Villanova quickly back to No. 1 in basketball rankings

NOVA07
Jalen Brunson and his Villanova teammates are No. 1 in the nation, again.

Villanova did not stay off the top of the mountain for long.

A week after the Wildcats fell from the No. 1 ranking after a loss at Butler, they are again in the top spot after another week of déjà vu all over again in college basketball.

Just like what happened when Villanova (14-1) moved to No. 1 after Week 5, losses by teams ranked ahead of them made the Wildcats the de facto No. 1. Top-ranked Michigan State got smacked around by unranked Ohio State, and No. 2 Duke lost to unranked North Carolina State.

That allowed Villanova, which beat Marquette on Saturday, to ascend from third-ranked to No. 1. The Wildcats received 52 of the 65 first-place votes in the Associated Press poll. ‘Nova is also ranked No.1 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

Villanova was the only member of the Top 5 to not lose this weekend. Fourth-ranked Arizona State lost its second straight game, and No. 5 Xavier saw its 10-game winning streak ended by Providence.

Considering the ‘Cats had just fallen out of the top spot by losing the previous weekend, it was possible that West Virginia, which beat No. 7 Oklahoma for its 14th consecutive win since losing its opener, would have jumped past everyone and taken over as No. 1. The Mountaineers (14-1) received 12 first-place votes and moved up four spots to No. 2 — their highest ranking since December 1959, when Hall of Famer Jerry West was a senior.

Virginia (14-1), which got one first-place vote, is No. 3. Michigan State slipped to fourth. Purdue (15-2) and Wichita State (13-2)  rounded out the top five in a tie with 1,225 points.

The USA Today poll has the same Top Four but has Wichita State alone at No.5.

Xavier (15-2), which will play Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, dropped to 10th.