It was an odd situation last week when the polls were released. Kansas was at the top of the Coaches poll, but ranked second in the AP poll. What made it strange was that the Jayhawks received more first place votes, but had fewer overall points than Villanova. Both teams were victorious in their two games, but it is possible the Jayhawks can still leapfrog the Wildcats in the AP poll.
Above you can see the current top five in the AP poll along with game results since the poll was released and the point totals. One thing is pretty sure and that is UCLA will drop as they lost to Arizona yesterday. I would guess their three first place votes will be up for grabs.
Let’s dig a little deeper into why the Jayhawks trailed Villanova by 18 points. The point system is pretty straightforward. A team gets 25 points for first, 24 points for second, etc. So if there was a single writer who voted a team really low, that would drag down their point total. Last week, Graham Couch voted Kansas #13 on his ballot!
I don’t expect Couch to change his stance drastically, but there were losses by several of the teams he had ranked ahead of the Jayhawks. From that one writer alone, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jayhawks gain five or more points. No other voter had Kansas outside of the Top Five. Even those who voted them at 4 or 5 will likely move them up a spot or two based on the results of the week. That would represent a few more votes. To pass Villanova, they would need at least 18 more votes.
Will it happen? I’m not sure. But I think the overall vote total between the top two spots will be less than five votes. One thing is pretty certain to me and that is wins at West Virginia and Kentucky would definitely put the Jayhawks in the top spot regardless of the outcome of any other games.