free throws with 32 seconds left.

Trailing by 10 midway into the second half, the Tigers went on a 10-0 spree, tying it at 45 when RJ Godfrey hit both ends of a 1-and-1.

The Eagles had opened a double-digit lead twice in the opening six minutes of the second half, the later 45-35 on Prince Aligbe’s foul-line jumper with 14:12 to play.

BIG PICTURE

Clemson: Off to a solid start in conference play, the Tigers were tested on the road for the second straight game after edging Florida State by a point on Saturday. It hasn’t been easy for them away from home with a 4-3 record and with three away matchups against North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia to go, they’ll need to get it straightened out of they’re going to won the ACC regular-season title.

Boston College: The Eagles proved when they play defense that they’re a tough out in coach Earl Grant’s second season. A little more offense could make them very dangerous for top ACC teams to play.

ARRIVING LATE

In the first half, Clemson’s man-to-man defense smothered the Eagles’ offense for the opening 10 minutes, holding them in single digits in scoring until just about the same time the student section finished filling up late, bringing some energy to a very quiet building.

BC’s players then responded, closing the half with a 22-4 spree that turned an 11-point deficit to a 30-23 halftime edge.

SIDELINED

Both teams were missing key players. Guard Brevin Galloway, Clemson’s fourth leading scorer at 10.6 points per game, was sidelined with an abdominal injury. For BC, guard DeMarr Langford Jr., who logs big minutes at the point, was out with a knee injury.

UP NEXT

Clemson: Hosts No. 23 Miami on Saturday.

Boston College: Hosts Syracuse on Saturday.

South Carolina tops women’s AP Top 25; Ohio State tumbles

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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It was a rough week for Ohio State, which lost all three of its games and tumbled down the AP Top 25 as a result.

The previously unbeaten Buckeyes fell from second to 10th in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll released Monday after losing to Iowa and Indiana, two top 10 teams, as well as Purdue. Ohio State fell two games back in the Big Ten Conference standings.

South Carolina remained No. 1 for the 32nd consecutive week. The Gamecocks, who were again a unanimous choice from the 28-member national media panel, have the fourth-longest streak ever atop the poll. Only UConn (51 and 34 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36) have had longer runs at No. 1.

Stanford moved back up to No. 2 in the poll and the Cardinal were followed by LSU, Indiana and UConn in the top five. LSU is the only other undefeated team in women’s basketball besides South Carolina, which visits UConn for a top-five showdown on Sunday.

Iowa jumped out four spots to sixth with Utah, Maryland and Notre Dame coming in ahead of Ohio State. The Hawkeyes started the season No. 4 in the poll.

The Fighting Irish split a pair of games last week against ranked opponents, routing Florida State before falling to N.C. State.

“There’s a lot of parity right now, which is great, great for the game,” Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey said. “The game is growing, which is what you want. But yeah, I mean, every night, especially the ACC, the ACC is the strongest league and, you know, we have just a tough stretch every night.”

One week after falling out of the rankings, Texas re-entered the poll at No. 24. The Longhorns routed then-No. 14 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State last week. South Florida also came in at No. 25. Colorado and Illinois fell out of the poll.

RISING BULLS

No. 25 South Florida continued its streak of being ranked for at least one week every season since the Bulls entered the poll for the first time in 2015.

“For us not being in a so-called football five conference, that’s a huge accomplishment,” South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said. His team has won 10 consecutive games and has 20 victories this season. The team’s four losses have all come against ranked opponents (Michigan, Villanova, Ohio State and N.C. State).

“This group has been fun to coach. We always play a great non(equals)conference schedule,” Fernandez said. “We won on the road at Texas, beat Alabama, beat Arkansas. We challenged ourselves in November and December.”

RECORD PERFORMANCES

Cameron Brink carried Stanford to a win over Oregon with a triple-double that included 10 blocks. It was the first triple-double in NCAA Division I women’s basketball featuring double-digit blocks since Tamari Key did it for Tennessee in an overtime win against Texas on Nov. 21, 2021.

