NCAA

Virginia drops in new AP top 25 poll, while Virginia Tech's stock is on the rise

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia drops in new AP top 25 poll, while Virginia Tech's stock is on the rise

Kansas is back where it started the season.

The preseason No. 1, the Jayhawks are again the top-ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 despite struggling to get past New Mexico State at home. Kansas received 57 first-place votes from a 65-person media panel in the poll released Monday, sliding into the top spot after previous No. 1 Gonzaga lost to Tennessee.

No. 2 Duke moved up a spot and received four first-place votes. No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Gonzaga, No. 5 Michigan and No. 6 Virginia received the other first-place votes.

No. 7 Nevada, Auburn, Michigan State and Florida State rounded out the top 10.

The Jayhawks were the preseason No. 1, but dropped a spot after Duke decimated then-No. 2 Kentucky to open the season.

Gonzaga moved to No. 1 after beating Duke in the Maui Invitational title game, lasting two weeks before losing 76-73 to the Vols Sunday in Phoenix.

Kansas (8-0) kept winning, though needed a big game from Dedric Lawson to beat New Mexico State in Kansas City on Saturday. Lawson, a preseason All-American, had 20 points, including the final 14 for Kansas, and 10 rebounds in the tighter than expected 63-60 victory.

Kansas played without center Udoka Azubuike, but coach Bill Self was not buying any excuses for the struggles.

"We were fortunate tonight," he said. "How in the world we've won these games ... it's one thing to not play well, it's another thing to not play well and not be intellectually into the game and that was certainly the case tonight."

It was good enough to get the Jayhawks past the Aggies -- and move to No. 1.

COMPLETE AP TOP 25 POLL WEEK 6

1. Kansas 8-0 (57 first-place votes, No. 2 last week)

2. Duke 9-1 (4 first-place votes, No. 3 last week)

3. Tennessee 7-1 (1 first-place vote, No. 7 last week)

4. Gonzaga 9-1 (1 first-place vote, No. 1 last week)

5. Michigan 10-0 (1 first-place vote, no change from last week)

6. Virginia 9-0 (1 first-place vote, No. 4 last week)

7. Nevada 10-0 (No. 6 last week)

8. Auburn 8-1 (No change from last week)

9. Michigan State 8-2 (No. 10 last week)

10. Florida State 8-1 (No. 11 last week)

11. Texas Tech 8-0 (No. 13 last week)

12. North Carolina 7-2 (No. 14 last week)

13. Virginia Tech 8-1 (No. 15 last week)

14. Buffalo 9-0 (No. 17 last week)

15. Ohio State 8-1 (No. 19 last week)

16. Wisconsin 8-2 (No. 12 last week)

17. Villanova 8-2 (No. 21 last week)

18. Mississippi State 8-1 (No. 22 last week)

19. Kentucky 7-2 (No. 9 last week)

20. Arizona State 7-1 (No change from last week)

21. Marquette 8-2 (Not ranked last week)

22. Iowa 7-2 (No. 18 last week_

23. Furman 10-0 (No. 25 last week)

24. Houston 8-0 (Not ranked last week)

25. Indiana 8-2 (Not ranked last week)

25. Syracuse 7-2 (Not ranked last week)

25. Kansas State 6-2 (No. 16 last week)

VOLS RISING

Tennessee picked up its biggest win in four seasons under coach Rick Barnes by knocking off Gonzaga in the Colangelo Classic.

The Vols (7-1) kept their poise and made the biggest plays down the stretch, holding off the Zags 76-73 after Admiral Schofield scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half and hit two key 3-pointers.

The victory was Tennessee's first over a No. 1 team since beating Kansas in 2010 and Barnes' first in 31 years as a head coach.

The Vols have their highest AP ranking since hitting No. 1 in 2007-08.

FURMAN HOLDS STEADY

Furman moved into the poll for the first time last week, thanks to a resume that includes wins over 2018 Final Four teams Villanova and Loyola-Chicago.

The Paladins (10-0) moved up two spots in this week's poll to No. 23 after beating Elon and South Carolina Upstate.

Furman plays Charleston Southern on Tuesday and UNC Wilmington Saturday.

TOP 27

This week's poll had a rarity: Three teams tied for the final spot.

Syracuse, Indiana and Kansas State all came in at No. 25 after receiving 118 points. It's the first three-way tie in the AP Top 25 since three teams shared No. 13 in 1991.

The Hoosiers are ranked for the first time since climbing to No. 3 in 2016-17. The Orange moved back into the Top 25 after beating Northeastern and Georgetown.

The Wildcats dropped nine spots from No. 16 after losing to Tulsa.

