Iowa rises to No. 16 in AP poll

Register staff report

The Hawkeyes are now the state’s top-ranked team after their stellar start to Big Ten play.

Behind a 3-0 start in league play, Iowa came in at No. 16 in the latest AP men’s college basketball poll, while Iowa State dropped to No. 17 after losing to Baylor.

The Cyclones (12-3) remained ahead of the Hawkeyes (12-3) in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches’ Poll — ISU was No. 18, while Iowa was No. 19 in that poll. The Register uses the AP poll.

Kansas and Oklahoma, who played one of the season’s best games last week, remain 1-2 in the AP poll.

The Jayhawks (14-1) beat the Sooners 109-106 in triple overtime. They received all but two first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel. It is the second week at No. 1 for Kansas.

Oklahoma (13-1) drew one No. 1 vote. It was followed by Maryland and Michigan State (16-1), which had the other first-place vote. North Carolina is fifth followed by Villanova, Xavier, Miami, Duke and SMU.

SMU is in the top 10 for the first time since February 1985. The Mustangs (15-0) and No. 19 South Carolina (15-0) are the only unbeaten Division I teams. SMU is ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA rules violations.

No. 21 Baylor and No. 25 Gonzaga are the week’s newcomers, replacing Connecticut and Dayton.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery looks on as the Hawkeyes face Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015.