Hoops: Horns No. 10/11 In Polls; No. 3 Duke Next

Texas tumbled a few spots in both the Associated Press and Coaches (ESPN/USA Today) polls released Monday, after falling by nine to Arizona on Tuesday and throttling New Orleans, 89-55, over the weekend.

The 5-1 Horns check in at No. 10 in the Coaches Poll and share the No. 11 spot with St. Joseph in the AP.

Arguably, Texas’ toughest test of the season is slated for Saturday (11 a.m. CST) when the Horns return to Madison Square Garden to face No. 3 Duke in an ESPN national telecast. Texas concludes its non-conference schedule when No. 9/13 Wake Forest visits the Erwin Center on Jan. 13. By the end of January, the Longhorns will have faced six teams that currently rank in the Top Ten in one or both of the major college polls.

The next five weeks will obviously go a long way in determining just how good this Texas team is, and it will also boost a low strength of schedule (87th-toughest in the country) and a mid-ling RPI. Through Sunday’s games, UT is way down at No. 38 in the simulated RPI at Jerry Palm’s collegerpi.com. Four of the Horns’ five wins have come against bottom-dwellers in Brown (No. 234), Sam Houston (No. 211), Centenary (No. 182) and Wofford (No. 244) while most-recent conquest New Orleans checks in at No. 51. Arizona, UT’s lone loss, is No. 18. Kentucky tops the RPI list.

Kentucky also tops the Coaches poll but is second only to Connecticut in the AP despite garnering more first place votes (26 to 21) than the Huskies. North Carolina checks in at No. 4 in both services.

Texas is one of four Big 12 schools listed among the Top 15. Kansas is ranked No. 6 (AP) and No. 7 (Coaches). Oklahoma, with narrow wins over Purdue and Michigan State, is tabbed No. 8 in both polls. Missouri, after suffering its first loss of the season to No. 12/15 Gonzaga, fell to No. 10 (AP) and No. 14 (Coaches).

Arizona parlayed its win over formerly No. 6 Texas to a No. 5 (Coaches) and No. 7 (AP) ranking.

1. UConn
2. Kentucky
3. Duke
4. North Carolina
5. Ga. Tech
6. Kansas
7. Arizona
8. Oklahoma
9. Stanford
10. Missouri

1. Kentucky
2. UConn
3. Duke
4. North Carolina
5. Arizona
6. Ga. Tech
7. Kansas
9. Wake Forest
10. Texas

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