No. 20 Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson set the all-time NCAA women’s career record for 3-pointers when she hit her 498th in a loss to Iowa State on Saturday. Robertson has 503 entering this week. The all-time NCAA record, men or women, is held by Antoine Davis of Detroit Mercy, who has 534 and counting.

Purdue a unanimous No. 1 in AP Top 25; Tennessee up to No. 2

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Purdue became this season’s first unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll Monday after wins over Michigan and Michigan State last week as chaos ensued behind the Boilermakers among other ranked teams.

More than half of Top 25 teams lost, including second-ranked Alabama, which was routed by Oklahoma in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. That allowed Purdue to grab the remaining No. 1 votes and tighten its grip atop the poll, while Tennessee jumped two spots to second and Houston held onto third in voting by 62 national media members.

The Boilermakers (21-1) have won eight straight since a one-point loss to Rutgers on Jan. 2.

“We’re the No. 1 team in the country because of how unselfish we are as a team,” Purdue guard David Jenkins Jr. said. “We had a lot of people doubting us in the beginning because, you know, we may not be the most talented team or whatever, but we’re close on the court and off the court and it’s really translating to how we’re winning.”

The Volunteers climbed to their highest perch since reaching No. 1 for four weeks during the 2018-19 season. They routed Georgia before becoming one of three SEC teams to beat Big 12 opponents on Saturday, knocking off No. 10 Texas 82-71 for their fifth consecutive win over a top-10 team.

Perhaps this is the year Rick Barnes finally gets the Vols through the Sweet 16 for the first time as their coach.

“We have a chance to be as good as we want to be,” he said. “It’s up to one thing: Are we tough enough to embrace the daily grind? And not worry about going to the Final Four or worry about going to the NCAA Tournament, but can we build a team that can be successful that time of year? It starts with truly embracing the grind.”

The Crimson Tide dropped to fourth after the blowout loss to the Sooners, when Alabama fell behind by 17 at halftime in an eventual 93-69 defeat. The Tide edged fifth-ranked Arizona by just two points in this week’s poll.

“It doesn’t have any effect on SEC standings, which is the only good thing to come out of this,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said of the lopsided loss. “Hopefully we’ll recover from a loss out of conference, but you know, it’s not good.”

Virginia was sixth and Kansas State, which rebounded from a narrow loss at No. 13 Iowa State by pummeling Florida on Saturday, fell two spots to seventh; the Wildcats face eighth-ranked Kansas in a top-10 showdown Tuesday night.

UCLA dropped to ninth after losing to Southern California and Texas rounded out the top 10.

Baylor continued its climb from unranked to No. 11 following wins over the Jayhawks and Arkansas. The Bears were followed by Gonzaga, Iowa State, Marquette and league rival TCU – the sixth Big 12 team in the top 15.

Xavier, Providence, Saint Mary’s, Florida Atlantic and Clemson completed the top 20, while poll returners Indiana and San Diego State joined Miami, UConn and Auburn in rounding out the Top 25.

RISING AND FALLING

The No. 11 Bears and No. 17 Providence made the biggest leaps, each climbing six spots from last week.

“I think our defense is better. Our turnovers are better. When you don’t give people easy transition baskets, now its five-on-five in the half court,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team had a date with the Longhorns on Monday night.

“We execute at a pretty high rate,” Drew said. “It really comes down to taking care of the ball, making sure we get shots up and when you don’t make them, you’ve got to get rebounds. And our guys are buying into that.”

Auburn took the biggest hit of those still in the poll, dropping 10 places after losses to unranked Texas A&M and West Virginia.

IN AND OUT

The Hoosiers returned to the poll at No. 21 and the Aztecs rejoined it right behind them. They took the place of Charleston, which fell out from No. 18 after losing to Hofstra, and New Mexico, which lost to Nevada in double overtime last week.

