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HELLO, STASIS: IOWA STAYS AT #4 IN AP POLL, SLIPS TO #6 in COACHES POLL

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A week of crazy results leads to polls that look very un-crazy.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

This has been an extra-chaotic year in college basketball -- as Jay Bilas noted on Monday, the teams currently in the KenPom Top 10 (which still includes our beloved Iowa Hawkeyes, of course) already have a combined 47 losses; last year the teams in the final KenPom Top 10 had a combined 43 losses -- and last week may have seen the most chaos yet.  Teams in the Top 25 combined to go just 21-17 against teams outside the Top 25 (H/T commenter the notorious r.d.m. for that stat) last week and just seven teams in the Top 25 (Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Miami, Arizona, Dayton, and Kentucky) made it through the week without at least one loss.  Granted, some of those losses to teams outside the Top 25 were to teams right on the cusp of the rankings and who found themselves ranked this week (welcome back, Duke, Indiana, and Notre Dame) but many of those losses were to teams far, far away from the Top 25.

The upshot all of those losses?  Not a ton of movement for a lot of teams in the Top 25, which allowed the teams who were at least able to split their games last week to largely keep their previous spots in the rankings.  That was certainly the case for Iowa, who went from #4 in the AP Top 25 to... #4 in the AP Top 25. The coaches, meanwhile, dropped Iowa all of... one spot, going from #5 to #6.  Between the largely unchanged rankings and the fact that Iowa again finds themselves all alone atop the Big Ten standings, it's almost like that loss to Indiana last Thursday never happened.

Iowa 2.15 polls

The #4 ranking makes it five straight weeks in the AP Top 10, their longest stay in the Top 10 since a six-week stretch in 1993. They've also been in the AP Top 5 for four straight weeks, their longest such streak since 1987, when Iowa was ranked in the Top 5 for an incredible 11 straight weeks (from December 1 until February 16). A win over Penn State on Wednesday night this week should virtually ensure Iowa of a fifth straight week in the AP Top 5 (Iowa has a bye next weekend, so Penn State is their only opponent prior to the release of the next AP Top 25). This continues to be an absolutely remarkable season.

Iowa is the highest-ranked of the five Big Ten teams ranked in the AP Poll, ahead of Maryland (#6), Michigan State (#8), Purdue (#17), and Indiana (#22).  They're the second highest-ranked of the five Big Ten teams ranked in the Coaches Poll, behind Maryland (#5) but ahead of Michigan State (#9), Purdue (#16), and Indiana (#21). The Big 12 and ACC may have slightly better depth than the Big Ten (those conference each have six teams ranked in the Top 25), but the top of the Big Ten seems to hold up well with the best of those leagues -- the Big Ten has three teams ranked in the Top 10, same as the Big 12 in the AP Poll and the ACC in the Coaches Poll.

Meanwhile, in other rankings news, Iowa has slipped to #5 in the latest KenPom rankings and #10 in the latest RPI rankings.  The numbers still like Iowa quite a bit. A win over Penn State this week won't do much to boost Iowa's statistical profile, but three of Iowa's final four opponents (Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan) are currently ranked in the RPI Top 50, so wins over those teams would give Iowa a nice boost.  That's really a concern for next week, though -- for now let's enjoy the fact that Iowa is still ranked in the Top 5.

H/T to Jon Miller for some of the rankings history tidbits.