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AP Top-25 Poll, Week 14: What latest rankings tells us about NCAA Tournament futures

The new AP Top 25 poll in men’s college basketball is out and we go over where the top contenders are ranked as well as where they sit on the national title odds board.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 30 South Carolina at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The new AP Top-25 poll for men’s college basketball was released on Monday and it’s the first poll released in what should be an eventful month of February.

Seven upsets took place over the weekend and AP voters responded accordingly with teams rising and falling with the poll. But were there any big picture changes as far as national championship odds are concerned? We’ll take a look below with all odds being provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Top contenders

The top-6 contenders in title odds are No. 2 Purdue (+750), No. 1 UConn (+800), No. 5 Houston (+900), No. 3 North Carolina (+1300). No. 8 Arizona (+1400), and No. 17 Kentucky (+1600).

Something noteworthy about this is Purdue being the national title favorite over UConn heading into the home stretch of the regular season. Both teams are carving right through their respective conference slates, but the Huskies have been doing so against tougher opponents per KenPom. They were able to easily dispatch of St. John’s on Saturday and were able to do so without the services of forward Alex Karaban. You would think the defending national champions would get the benefit of the doubt in the eyes of oddsmakers. However, the Zach Edey-led Boilermakers continue to be the favorite. We’ll keep tabs on these two teams for the rest of the regular season.

No. 6 Tennessee (+1600) and No. 4 Kansas (+1700) continue to occupy the space of being top contenders with value following the release of this week’s poll. The Volunteers just schooled Kentucky in a 103-92 road victory on Saturday, the highest scoring output of the year for a team known for its defense. One could question why they are not above the struggling Wildcats team on the odds board and that’s most likely oddsmakers banking on UK’s young roster gelling once tournament time rolls around. Meanwhile, KU just bullied Houston in a 78-65 hime victory on Saturday and its odds could get shorter if it can avoid a few more setbacks in a tough Big 12.

AP poll risers

No. 16 Alabama made the biggest the biggest leap within the AP poll, jumping up eight spots from where they were last week. The Crimson Tide are rolling after not being ranked two weeks ago, but their national championship odds have remained the same at +2500.

No. 15 South Carolina and No. 24 San Diego State are the new teams in this week’s AP poll and it’s time to start paying attention to the Gamecocks. They are rolling on a five-game win streak and recent victories over Kentucky and Tennessee gave them a major boost up the poll. Their national title futures also improved to +10000, putting them into sleeper territory. If you’re high on what this SCar team can do in March, I’d jump on them ASAP before everyone else catches on.

AP poll fallers

No. 24 Texas Tech (+8000) fell eight spots after losses to TCU and Cincinnati last week, but that didn’t affect its national title futures at all. The same goes for aforementioned Kentucky who fell seven spots and while the upside is what’s keeping it in the top contender category, it needs to start stacking wins immediately.

TCU (+9000) and Oklahoma (+10000) were the two teams that fell out of the top 25 this week and their national title futures have taken a hit in the process. That’s a result of them getting caught in the meat grinder that is the Big 12, but there’s plenty of time for them to improve their stock.

Ranked mid-majors

This week’s ranked mid-majors are No. 18 Dayton (+9000), No. 20 Florida Atlantic (+6000), No. 22 Utah State (+10000), No. 24 San Diego State (+8000), and No. 25 New Mexico (+8000). FAU is cruising through AAC play and remains the mid-major with the shortest odds to win the national championship. Meanwhile, the three Mountain West Conference teams represented here are all in sleeper territory and that’s a testament to just how tough that league is this season.