We were guaranteed to finally have some sort of change among the top four this week thanks to the fact that Baylor and Kansas met in Waco on Saturday, but what we didn't foresee was a wild weekend that featured the Bears, Gonzaga and San Diego State all losing. These teams have been rock solid for so long, though, that it wouldn't be fair to punish them too much. Still, there are multiple challengers threatening to crack the top five, including Florida State, which did break through at No. 5 this week. Here's the rest of this week's Top 25:
1. Kansas (25-3, 14-1 Big 12)
The Jayhawks established themselves as the nation's top team and the national title favorite after winning a slugfest with Baylor on Saturday. But also impressively, in what could've been an obvious letdown spot just two days later, Kansas stomped an Oklahoma State team that had beaten Texas Tech and Oklahoma recently. Big man Udoka Azubuike had 43 combined points in the two wins.
2. Baylor (25-2, 14-1 Big 12)
The Bears put up a valiant attempt in their three-point loss to Kansas, their first defeat since Nov. 8. With three games left for each team, the race is now on for the Big 12, atop which the two currently sit tied at 14-1. Baylor hasn't won a regular-season conference title since 1950 in the former Southwest Conference.
3. Gonzaga (27-2, 13-1 WCC)
Like Baylor, the Bulldogs took their first loss since November, falling on the road at BYU. The Cougars are legit, so there's no shame in dropping that kind of game, but it re-raised questions about the Zags defense (it gave up 1.25 points per possession to BYU's clinical offense and let the Cougars shoot 62.9% inside the arc) and took away its margin for error in the race for a No. 1 seed.
4. Dayton (26-2, 15-0 A-10)
Despite the chaos around them, the Flyers somewhat quietly keep winning. Next Wednesday's game at Rhode Island gives them the opportunity to build on their 4-2 mark in Quad 1 games, which Dayton will need if it wants a chance to sneak onto the 1-line by Selection Sunday.
5. Florida State (24-4, 14-3 ACC)
It was a big week for the Seminoles, who won in Raleigh against an NC State team coming off its Duke upset before taking down Louisville at home on Monday. FSU now stands alone atop the ACC standings with three games to go, controlling its own destiny in pursuit of its first ACC regular-season title. Upcoming road games at Clemson and Notre Dame look like its biggest obstacles in the way.
6. San Diego State (27-1, 16-1 Mountain West)
An undefeated season is no longer attainable for the Aztecs after they surprisingly fell to a sub-100 UNLV at home over the weekend. SDSU could never get its offense going enough in the loss, shooting 29.6% from three, and almost let it carry over at home again against Colorado State on Tuesday. Despite a tough game from star point guard Malachi Flynn (17 points, but on 4-for-14 shooting), the Aztecs pulled it out to keep their hopes of an NCAA tournament No. 1 seed alive.
7. Kentucky (23-5, 13-2 SEC)
The Wildcats continued their second-half push with wins over Florida and at Texas A&M (and a huge week for Immanuel Quickley, who scored 56 total points in those wins), and are closing in on the SEC regular-season title with a two-game lead with three to play. On Saturday, they'll get a chance to get revenge on Auburn, who handed them their last loss back on Feb. 1.
8. Maryland (23-5, 13-4 Big Ten)
After Ohio State ended the Terps' nine-game winning streak on Sunday, Maryland looked dead in the water while trailing by 17 on the road at Minnesota Wednesday night. But like it has so many other times this season, Mark Turgeon's team rallied, winning on a three-pointer by Darryl Morsell in the closing seconds. One more victory clinches a share of the Big Ten title, which would be Maryland's first.
9. Creighton (22-6, 11-4 Big East)
The Bluejays continue to gain steam after routing Butler at home over the weekend for their ninth win in their last 10 games. Creighton's offense is dangerous, especially with its perimeter shooting ability, but its defense might ultimately hold the key to whether it can go on a deep March run. Holding top-30 offenses Marquette and Butler to under 1.0 PPP in back-to-back games is a sign things are moving in the right direction.
10. Villanova (22-6, 11-4 Big East)
The Wildcats' three-game skid in early February feels like a thing of the past after they won their fifth straight on Wednesday night. Since its defense got shredded in those games, Villanova has taken care of business against four straight relatively-weak offenses, and it remains in the thick of a three-team Big East race.
11. Seton Hall (20-7, 12-3)
The Pirates are still in first place in the Big East after a Sunday win over St. John's, but they have a brutal three-game stretch to close the regular season. After traveling to Marquette, Seton Hall will host Villanova and close on the road at Creighton, with both of those latter teams trailing the Pirates by a game in the standings. If Kevin Willard's team wears the regular-season crown, no one will be able to suggest it isn't deserving.
12. Louisville (23-6, 14-4 SEC)
The Cardinals unraveled in the second half in Tallahassee this week, and the hot three-point shooting that powered them through January and early February has grown cold too often of late. Louisville has now lost three of its last five, shooting below 25% from the perimeter in all three defeats.
