Auburn, Gonzaga stay 1-2 in AP Top 25; Texas Tech up to ninth

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
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Auburn remained No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the third straight week, while Texas Tech cracked the top 10 and Murray State joined the rankings for the first time in nearly seven years.

Bruce Pearl’s Tigers earned 48 of 61 first-place votes to stay ahead of Gonzaga, which earned the other 13 votes and has sat at No. 2 throughout Auburn’s first stay at the top.

Auburn (22-1) has won 19 straight games since losing in double overtime to Connecticut in November, including all 10 of its Southeastern Conference games. Mark Few’s Bulldogs (19-2) have won 12 straight since falling to Alabama in early December.

Purdue climbed a spot to No. 3, followed by Arizona in the Wildcats’ second stint inside the top five this season. Kentucky and Houston were next.

Duke rose two spots to No. 7 after a lopsided win at rival North Carolina in retiring Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s final visit to Chapel Hill, followed by Kansas, Texas Tech and reigning national champion Baylor to round out the top 10.

The Red Raiders made their first appearance inside the top 10 under first-year coach Mark Adams, who took over when Chris Beard left for Texas. Texas Tech jumped five spots after beating the Longhorns and West Virginia last week.

Providence rose four spots to No. 11 – its highest ranking since the 2015-16 season – followed by UCLA, which took the week’s biggest tumble of nine spots after losses to Arizona and a seven-win Arizona State team.

Marquette had the biggest jump, rising six spots to No. 18 under first-year coach Shaka Smart after beating Villanova.

No. 22 Saint Mary’s and No. 23 Murray State were the week’s new additions. The Gaels’ poll appearance is their first in two years, while the Racers are in the poll for the first time since spending a week at No. 25 in March 2015.

Iowa State and LSU fell out from last week’s rankings.