KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee men's basketball team didn't budge in the AP Top 25 rankings this week, staying at No. 22.
Virginia had the difficult task of playing two ranked teams while grieving a tragedy that shook the Cavaliers and the rest of their campus.
Playing a week after three football players were shot to death on a bus, Virginia won the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas over No. 16 Illinois after taking down No. 7 Baylor. The wins vaulted the Cavaliers from No. 16 to fifth in The Associated Press Top 25 released Monday.
“It feels great in the moment, but more so now, we know what truly matters,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “When you have a momentary celebration like this, it enables you to enjoy it and it seems to matter, but in the big picture, it doesn’t.”
A slate of marquee games in the second full week of the college basketball season led to tumult in the AP Top 25.
North Carolina remained atop the poll, receiving 47 first-place votes from a 63-person media panel. Houston moved up a spot to No. 2 and had nine first-place votes. No. 3 Kansas had one first-place vote, No. 4 Texas received five and Virginia one.
The Cavaliers (4-0) had the week’s biggest jump, climbing to its highest ranking since reaching No. 4 in 2020-21.
Virginia opted to cancel its game against Northern Iowa last week after Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry were fatally shot after a field trip to Washington.
The Cavaliers wore sweatshirts honoring the victims during warmups before playing Baylor and pulled away in the second half for an 86-79 win. The Cavaliers used another second-half run to beat Illinois 70-61, claiming a therapeutic title to take back with them to Charlottesville.
“Just for the community, I felt like they needed that,” Virginia guard and tournament MVP Reece Beekman said.