Alabama basketball ranked second in AP Top 25 poll

Coach Nate Oats’ Alabama men’s basketball team has been slowly working its way up the college basketball polls, and after eight straight wins, the Crimson Tide ranked second in the Associated Press poll this week, vs the fourth in the last week.

It is the highest Alabama ranked by the AP since the 2002-03 season.

Alabama did its part last week with road wins in Vanderbilt and Missouri to move to 17-2. The Crimson Tide is 7-0 in Southeastern Conference games, all in double figures and averaging 21 points.

The new top 4 in the AP poll of sportswriters and broadcasters have 1st Purdue (19-1), 2nd Alabama (17-2), 3rd Houston (18-2), 4th Tennessee (16-3).

Kansas was No. 2 in last week’s poll, but the Jayhawks suffered two stunning losses last week, including the win (83-60) at home to TCU.

There were more fireworks on Sunday as No. 1 Houston fell to Temple, 56-55 in Houston. Previously, the Cougars’ only loss came to Bama, also in Houston.

Purdue, who finished third last week, didn’t lose, but the Boilermakers didn’t impress on Sunday either, topping Maryland 58-55 in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Purdue and Alabama split all of the first- and second-place votes, with the Boilermakers getting 39 of the 62 and Bama getting 23. That made up the 16-point lead that separated first from second in the poll.

The Tide was just 35 points behind Purdue last week, despite the Boilermakers having 3 votes in first place. Last week Houston had 34 first place picks and Kansas had 23. Alabama had no first place votes.

Along with Alabama and Tennessee, the Southeastern Conference only has Auburn ranked 15th in the top 25. Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky are among those receiving votes but not in the top 25.

Bama returns as host for the state of Mississippi (SEC Network) at 8 p.m. CST Wednesday. The Tide opened the SEC game this year with a 78-67 win over the Bulldogs in Starkville. Alabama has started 7-0 in SEC games for the second time since the 1986-87 Tide under coach Wimp Sanderson.

Here’s this week’s AP poll, based on 25 points for a first, 24 for a second, etc., with record, first place votes in parentheses, and total points.

  1. Purdue 19-1(39) 1527
  2. Alabama 17-2(23) 1511
  3. Houston 18-2 1333
  4. Tennessee 16-3 1298
  5. State of Kansas 17-2 1254
  6. Arizona 17-3 1195
  7. Virginia 15-3 1160
  8. UCLA 17-3 1155
  9. Kansas 16-3 1117
  10. Texas 16-3 980
  11. TCU 15-4 875
  12. State of Iowa 14-4 817
  13. Xavier 16-4 807
  14. Gonzaga 17-4 784
  15. Maroon 16-3 699
  16. Marquette 16-5 600
  17. Baylor 14-5 497
  18. Charleston 21-1 445
  19. UConn 16-5 372
  20. Miami 15-4 328
  21. Florida Atlantic (19-1) 271
  22. Saint Mary’s 18-4 254
  23. Providence 15-5 194
  24. Clemson 16-4 169
  25. New Mexico 18-2 156

Others receiving votes: Duke 102, Indiana 61, San Diego State 57, Rutgers 31, Kent State 24, North Carolina 12, Michigan State 10, Creighton 9, Illinois 9, Arkansas 9, Missouri 8, Wisconsin 6, North Carolina State 4, Kentucky 3, VCU 2, Boise State 2, Memphis 1, Wake Forest 1, Oral Roberts 1

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