The University at Buffalo gained one place to the 20th slot in the Association Press Men’s Basketball Poll announced on Monday.
UB (12-1) has been ranked in the top 25 for the last eight of the nine weeks of the poll this season. That’s the most a Mid-American Conference team has been ranked in the top 25 in one season since Ohio University made it for eight weeks in 1969-70.
The Bulls’ only loss was to Marquette (11-2), which is ranked 16th. UB was ranked 14th before that loss on the road in Milwaukee.
Duke topped this week’s AP rankings with coach John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines second. Virginia, Kansas and Tennessee round out the top five. Duke and Michigan were 1-2 for the second week in a row but the Wolverines knocked off five points in the points differential with the Blue Devils. Duke had 35 first place vote, Tennessee 23, Michigan 8, Kansas and Virginia with four each from the panel of 64 media members.
Coach Nate Oats’ team will begin its defense of the MAC championship at Eastern Michigan on Friday night. The 9 p.m. clash will be televised by the CBS Sports Network. UB’s conference home opener will be against Toledo on Tuesday night at Alumni Arena, the first meeting between the two since the championship game of the 2018 MAC Tournament in Cleveland last March, UB won, 76-66.
UB also stands tied for 20th in the USA Today Coaches Poll, up two places from No. 22 last week. The Bulls standing was helped by Arizona State’s loss to Princeton and Wisconsin’s loss at Western Kentucky. Those are two teams UB moved past in the AP Poll. Houston (13-0) of the American Athletic Conference moved in front of UB from the 22nd slot.
In USA Today ranking, UB gained on two Big 10 teams, moving even with Iowa which was 21st last week and Wisconsin, which was 16th.
Graham Couch of the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal had UB eight on his ballot. ESPN commentator Dick Vitale had the 24th and John Feinstein of the Washington Post had the 19th. Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star did not vote UB in his top 25. Brian Holland of Holland WVLA-TV/WGMB-TV in Baton Rouge, La., has rated UB low all season and he left them off his ballot for the second week in a row