College basketball coaches across the country were most impressed this week by Michigan State, Kansas, Illinois and Texas, if you were to read into the ballots they cast for Monday's Coaches Poll. The four teams were the biggest risers in the second in-season rankings of the season, with both Kansas and Texas coming in at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, behind No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Houston.
Kansas improved to 4-0 on the season with wins over Duke and Southern Utah in the last week to merit a leap from No. 5 in last week's poll. Its win over then-No. 8 Duke last Tuesday qualified as one of the best early-season wins for any program.
Big 12 counterpart Texas has its own claim to owning the best early-season win of the young season, too. It played just once in the last week but made it count, handing then-No. 2 Gonzaga its biggest loss since 2014 in a 93-74 drubbing on Wednesday. Texas also received a first-place vote in the poll.
Kentucky, conversely, was one of the biggest fallers this week after taking two losses — one against Michigan State in double-OT, another on Sunday to Gonzaga — in a span of three games. UK's offense sputtered against the Zags, which also dominated the Wildcats in the paint in a shocking manner. Its nine-spot free-fall puts Kentucky at No. 13 this week.
The top 25 teams in the USA Today Coaches Poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sunday, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:
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Others receiving votes: Ohio State 56; Michigan 52; Saint Mary's 42; TCU 33; Dayton 20; Wisconsin 16; Toledo 12; Virginia Tech 10; Miami 9; Villanova 8; Texas A&M 6; Memphis 6; Xavier 4; Saint Louis 4; St. John's 3; Drake 3; Charleston 3; Iowa State 2; Arizona State 2; West Virginia 1; Tulane 1; Marquette 1.
Dropped out: No. 18 TCU; No. 21 Michigan; No. 23 Dayton.