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Bearcats Finish Regular Season at No. 15 in AP Poll

As the postseason begins, the Bearcats are still considered one of the nation’s best teams.

NCAA Basketball: Houston at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers next to team’s names will take on a whole new meaning in a week’s time. With Selection Sunday less than seven days away, national polls, power rankings and any other way that teams are being arranged will not mean a thing. All that will matter is what number between one and 16 is next to your preferred school’s team name. For most of you, that will be the Cincinnati Bearcats. For everyone else, welcome to Down the Drive. (Unless you root for Xavier. Then you can leave).

Anyway, with such a shift in how teams are ranked coming, its worth one last look at the AP Top 25, which will mean exactly zip before you know it. (Not that rankings really matter all that much anyway, but that’s a discussion for another day).

Cincinnati, which has enjoyed the company of the rest of the top 25 for most of this season, remained in the ranks, rising back to No. 15 after falling to No. 18 a week ago. After being unranked in the preseason, the Bearcats were in the AP poll for the last 14 weeks and 15 of the 17 total weeks of the regular season.

Unfortunately, they are still chasing American Athletic Conference regular season champion SMU, which rose two spots to No. 12 in the AP poll and is the favorite in the upcoming conference tourney. Iowa State, the only other team that UC beat in the top 25, rose one spot to No. 23, further cementing UC’s already locked-in resume as a NCAA Tournament squad.

As for the upper portion of the poll, the top four (Kansas, Villanova, UCLA and Gonzaga) remained the same, while Oregon leapfrogged North Carolina to take over the No. 5 spot. The rest of the poll can be found below.

AP Top 25 Week 17

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kansas (59) 28-3 1,619
2 Villanova (2) 28-3 1,517
3 UCLA (3) 28-3 1,487
4 Gonzaga (1) 30-1 1,430
5 Oregon 27-4 1,364
6 North Carolina 26-6 1,291
7 Arizona 27-4 1,252
8 Kentucky 26-5 1,182
9 Baylor 25-6 1,084
10 Louisville 24-7 1,047
11 West Virginia 24-7 958
12 SMU 27-4 849
13 Purdue 25-6 839
14 Duke 23-8 667
15 Cincinnati 27-4 634
16 Florida State 24-7 631
17 Florida 24-7 617
18 Butler 23-7 538
19 Saint Mary's 27-3 456
20 Wichita State 30-4 401
21 Virginia 21-9 400
22 Notre Dame 23-8 394
23 Iowa State 20-10 147
24 Wisconsin 23-8 139
25 Maryland 24-7 47
Others Receiving Votes: Middle Tennessee (27-4) 28; Oklahoma State (20-11) 23; Minnesota (23-8) 22; Michigan (20-11) 16; Dayton (24-6) 11; Seton Hall (20-10) 9; Southern California (23-8) 6; Providence (20-11) 5; Vermont (27-5) 3; VCU (24-7) 2; Arkansas (23-8) 2; Wake Forest (18-12) 2; Miami (Fla.) (20-10) 2; Princeton (21-6) 1; Creighton (23-8) 1; UNC-Wilmington (28-5) 1; Michigan State (18-13) 1