Undefeated BYU jumps into the AP Top 25 for the first time in two years

Mark Pope’s Cougars are 6-0 after winning the Las Vegas Showdown last week.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars forward Fousseyni Traore (45) celebrates a win over San Diego State 74-65, NCAA basketball in Provo on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

The Cougars are on the rise.

After winning the Las Vegas Showdown, BYU is back in the Associated Press Top 25 men’s basketball poll for the first time in two years.

The Cougars are ranked No. 19 in the country in both the AP and USA Today’s Coaches polls.

Mark Pope’s squad beat the Arizona State Sun Devils and the NC State Wolfpack to win the Vegas title and improve to 6-0 on the season.

It’s the first time BYU has been in the AP poll since Dec. 6, 2021.

The Purdue Boilermakers were ranked No. 1 in Monday’s poll after an impressive run through a loaded field at the Maui Invitational. They beat Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette — three of the top 11 teams in the nation — in consecutive days, and that was enough to earn 60 of 63 first-place votes from the national panel of Top 25 voters.

They replace preseason No. 1 Kansas, which dropped to fifth after losing to Marquette in Maui. Arizona climbed to second, Marquette is third and Uconn is fourth.

Along with BYU, Villanova and Colorado State jumped into the top 20 while Colorado, Arkansas and USC were among those that dropped out of the poll.

The Big 12 led all conferences with six teams in the Top 25, followed by the SEC with five and the Big East with four. There were 10 different conferences represented this week.