It has been a strong four-team group for the past couple of weeks, but now it has been trimmed to three after Baylor lost at Texas Tech and at home against Kansas. Scott Drew's Bears fell from fourth to eighth, and the Pac-12 trio of UCLA, Oregon and Arizona all move up a spot.
Most of the teams in the top 25 got through last week unscathed, but South Carolina and Xavier took the most significant hits and fell out altogether after being mainstays of late. The Gamecocks lost at Arkansas and Vanderbilt and Chris Mack's team fell to Providence and Marquette on the road. Virginia also lost twice, but the Cavaliers had a pair of quality losses to Duke and North Carolina.
The two teams that replaced South Carolina and Xavier are SMU and Maryland. The Mustangs were a no-brainer as they are in first place in the American, but it wasn't easy to find a team worthy of the final spot in the rankings.
1. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Last week's ranking: 1
The 'Zags had an easy week -- beating San Francisco and Pacific at home -- and now stand two wins away from an unblemished regular season.
2. Villanova Wildcats
Last week's ranking: 2
The Wildcats have clinched a tie for their fourth consecutive Big East title, four games in front of second place with four to go.
3. Kansas Jayhawks
Last week's ranking: 3
The Jayhawks came back from a 14-point deficit with less than four minutes to go to beat West Virginia, and then went to Waco and returned with a win. KU is on the verge of its 13th consecutive Big 12 title.
4. UCLA Bruins
Last week's ranking: 5
The Bruins snapped a four-game losing skid against crosstown rival USC with a 32-point win at Pauley.
5. Oregon Ducks
Last week's ranking: 6
The Ducks beat Utah and Colorado at home, running their home winning streak to 42 -- the longest in the nation.
6. Arizona Wildcats
Last week's ranking: 7
The Wildcats sit all alone in first place in the Pac-12, a game up on Oregon and two on UCLA, with three remaining -- including a pair at home against USC and UCLA.
7. Louisville Cardinals
Last week's ranking: 8
The Cardinals beat Virginia Tech, but allowed a Yum! Center record 90 points in the win.
8. Baylor Bears
Last week's ranking: 4
The Bears have now lost four of their past six after setbacks at Texas Tech and at home against Kansas.
9. North Carolina Tar Heels
Last week's ranking: 10
The Tar Heels hold a one-game lead over Duke and Louisville with four regular-season games left. UNC plays Louisville and Duke in Chapel Hill.
10. Kentucky Wildcats
Last week's ranking: 11
After dropping three of four, the 'Cats have reeled off four straight and are tied with Florida atop the SEC.
11. Duke Blue Devils
Last week's ranking: 13
The Blue Devils have won seven straight and are just a game out of first place in the ACC.
12. West Virginia Mountaineers
Last week's ranking: 12
Bob Huggins & Co. blew a late 14-point lead at Kansas, but avoided further disaster with a double-overtime win against Texas Tech in Morgantown.
13. Florida State Seminoles
Last week's ranking: 9
Dwayne Bacon's streak of double-figure scoring games ended in the loss at Pittsburgh as he went scoreless.
14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last week's ranking: 14
The Irish picked up a couple of road wins at BC and NC State.
17. Butler Bulldogs
Last week's ranking: 18
The Bulldogs had a nice easy week with wins over St. John's and DePaul.
18. Virginia Cavaliers
Last week's ranking: 15
Tony Bennett's team has now lost three straight, and has allowed an average of 70 points per game in the three losses.
19. Cincinnati Bearcats
Last week's ranking: 20
Mick Cronin won his 300th career game against Tulsa. He's 231-132 in 11 years at Cincinnati.
20. Wisconsin Badgers
Last week's ranking: 19
The Badgers lost at Michigan without Bronson Koenig (leg injury), but their senior point guard returned for Sunday's win at home against Maryland.
21. Saint Mary's Gaels
Last week's ranking: 21
With a pair of regular-season games left, the Gaels remain undefeated in WCC play against teams not named Gonzaga.
23. Creighton Bluejays
Last week's ranking: 24
It's obviously not the same team without Mo Watson, but the Bluejays have done just enough to remain in the Top 25.
24. USC Trojans
Last week's ranking: 25
Andy Enfield's team lost at UCLA, and it doesn't get any easier as the Trojans will play at Arizona on Thursday.
25. Maryland Terrapins
Last week's ranking: NR
The Terps get back into the top 25 after a road win against Northwestern and losing at Wisconsin.
Dropped out: South Carolina, Xavier