MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When it comes to the AP Top 25, the Mountaineers are close, but not close enough.
When the latest version of the AP poll was released Monday afternoon, West Virginia (10-1) fell a few votes shy of its first national ranking of the season. The Mountaineers received 57 votes, which effectively placed them two spots outside the top 25.
With 65 votes, fellow Big 12 member Oklahoma (9-2) was the first team left out of this week’s poll. No. 25 Texas Tech (8-2) once again holds the last spot in the ranking.
At the top end of the poll, unbeaten Baylor (10-0) maintains its grip on the No. 1 spot, while No. 2 Duke (10-1) and No. 3 Purdue (10-1) follow right behind. No. 4 Gonzaga (9-2) and No. 5 UCLA (9-1) round out the top five.
Two other Big 12 teams, No. 7 Kansas (9-1) and No. 9 Iowa State (11-0), appear in the top 10 this week. No. 16 Texas (8-2) also remains ranked.
West Virginia’s final game of the calendar year is quickly approaching. It will host Youngstown State Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.
Then, Big 12 play begins with a two-game road trip. The Mountaineers will challenge the Longhorns on New Year’s Day, then take on TCU Jan. 3.
While WVU still lacks a number by its name, the team did take a big step forward in the NET rankings after Saturday’s 65-59 victory at UAB. The Mountaineers have gone more than month without a loss, winning seven contests in a row.