CONFERENCE CALL

The Big 12’s dominance of the SEC in the final year of their head-to-head challenge was rewarded in the poll, where the league led the way with six ranked teams and all of them in the top 15. The Big East has four teams in the poll but none higher than No. 14 Marquette, while the SEC and ACC have three teams apiece.

College basketball broadcaster Billy Packer dies at 82

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Billy Packer, an Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster who covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS, died Thursday. He was 82.

Packer’s son, Mark, told The Associated Press that his father had been hospitalized in Charlotte for the past three weeks and had several medical issues, and ultimately succumbed to kidney failure.

Packer’s broadcasting career coincided with the growth of college basketball. He worked as analyst or color commentator on every Final Four from 1975 to 2008. He received a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio and Sports Analyst in 1993.

“He really enjoyed doing the Final Fours,” Mark Packer said. “He timed it right. Everything in life is about timing. The ability to get involved in something that, frankly, he was going to watch anyway, was a joy to him. And then college basketball just sort of took off with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and that became, I think, the catalyst for college basketball fans to just go crazy with March Madness.”

Packer played three seasons at Wake Forest, and helped lead the Demon Deacons to the Final Four in 1962, but it was his work as an analyst that brought him the most acclaim.

He joined NBC in 1974 and called his first Final Four in 1975. UCLA beat Kentucky in the title game that year in what was John Wooden’s final game as coach.

Packer was also part of the broadcast in 1979 with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire when Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad in the title game. That remains highest-rated game in basketball history with a 24.1 Nielsen rating, which is an estimated 35.1 million viewers.

Packer went to CBS in the fall of 1981, when the network acquired the rights to the NCAA Tournament. He remained the network’s main analyst until the 2008 Final Four.

In 1996 at CBS, Packer was involved in controversy when he used the term “tough monkey? to describe then-Georgetown star Allen Iverson during a game. Packer later said he “was not apologizing for what I said, because what I said has no implications in my mind whatsoever to do with Allen Iverson’s race.?

Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said Packer was “synonymous with college basketball for more than three decades and set the standard of excellence as the voice of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.”

“He had a tremendous impact on the growth and popularity of the sport.” McManus said. “In true Billy fashion, he analyzed the game with his own unique style, perspective and opinions, yet always kept the focus on the game. As passionate as he was about basketball, at his heart Billy was a family man. He leaves part of his legacy at CBS Sports, across college basketball and, most importantly, as a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by all.”

Packer was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale took to Twitter as word of Packer’s death spread. “So sad to learn of the passing of Billy Packer who had such a passion for college basketball,” Vitale tweeted. “My (prayers) go out to Billy’s son Mark & the entire Packer family. Always had great RESPECT for Billy & his partners Dick Enberg & Al McGuire-they were super. May Billy RIP.”

College basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla tweeted: “We fell in love (with) college basketball because of you. Your voice will remain in my head forever.”

Packer was viewed as a controversial figure during his broadcasting days, often drawing the ire of college basketball fans, particularly on North Carolina’s “Tobacco Road.”

“As a kid, I was a big NC State fan growing up, and I would watch a game and the next day I’d be like, `Boy you sure have it out for NC State, don’t you?’ And he would just laugh,” Mark Packer said.

The younger Packer, who is the host of ACC PM on the ACC Network, said it didn’t matter what school – most fans felt the same way about his father.

“He would cover North Carolina game and Tar Heels fans would be like, `you hate North Carolina,”‘ Mark Packer said. “Wake (Forest) fans would be like, `you hate us.’ And Billy just sort of got a kick out of that.”

Mark Packer said that while most fans will remember his father as a broadcaster, he’ll remember him even more for his business acumen. He said his father was a big real estate investor, and also owned a vape company, among other ventures.

“Billy was always a bit of a hustler – he was always looking for that next business deal,” Packer said.