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BYU Climbs Slightly Up AP Top 25, Utah Inching Closer To Ranking

Dec 18, 2023, 10:58 AM

BYU Cougars, Utah Utes, AP Top 25...

BYU basketball is No. 17 in this week's AP Top 25 poll, while the Utah Utes inch closer to cracking into the rankings. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – The latest AP Top 25 poll produced a slight bump in the rankings for BYU basketball.

BYU is now No. 17 in the week of December 18, 2023, poll. That’s up one spot from last week’s No. 18 ranking.

BYU played two games this past week against Denver and Georgia State. Both were home blowout victories in favor of the Cougars.

BYU basketball is 10-1 on the season

The victories improved BYU’s record to 10-1 overall, with two games remaining in non-conference play. It’s the best start to a season for a BYU men’s basketball team since 2010-11. In that season, BYU advanced to the Sweet 16, led by star Jimmer Fredette.

“I think the most rewarding part for me is we continue to believe more and more in who we’re trying to be. It’s been a real gift to us to see what these guys are trying to do on the court. The identity of the team that they’re trying to be can actually really work for us,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope.

“I think our belief is growing and I think that’s super important for us going into this deal because we’re gonna get smacked in the face. And I think we’re like, ‘let’s go. Bring it!’ So I think it’s probably important for this group and they’ve really earned it. It’s pretty special what they’ve done.”

The last time BYU was ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25 poll was in 2020 when they faced Pepperdine in the regular season finale of Mark Pope’s first season.

BYU is 11-2 all-time when ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25.

The only team that defeated BYU this season is Utah. Craig Smith’s squad is now 8-2 after defeating Utah Valley 76-62 in a week filled with finals and exams.

Utah continues to receive votes in the poll. If the poll extended as far, the Utes would be No. 29 in this week’s ballot.

Both teams will host Bellarmine from Louisville, Kentucky, this week. Utah will be first up on Wednesday, December 20, as they close out non-conference play against the Knights. Then, BYU will host Bellarmine for the first time in program history on Friday to wrap up the week filled with finals.

AP Top 25 Poll: Where does BYU basketball rank?

Week of December 18, 2023

1. Purdue (10-1)

2. Kansas (10-1)

3. Houston (11-0)

4. Arizona (8-1)

5. UConn (10-1)

6. Marquette (9-2)

7. Oklahoma (10-0)

8. Tennessee (8-3)

9. Kentucky (8-2)

10. Baylor (9-1)

11. North Carolina (7-3)

12. Creighton (9-2)

13. Illinois (8-2)

14. Florida Atlantic (9-2)

15. Gonzaga (8-3)

16. Colorado State (10-1)

17. BYU (10-1)

18. Clemson (9-1)

19. Texas (8-2)

20. James Madison (10-0)

21. Duke (7-3)

22. Virginia (9-1)

23. Memphis (8-2)

24. Wisconsin (8-3)

25. Ole Miss (10-0)

Receiving Votes: Miami 97, Auburn 87, Colorado 84, Utah 37, Iowa State 24, Ohio State 12, Michigan State 10, TCU 10, Texas A&M 9, San Diego State 8, Northwestern 5, Providence 5, Alabama 3, Dayton 3, Nevada 3, New Mexico 2, Grand Canyon 2, Washington 2, Saint Joseph’s 2, South Carolina 1, Mississippi State 1.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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 Climbs Slightly Up AP Top 25, Utah Inching Closer To Ranking