A second blowout loss to Villanova didn’t stop Xavier from notching the program’s highest AP Top 25 ranking a week ago. The Musketeers are rising again, passing the Wildcats on Monday to reach yet another program high at No. 3.
The poll switch comes after the Musketeers beat Georgetown in their only game last week and Villanova lost to unranked Creighton. The Wildcats dropped just one spot, to No. 4, and a game behind Xavier in the Big East standings.
Virginia firmed up its hold on the No. 1 ranking, receiving 48 votes from a media panel in the poll released on Monday, up six from a week ago. No. 2 Michigan State, which clinched the Big Ten title this weekend, received 17 first-place votes and Duke rounded out the top five.
The Musketeers (25-4, 13-3 Big East) rolled over Georgetown 89-77 despite leading scorer Trevon Blueitt being held to two points on 1-of-10 shooting. Blueitt, who averages 19.8 points per game, has 3 combined points his last two visits to Washington, D.C.
“I hope that the Big East tournament isn’t played here,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said he told Bluiett in jest toward the end of the game. “I think maybe folks in D.C. that don’t have a TV and come to the games they may think he’s an average player, a below average player.”
Virginia was the top overall seed when the NCAA Tournament selection committee revealed its initial rankings of the top 16 teams two weeks ago. The Cavaliers moved up to No. 1 despite losing to Virginia Tech a day before the rankings were released.
Last week, Virginia (26-2, 14-1 ACC) won its third ACC title in five years by dominating Pittsburgh , limiting the Panthers to seven first-half points in a 66-37 victory.
The Cavaliers are still in line to receive the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“It was something that we knew about coming into this game, so it was exciting,” Virginia forward Isaiah Wilkins said. “It is a good feeling, but there is still a lot of basketball to be played.”
1. Virginia (48 first-place votes)
2. Michigan State (17)
9. North Carolina
11. Wichita State
12. Texas Tech
13. Ohio State
17. Rhode Island
20. West Virginia
22. Saint Mary’s
24. Middle Tennessee