Kansas returns to No. 1 spot in USA TODAY Sports men’s basketball poll

The upper echelon of the USA TODAY Sports men’s basketball poll had been fairly stable for the past few weeks. That isn’t the case this time, following a week in which three of the top four teams and half the top 10 lost at least one game.

Kansas reclaims the No. 1 spot it occupied for just one week earlier this season. The Jayhawks avenged their earlier loss to Baylor, ending the Bears’ four-week stint at the top. Kansas received 30 of 32 first-place votes with Baylor, which slipped only to No. 2 overall, retaining the other two. There is a high likelihood those two will meet again in the Big 12 tournament finale, and both remain in excellent position for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament with Selection Sunday now less than three weeks away.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson reacts after scoring during the first half of his team's defeat of then-No. 1 Baylor at Ferrell Center. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports)

Dayton managed to avoid the upset bug and moves up to No. 3, continuing to surpass its own high watermark in the history of the coaches poll. Gonzaga falls two spots to No. 4 after losing at BYU, and San Diego State drops just one position to No. 5 after dropping its first game of the season to UNLV. With that loss by the Aztecs, no undefeated teams remain in Division I.

TOP 25:Complete USA TODAY men's basketball coaches poll

The ACC holds three of the next five positions. Florida State leads the group at No. 6, followed by No. 7 Duke and No. 10 Louisville. Big Ten leader Maryland slides only one spot to No. 8 after a loss at Ohio State, and Kentucky moves up a notch to No. 9.

The Big East holds the next three slots. No. 11 Creighton now leads the trio, vaulting ahead of No. 12 Villanova and No. 13 Seton Hall. But a pair of other league squads, Butler and Marquette, were dropped out of the rankings this week.

BYU enters the poll at No. 18 after its big win against Gonzaga. It is the first appearance in the coaches poll for the Cougars this season. No. 21 Texas Tech and No. 22 Michigan also return. Houston is the third team to fall out this week.

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