WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - Now that conference play has arrived in men’s college basketball, we can expect a lot more weekly fluctuation in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll.
Indeed, there are plenty of changes following a wild week in which the top two teams headed a long list of big-name squads that tasted defeat.
Villanova was able to escape the upset bug and is now back at No. 1 after a one-week demotion.
The Wildcats, ranked third a week ago, regained the top spot with 28 of 32 first-place votes cast.
West Virginia, off to a terrific start in the Big 12, is at No. 2 with the remaining four first-place nods.
It is the highest ranking for the Mountaineers in the coaches poll since USA TODAY took over administering the rankings for the 1991-92 season.
Virginia vaulted five places to No. 3.
Michigan State’s stay at the top lasted only one week.
The Spartans drop back to fourth after Sunday’s drubbing at Ohio State. Duke slips from second to sixth behind Wichita State.
The rest of the top 10 is also a mix of teams trending upward and downward.
Purdue gained five positions to No. 7, and Texas Tech made a huge leap from No. 18 to No. 8.
Oklahoma, which came up short at sizzling West Virginia, was demoted only two spots to No. 9.
Xavier, which sustained its first Big East setback at Providence, fell to No. 10.
No. 24 Auburn and No. 25 Notre Dame move into the poll this week.
But it was a net loss overall for the SEC as Texas A&M and Arkansas drop out.
It is the first appearance for the Tigers since 2000.
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