BYU Basketball Inching Closer To AP Top 25 Ranking

Nov 20, 2023, 10:58 PM | Updated: 11:00 pm

PROVO, Utah – Through two weeks, BYU basketball is already knocking on the door of an AP Top 25 ranking.

BYU was in the receiving votes category in the week three Associated Press Top 25. The 4-0 Cougars are already knocking on the door of cracking into the national rankings.

BYU basketball receiving votes in Top 25 poll

If the poll stretched into the receiving votes, BYU would be considered the No. 27 team in the country this week. That’s a jump of five spots from last week’s Top 25 poll.

BYU appeared in 26 of the pollster’s votes this week. The highest ranking from an AP Top 25 voter was from Chris Murray of Nevada Sports Net.

CBS and The Messenger’s Seth Davis placed BYU at No. 25 in his weekly ballot.

Mark Pope has led BYU basketball to two season-ending Top 25 finishes since he took over the program in 2019. His best finish was in his first season in 2020 when they finished No. 17 in the final poll. The following year in 2021, they finished No. 23.

In the 2021-22 season, BYU reached as high as No. 12 before suffering an upset loss at UVU, then sputtering to a finish in the NIT that year. Last year was the only season in Mark Pope’s time as BYU’s coach that the Cougars were never ranked.

“This team is more of a thrust and a transition and more three-point shot heavy with a huge emphasis on the offensive glass that my first team was not capable of. We just didn’t have the bodies to do it [in the first season]. But we’re trying to come at it [this year] in a different kind of way,” said Mark Pope.

Fast start for the Cougars this season

BYU entered the season with low expectations, being picked to finish 13th out of 14 teams in the Big 12 coaches poll. The fast start was catapulted by an impressive win over San Diego State at the Marriott Center.

Since the loss to BYU, San Diego State has returned to its winning ways by winning the Continental Tires Main Event by defeating Saint Mary’s and Washington in Las Vegas.

BYU takes a trip to Las Vegas this week as they get set to participate in the Vegas Showdown. The Cougars will face Arizona State on Thanksgiving night, then either NC State or Vanderbilt on Black Friday at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay.

AP Top 25 College Basketball Poll

Week of November 20, 2023

1. Kansas

2. Purdue

3. Arizona

4. Marquette

5. UConn

6. Houston

7. Tennessee

8. Creighton

9. Duke

10. Miami

11. Gonzaga

12. Texas A&M

13. Baylor

14. North Carolina

15. Texas

16. Kentucky

17. Alabama

18. Colorado

19. Florida Atlantic

20. Arkansas

21. Michigan State

22. James Madison

23. USC

24. Virginia

25. Mississippi State

Others receiving votes: Memphis 159, BYU 138, Illinois 138, San Diego State 77, TCU 76, UCLA 75, Iowa State 67, Villanova 45, Auburn 28, Clemson 12, Oklahoma 10, Princeton 10, Michigan 10, Liberty 7, South Carolina 3, Chattanooga 2, Nevada 1, Drake 1, Colorado State 1.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Inching Closer To AP Top 25 Ranking