RISING

Tennessee matched the biggest climb of the week, moving up four spots from No. 7.

No. 15 Ohio State, No. 17 Villanova and No. 18 Mississippi also moved up four.

FALLING

No. 19 Kentucky had the largest drop this week, losing 10 spots to No. 19 after losing to Seton Hall in overtime. Kansas State was next at nine. Maryland also dropped out of the top 25 after being ranked No. 23 last week.

MOVING IN

In addition to Syracuse and Indiana, No. 21 Marquette and No. 24 Houston each moved into the poll this week.

The Cougars are ranked for the first time since hitting No. 21 last season and the Golden Eagles are back in the poll after dropping out in Week 3.

MORE NCAA NEWS

Patrick Mahomes celebrates Mac McClung picking his alma mater Texas Tech

Patrick Mahomes celebrates Mac McClung picking his alma mater Texas Tech

Wednesday was a good day for Red Raider fans when Mac McClung announced his transfer commitment to Texas Tech

Even former alum and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes - who also was openly recruiting the star on Twitter - was excited about the big get. 

He was joined by fellow Texas Tech alum Jarrett Culver in sharing his excitement of getting the 6-foot-2 guard. Culver's style and skill set are very similar to McClung's. Under head coach Chris Beard, he helped transform the combo guard into a first-round NBA prospect.

Other professional athletes including Trae Young gave McClung their congratulations. 

As a late entry into the transfer portal, McClung was one of the biggest available players this offseason. While he is required to sit a season due to NCAA transfer rules, there is some buzz that he may get a waiver to compete next season in Lubbock. 

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Ever Wonder: How Midnight Madness got its start at the University of Maryland

Ever Wonder: How Midnight Madness got its start at the University of Maryland

For most college basketball programs across the country, Midnight Madness has become a major tradition. The late-night spectacle filled with basketball and showmanship signifies the start of a new season. 

But, how did Midnight Madness come to be? It turns out its humble beginnings took place at the University of Maryland.

In 1971, legendary head coach Lefty Driesell had been at the helm of the Terps basketball squad for two seasons. Helping the program reach a new prestige in his first couple of years, Driesell wanted to take Maryland to the next level and show the rest of college basketball they were legit contenders.

His idea: have his team be the first ones to practice on the season by participating in an event at midnight on the earliest possible date. This way, in Driesell's eyes, the Terps would the first team on the court at the beginning and the last one on it at the end when they held the National Championship trophy.

“This was Lefty’s way of saying, ‘Hey world, Maryland is here now. We got a great team and I’m going to be the first team in America to practice,'" Tom McMillen, who was a member of the 1971 team, said.

Besides sending a message to other programs, Driesell also used Midnight Madness as a way to drum up school spirit. If Maryland was going to become one of the top schools in the nation and a respected team, they needed fans to get involved and stay committed.

“Getting the campus to rally behind the basketball team," Tony Massenburg, who played under Driesell in 1985, said. “You don’t need a reason to get a bunch of college students to stay up until midnight."

The first Midnight Madness took place on October 15, 1971, at 12:03 a.m. Unlike a majority of the nights in modern times, the Maryland team wasn't in a gym, but rather out at Byrd Stadium running a mile. Still, the event got the attention of locals and a national audience. 

“It really set off a firestorm across the country," McMillen said.

In the third installment of Midnight Madness, Driesell had Maryland participate in a scrimmage open to the public, more in line with what is seen across the country now. It was that event that turned Midnight Madness into the popular spectacle it is today.

“The third year we ended up having a scrimmage. That’s really what launched midnight madness," McMillen said.

What began as Driesell's idea has transformed into a common night shared among campuses across the country. Every year Midnight Madness gets bigger, with scrimmages only being part of the action. Wild introductions, skits and more theatrics have turned the first practice of the season into much more than that.

Maryland still participates and even paid homage to the original Midnight Madness in 2018. In honor of the program's 100th season and Driesell's introduction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Midnight Mile made its return. 

While the night continues to grow in size, the original meaning still holds true. Driesell held Midnight Madness as a way to showcase Maryland and prove it was the best place to be. Coaches across the country are doing the same, trying to show that their campus is the place to be.

“What it’s become is a recruiting tool," Massenburg said. "It’s the means to sort of showcase your program.”

What began in College Park has turned into one of college basketball's best traditions. Despite Driesell being the creator, the start of Midnight Madness is sometimes relatively unknown by the public. If the head coach had known how big it would become back in 1971, that may have been different. 

“I tell Lefty my only regret is that you didn’t copyright Midnight Madness because it was a very valuable asset and literally just an idea he came up with just to be first," McMillen said. 

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