Projected college basketball AP Top 25 rankings after Gonzaga blasts St. Mary's, Kansas falls

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga Bulldogs / Soobum Im/GettyImages

It's finally March and college basketball is taking center stage once again, but that also means that chaos is also taking over the sport, as it does annually this time of year. And the next-to-last week before we get into Champ Week is surely an indication of that.

Case in point is the Kansas Jayhawks. They started off this past week by suffering a truly stunning upset loss to the BYU Cougars at Allen Fieldhouse, a place where we almost never see Bill Self's team take a loss. But even worse, Kansas was unable to stop the bleeding on the road this weekend as Ray-J Dennis and the Baylor Bears handed the Jayhawks their second straight loss.

Beyond the pair of big losses for Kansas, though, another Top 10 team, the No. 5 Marquette Golden Eagles, weren't immune either. Shaka Smart's team went on the road to face an always upset-minded Creighton Bluejays team -- a Top 15 group in their own right -- on Saturday. With stars Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro out due to injuries, the Bluejays rolled to an emphatic win that moves Marquette to 22-7.

There was near chaos throughout late Saturday evening too, but nothing transpired. No. 4 Tennessee was on the ropes in Tuscaloosa against Alabama, but pulled it together to survive and pick up another big-time ranked win. Beyond that, Purdue was tested at home by Michigan State and No. 1 Houston nearly got clipped by the road bug as well as they outlasted an Oklahoma comeback attempt. Both escaped losses, though.

Saturday wasn't over, though, which Mark Few's Gonzaga Bulldogs made sure. Streaking hot as of late as they try to get off the bubble, they picked up a huge win, going on the road to previously undefeated in the WCC St. Mary's and emphatically handling the Gaels, notching a 70-57 upset win with authority.

With a loss from Dayton on the road on Friday night as well, though, things are going to move in the next AP Top 25 college basketball rankings. But what will the poll look like? We have our projections to add some clarity to the matter.

Projected AP Top 25 college basketball rankings after Gonzaga upsets St. Mary's Kansas, Marquette fall

  1. Houston Cougars
  2. Purdue Boilermakers
  3. UConn Huskies
  4. Tennessee Volunteers
  5. Arizona Wildcats
  6. Iowa State Cyclones
  7. North Carolina Tar Heels
  8. Marquette Golden Eagles
  9. Duke Blue Devils
  10. Creighton Bluejays
  11. Baylor Bears
  12. Kansas Jayhawks
  13. Illinois Fighting Illini
  14. Auburn Tigers
  15. Kentucky Wildcats
  16. Alabama Crimson Tide
  17. South Carolina Gamecocks
  18. Washington State Cougars
  19. San Diego State Aztecs
  20. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  21. Utah State Aggies
  22. St. Mary's Gaels
  23. Florida Gators
  24. BYU Cougars
  25. South Florida Bulls

With back-to-back losses, there's no way that Kansas -- even as the preseason No. 1-ranked team in the country -- hangs onto a spot inside the Top 10. In fact, our projections have Baylor jumping ahead of them in the next AP Top 25 rankings. As for Marquette, poll voters should give them a bit of grace due to the injuries and tough road environment, only dropping a couple of spots.

Down further in the rankings, Auburn drops barely after a loss to Tennessee earlier in the week, while BYU leaps into the Top 25 with their win over Kansas coupled with the Dayton loss. If this is what we have waiting for us over the rest of March, though, allow us to buckle our seatbelts to prepare for a wild, wild ride.

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