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FAU ranked in Top 25 for first time ever

Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Dusty May coaches from the sideline in the second half. The Florida Gators men's basketball team hosted the Florida Atlantic Owls at Billy Donovan Court at Exactech Arena in Gainesville, FL on Monday, November 14, 2022. Florida Atlantic defeated Florida 76-74.  [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

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Florida Atlantic earned its first Associated Press Top 25 ranking in program history while mainstay Duke fell out for the first time since the 2020-21 season in the latest poll, released Monday.

Houston (17-1) received 34 first-place votes to remain No. 1. Kansas (16-1) is a hair behind the Cougars at No. 2, getting 23 first-place votes. Purdue (16-1) captured three first-place votes at No. 3.

Alabama (15-2) remains at No. 4 and UCLA (16-2) jumped two spots to round out the top 5.

But this week’s poll is all about FAU (16-1), which enters the poll at No. 24. The Owls have won 15 in a row since an 80-67 loss to Ole Miss on Nov. 11. FAU, tops in the Conference USA standings, took advantage of Saturday’s chaos, when 11 teams in the Top 25 lost.

Almost as noteworthy is Duke falling out of the poll. The Blue Devils are just 3-3 in their past six, including a 72-64 loss to Clemson on Saturday. That propelled the Tigers (15-3) into the rankings at No. 19. Clemson is in first place in the ACC, undefeated in conference play.

Gonzaga (16-3), Texas (15-2), Xavier (15-3), Tennessee (14-3) and Virginia (13-3) round out the top 10.

In addition to FAU and Clemson, Baylor is back in this week’s poll at No. 21 and Rutgers (13-5) makes its debut at No. 23.

Along with Duke, San Diego State, Missouri and Wisconsin dropped out of this week’s rankings.

Arkansas was the week’s biggest faller, dropping 10 spots to No. 25 after a 97-84 loss to Vanderbilt. Auburn jumped five spots to No. 16 after a win over Mississippi State.

The rest of the poll:
11. Arizona
12. Iowa State
13. Kansas State
14. TCU
15. UConn
16. Auburn
17. Miami
18. Charleston
19. Clemson
20. Marquette
21. Baylor
22. Providence
23. Rutgers
24. FAU
25. Arkansas

–Field Level Media