The final AP College Basketball Top 25 of the regular season is out. As expected, Kentucky dropped from No. 25 out of the rankings. The pre-season No. 1 enters post-season unranked.
Looking at the pre-season poll compared to the end-of-regular-season poll:
Biggest climb: Villanova began the season unranked and did not enter the poll until Week 5. The Wildcats are now ranked No. 3 heading into the Big East Tournament.
Biggest drop: Kentucky. The Cats are the fourth pre-season No. 1 to fall out of the poll. The previous three were Loyola of Chicago in 1963-64, UCLA in 1965-66 and Indiana in 1979-80. Michigan State was No. 2 in pre-season and finished up No. 22.
Note: The previous three pre-season No. 1s who fell out of poll returned at some point during the season.
Most accurate: Arizona started the year at No. 6 and ended the regular year at No. 4. Louisville started the year at No. 3 and wound up No. 5. Michigan dropped out of the poll for six weeks but the Wolverines began the season ranked No. 7 and finished the year ranked No. 9.
Most dependable: Florida (1), Wichita State (2), Arizona (4), Louisville (5), Duke (7), Kansas (10), Syracuse (11), Memphis (19) and Michigan State (22) never fell out of the rankings.
Briefest appearances: Dayton was ranked No. 25 in Week 5 and never returned. Illinois was ranked No. 23 in Week 10 and never returned.
Biggest gap: VCU as ranked 14, 14 and 10 in the first three weeks, fell out of the poll and did not return until this week. The Rams are 23rd.
Last year’s Final Four: National champion Louisville was ranked No. 4 in the final regular-season poll. Runner-up Michigan was at No. 6. National semifinalist Syracuse was ranked 19th and fellow Final Four participant Wichita State was unranked. In fact, Wichita State had six points in the final regular-season poll while UK had five.
Who ended the regular season No. 1 last year? That would be Gonzaga. Duke was No. 2, followed by Indiana at No. 3.
Photo by Timothy Easley/AP
Related link: AP College Basketball Top 25 week-by-week in Excel