13. Duke (23-5, 13-4 ACC)
The Blue Devils' chances at getting a No. 1 seed are quickly dissipating, first with a road loss to unranked NC State, and then with a double-overtime loss to sub-100 Wake Forest in which Duke blew a nine-point lead with 75 seconds to go in regulation. While still in the race at 1.5 games back, the Devils damaged their chance at the ACC title in the process and must re-group before a road trip to a surging Virginia team.
14. Penn State (21-7, 11-6 Big Ten)
The Nittany Lions' hopes of sharing the Big Ten title took a hit with Sunday's road loss at Indiana, and they had to withstand a furious comeback by Rutgers to survive at home on Wednesday night. This team needs Myreon Jones back—the sharpshooting guard has missed six straight games with an illness and averages 14.1 points on the season.
15. Auburn (24-4, 11-4 SEC)
The Tigers ended their two-game skid with wins over Tennessee and Ole Miss, but they face an entirely different kind of challenge on Saturday: winning in Lexington. Auburn hasn't beaten Kentucky at Rupp Arena since 1988, and a loss here would eliminate it from the SEC race. The good news? Freshman standout Isaac Okoro is back after missing three games.
16. Oregon (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12)
The Ducks' up-and-down season continued with a split in the desert: a loss to Arizona State before a thrilling overtime win over Arizona to sweep the season series with the Wildcats. Oregon now finishes the regular season with three winnable home games, and Payton Pritchard has a chance to go out at Matthew Knight Arena on a high note coming off a fantastic 38-point effort against Arizona.
17. Michigan (18-9, 9-7 Big Ten)
The Wolverines continue to look like a different team with junior Isaiah Livers on the floor, this time running past Purdue at Mackey Arena. At only one game back of the second-place logjam in the loss column, Michigan still has a chance to climb the Big Ten standings and earn better position for the conference tournament over its final four contests.
18. Colorado (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12)
The Buffaloes became the latest victim of UCLA's unexpected surge, falling at home to the Bruins on Saturday. Now, Colorado faces three road games to close the regular season: at Cal, Stanford and Utah. The Buffs are 3-3 on the road in Pac-12 play so far, and they'll likely need to go at least 2-1 to have a shot at a share of the conference title.
19. BYU (23-7, 12-3 WCC)
The Cougars unleashed the full fury of their dangerous offense on Gonzaga on Senior Night, pouring in 91 points—28 of which were by Yoeli Childs. Childs missed the teams' first matchup in Spokane, when the Zags had their way with BYU, and he was the difference-maker this time around. Expect the Cougars to be up for the challenge in what could be the most anticipated WCC tournament in a while next weekend.
20. Iowa (19-9, 10-7 Big Ten)
How good has Luka Garza been this year offensively? Consider that the 20 points he scored in Tuesday's loss to Michigan State was his lowest scoring output since Jan. 7. Alas, that loss to the Spartans essentially ended the Hawkeyes' hopes of a Big Ten title, and they're in a fight now just to earn the coveted double bye (given to the top four seeds) in the conference tournament.
21. Arizona (19-8 9-5 Pac-12)
The Wildcats' one-point overtime loss to Oregon was especially brutal for two reasons: 1) the teams' previous meeting this season was also a one-point Ducks win in overtime and 2) 7-foot freshman big Christian Koloko had a chance to win (or at least tie) the game in the final second, but he missed both free throws. With a critical road trip to USC and UCLA now up, they'll need to avoid letting that heartbreak linger.
22. Ohio State (18-9, 8-8 Big Ten)
Despite a road loss to Iowa, the Buckeyes' late-season renaissance continued last weekend with a win over Maryland. Sophomore guard Luther Muhammad went off for a career-high 22 points and Ohio State was formidable from the charity stripe down the stretch in the key victory.
23. Illinois (18-9, 10-6 Big Ten)
After having the weekend off, the Illini dispatched Nebraska on Monday before getting the Big Ten's other bottom-feeder, Northwestern, on the road on Thursday. After scoring 18 points Sunday, star point guard Ayo Dosunmu said he feels "80-85%" healthy after his earlier injury scare, and getting him back to 100% has to be the priority for Illinois entering the final stretch.
24. Michigan State (19-9, 11-6 Big Ten)
Were early reports of the Spartans' demise exaggerated? After a big home win over Iowa, Michigan State has won three of its last four heading into a big Saturday night showdown with Maryland in College Park. A win over the first-place Terps would keep the Spartans' hopes of at least sharing the Big Ten title alive, but they'll need outside help.
25. Arizona State (19-8, 10-4 Pac-12)
Did anyone see the Sun Devils leading the Pac-12 in late February? Bobby Hurley's team has reeled off seven straight wins to play its way onto the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble. Led by Remy Martin (19.1 ppg) and Alonzo Verge Jr. (14.6 ppg) ASU has beaten Oregon, Arizona and Stanford and has a legitimate shot to win the league.
Dropped Out: West Virginia, Butler