With Big East play finally under way and the new year upon us, the AP has released its weekly poll. Here’s what you need to know:
After a week of two impressive wins, the first against #6 Xavier and the second on the road against Creighton, Villanova has jumped up five spots to #11. This puts the Wildcats on the verge of the top ten going into a week with games at home versus co-Big East leader Seton Hall and then a showdown of well-ranked teams on Sunday night at Butler.
The eleventh position still leaves Villanova behind two Big East teams in the AP Poll. Despite losing by more than 30 points, Xavier fell only four spots to #10, still one ahead of Villanova. The highest-ranked Big East team is now Providence. After defeating Butler on the road, the Friars moved up four spots to the #8 peg, their highest rank of the season. A pair of losses dropped Butler nine spots to #18. All told, the same four Big East teams shuffled their positions from last week while a fifth, Seton Hall, is now receiving four votes.
The newest poll also sets up a one versus two matchup tonight when Oklahoma plays Kansas. Virginia rose to #4, meaning the only two teams that have beat Villanova are now both ranked in the top five.
Here are the polls, courtesy of ESPN:
AP Poll: Coaches’ Poll: