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BYU basketball: Women make program history, men take tumble in Top 25

Cougars dropped in the Associated Press Top 25 after losing to Utah Valley last week

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BYU Cougars players react after a three point make as Utah and BYU women compete in a basketball game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. BYU won 85-80.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Monday’s release of the weekly Associated Press Top 25 polls was a case of great news, bad news for the BYU women’s and men’s basketball teams.

On the positive front, the women jumped up five spots to No. 16 after entering the poll last week at No. 21. It is the highest they have ever been ranked in program history.

They remain undefeated on the season, now at 8-0.

On the negative side, the men tumbled 12 spots to No. 24 after they were No. 12 prior to losing to UVU last Wednesday.

The women played just one game last week, beating rival Utah on the road last Saturday, but four teams that were ranked between Nos. 16 and 20 last week lost, helping the Cougars jump up.

BYU is the lone team from the West Coast Conference that is ranked (Gonzaga is receiving votes).

As far as future Big 12 opponents are concerned, Baylor is No. 5 and Iowa State is No. 15.

South Carolina, North Carolina State, UConn and Stanford comprise the top four.

On the men’s side, the Cougars took their tumble after the loss even though they got back on track with a win last Saturday on the road against the Missouri State Bears.

At least among teams that are still ranked, it was by far the biggest fall of any squad in the country compared to last week’s poll.

Purdue assumed the top spot in the rankings, replacing Duke, which is now No. 3. Defending national champion Baylor moved up from No. 4 to No. 2.

UCLA of the Pac-12 is No. 4 now, and BYU’s West Coast Conference foe Gonzaga is No. 5, down from No. 3 after it suffered its second loss of the season at the hands of Alabama.

Among BYU’s future Big 12 opponents, after Baylor, Kansas is No. 8 and Iowa State is No. 17.