Shotgun Spratling | USCfootball.com

Undefeated USC basketball cracks the top 25 for first time

Undefeated Trojans break into the college basketball top 25 for the first time this season.

When Elijah Stewart heard the question, he started shaking his head. Freshman Nick Rakocevic knew Stewart had a strong opinion and quickly deferred to his elder teammate.

Are the USC Trojans getting the recognition that they deserve starting 9-0 following a 26-point drubbing of Pepperdine Sunday night?

"Nah. Not at all," Stewart said. "We were supposed to be last last year in the Pac. I think they picked us kind of last this year. Like I said at Pac-12 media day, if you could tell the future, you probably work for the government."

Expectations outside the Galen Center were tempered after the Trojans lost six underclassmen from last year's NCAA tournament team to transfers and entries into the NBA draft pool. The media predicted the Trojans would finish seventh in the Pac-12, but that hasn't been the case thus far. Andy Enfield's squad is off to the school's best start since the 1970-71 season with a 9-0 record in the non-conference.

USC is one of only seven unbeaten teams remaining in the nation and it was finally rewarded with a spot in the top 25 polls on Monday. The Trojans jump into the Associated Press rankings at No. 24 and the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 25. They are hoping for a much more lasting stay in the top 25 this season. Last year, USC was ranked on two different occasions and managed to go 0-4 while ranked -- all in Pac-12 games where USC has lost its last nine games while being ranked. 

The Trojans are one of four Pac-12 teams ranked in the AP top 25, along with No. 2 UCLA -- another undefeated Pac-12 team -- No. 19 Arizona and No. 22 Oregon. The Pac-12 is tied for the second most ranked teams behind the ACC, which has seven ranked teams. But the No. 1 overall team resides in the Big East. Villanova remained No. 1 in both polls after going 2-0 with wins over La Salle and previously unbeaten Notre Dame, who moved up two spots to No. 21 despite its first loss.

Associated Press Top 25

1
Villanova (56)
Big East
Record: 10-0
PV Rank
1
2
UCLA (3)
Pac-12
Record: 10-0
2
3
Kansas
Big 12
Record: 9-1
3
4
Baylor (6)
Big 12
Record: 8-0
4
5
Duke
ACC
Record: 10-1
5
6
Kentucky
SEC
Record: 9-1
6
7
North Carolina
ACC
Record: 10-1
7
8
Gonzaga
West Coast
Record: 10-0
8
9
Indiana
Big Ten
Record: 8-1
9
10
Creighton
Big East
Record: 10-0
10
11
Louisville
ACC
Record: 9-1
11
12
West Virginia
Big 12
Record: 8-1
15
13
Virginia
ACC
Record: 8-1
14
14
Wisconsin
Big Ten
Record: 9-2
17
15
Purdue
Big Ten
Record: 8-2
18
16
South Carolina
SEC
Record: 8-0
19
17
Xavier
Big East
Record: 8-2
13
18
Butler
Big East
Record: 9-1
16
19
Arizona
Pac-12
Record: 8-2
20
20
Saint Mary's (Cal.)
West Coast
Record: 7-1
12
21
Notre Dame
ACC
Record: 9-1
23
22
Oregon
Pac-12
Record: 8-2
24
23
Florida State
ACC
Record: 10-1
NR
24
Southern California
Pac-12
Record: 9-0
NR
25
Cincinnati
AAC
Record: 7-2
22

Others receiving votes: Florida 44, Wichita St. 33, Virginia Tech 32, Maryland 31, Valparaiso 9, TCU 8, Middle Tennessee 7, Minnesota 6, Miami 6, Kansas St 4, UCF 2, Michigan St. 2, Syracuse 2, Ohio St. 2, Pittsburgh 2, Clemson 1, Loyola of Chicago 1, Iowa St. 1

USA Today Coaches PoIl

Rank Team Record Points Prev
1 Villanova (28) 10-0 796 1
2 UCLA (2) 10-0 750 2
3 Kansas (1) 9-1 712 3
4 Duke (1) 10-1 690 4
5 Baylor 8-0 657 6
6 North Carolina 10-1 634 5
7 Kentucky 9-1 628 7
8 Gonzaga 10-0 602 8
9 Indiana 8-1 534 9
10 Creighton 10-0 526 10
11 Louisville 9-1 449 13
12 Virginia 8-1 432 12
13 West Virginia 8-1 423 16
14 Wisconsin 9-2 346 17
15 South Carolina 8-0 320 18
16 Purdue 8-2 305 19
17 Xavier 8-2 258 14
18 Butler 9-1 257 15
19 Arizona 8-2 220 20
20 St. Mary's 7-1 192 11
21 Notre Dame 9-1 180 22
22 Oregon 8-2 122 24
23 Cincinnati 7-2 61 23
23 Florida St. 10-1 61 33
25 Southern California 9-0 51 29

Others Receiving Votes: Florida 48; Wichita State 29; Maryland 23; Syracuse 16; Virginia Tech 14; Miami (Fla.) 13; Michigan State 9; Oklahoma State 7; Arkansas 7; California 7; Colorado 5; Iowa State 4; Michigan 3; Middle Tennessee 3; TCU 2; Texas A&M 2; Texas-Arlington 1; Minnesota 1.


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