NCAAB: Colorado, Houston nearly fall from AP Top 25
The top of the AP Top 25 continues to remain steady, while the bottom half experienced major reorganization Monday.
As the college basketball season takes a turn for the final stretch, let’s break down this week’s biggest risers and fallers and examine their odds of winning the NCAA Tournament.
Maryland Terrapins: up six spots to #9
The Terrapins are back on a hot streak, with five straight wins in Big Ten play. On Thursday the Terps hosted then-No. 18 Iowa for an 82-72 victory, then edged Rutgers, 56-51, Tuesday.
Maryland began the season ranked seventh and put together a 10-win streak, before back-to-back losses at Penn State and Seton Hall. In mid-January, Mark Turgeon’s squad fell in consecutive road games again— at Iowa and Wisconsin—and dropped as low as 17th in the AP poll.
The Terrapins are back on the rise and boast +2700 odds to secure the school’s second national championship (Maryland won its first in 2002). The schedule should get tricky ahead of March, with road games at No. 20 Illinois and No. 16 Michigan State. The Terrapins also visit Ohio State, Minnesota, and host a rematch with Michigan State later this month.
Auburn Tigers: up six spots to #11
Up until Jan. 15 Auburn was undefeated, but it all took a turn for the worst from there. The Tigers got pummeled by 12-10 Alabama, 83-64, and suffered another beating by 13-8 Florida, 69-47, in their following game.
The team’s 15-win streak to start the season—mostly against easy, nonconference competition—hardly looked impressive after those blowout losses. But the Tigers have bounced back since late January and rolled off five consecutive victories, including one against then-No. 13 Kentucky, 75-66.
The Tigers’ odds to win the NCAA championship have moved to +2700, but they can prove themselves in this next stretch of the schedule. No. 18 LSU will visit on Saturday and is ahead of the second-place Tigers in the SEC standings.
Auburn will also host Alabama for a chance at redemption next Wednesday and faces the weaker half of the SEC in the coming month.
Colorado Buffaloes: down four spots to #24
The Buffaloes have been hovering around the Top 25 for quite some time and sit right on the edge in the latest poll.
The Pac-12’s No. 2 team jumped to 20th, after wins against Washington and Washington State, but a loss at 12-10 UCLA on Thursday led to a drop.
In Tad Boyle’s 10th season as head coach, he’s hoping to guide his team back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016. The Buffaloes are a +6000 longshot to claim the national title.
Up next on the schedule is a pair of home games against Cal and Stanford, then a road test at No. 14 Oregon on Feb. 13.
Houston Cougars: down four spots to #25
Just last week the Cougars moved up four spots to 21st, only to tumble back down to No. 25 Monday.
Now 17-5, the Cougars endured their most recent defeat Saturday at 14-7 Cincinnati. In that 64-62 loss, guard DeJon Jarreau was ejected from the game, and later received a one-game suspension, after he bit Cincinnati's Mamoudou Diarra.
Prior to that bizarre setback, Houston accumulated five straight victories, with their biggest coming against then-No. 16 Wichita State.
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson suspends guard DeJon Jarreau for Thursday’s game against Tulane. After review of other angles, Sampson says “it can clearly be seen” that Jarreau bit Cincinnati forward Mamoudou Diarra. Full Sampson statement 👇 pic.twitter.com/1ysQG7qQrY— Joseph Duarte (@Joseph_Duarte) February 2, 2020
The Cougars remain a +6000 shot to earn the NCAA crown and sit in second in the AAC standings. They’ll host Tulane and Wichita State this week, before they travel to South Florida and SMU.