AP men’s college basketball poll: CU Buffs climb to No. 20

The Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team climbed to its highest ranking in the AP poll since 2014. This week the Buffs (6-0) came in at No. 20, their highest mark since reaching No. 15 on Jan. 6, 2014.

Louisville is the latest No. 1 following an unexpected loss by Duke. Michigan has matched a record by debuting at No. 4.

A season of parity is taking a toll in the AP Top 25.

Louisville became the fourth team in five weeks to claim the top spot, receiving 48 of 65 first-place votes from a national media panel in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll released Monday.

No. 2 Kansas, coming off the Maui Invitational title, had three first-place votes and No. 5 Virginia received five. Maryland rose to No. 3 — the Terrapins’ highest ranking since hitting No. 2 in 2015-16 — in a week when every spot in the poll changed from last week.

Michigan (7-0) knocked off Iowa State, No. 7 North Carolina and No. 9 Gonzaga to win the Battle 4 Atlantis title in the Bahamas. The Wolverines were rewarded with nine first-place votes and matched Kansas in 1989 for the biggest jump from being unranked in the history of the poll that dates to 1949.

Not a bad first season under former Michigan star Juwan Howard.

“I’m sure we’re on the map now,” Howard said. “A lot of teams are looking and seeing Michigan as a name that’s out there. When you beat teams like Creighton and Iowa State as well as North Carolina and Gonzaga, you’re no longer under the radar.”

Louisville wasn’t exactly under the radar after opening the preseason poll at No. 5. The Cardinals (7-0) made a steady climb to No. 2 and moved to the top spot when previous No. 1 Duke lost at home to Stephen F. Austin. Duke dropped to No. 10 after its 150-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents ended in Durham.