Wichita State 20th in AP poll, 21st in coaches poll

01/21/2013 3:56 PM

01/21/2013 4:35 PM

Wichita State’s win over then-No. 12 Creighton — on ESPN2 — impressed national poll voters.

The Shockers returned to the Associated Press Top 25 at No. 20 on Monday. They made their season debut in the USA Today coaches poll at No. 21.

To get to No. 20, WSU (17-2, 6-1 Missouri Valley Conference) moved up 16 spots from a week ago, rising from six votes to 363. It spent two weeks in the poll earlier this season and returned for one week at No. 23 before dropping out after a loss at Evansville. The Shockers peaked at No. 23 in the Dec. 10 poll before a loss at Tennessee knocked them out.

In the coaches poll, WSU moved up nine spots and received 145 points, up from 19 the previous week.

Kansas is No. 3 in the AP poll and Kansas State is No .11. In the coaches poll, KU is No. 2 and K-State is No. 13.

Creighton dropped to No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 12 in the coaches poll.

The Shockers raised their profile in several ways with Saturday’s 67-64 win over the Bluejays (17-2, 6-1) at Koch Arena. They moved into a first-place tie in the Valley and kept the Bluejays from building a two-game lead. The teams meet in Omaha on March 2 in the regular-season finale.

“If you get behind two games, you’ve got to have a lot of help,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “Creighton would have had some separation, not just from us, but from everyone.”

WSU improved its power ranking (RPI) to No. 15, according to warrennolan.com. Beating Creighton makes WSU 3-0 against the top 50 and 6-1 against the top 100, numbers that will help when NCAA Tournament seedings are decided.

The Shockers play at Missouri State (5-14, 3-4) on Wednesday. The Bears have lost three in row, falling to Bradley 69-66 on a buzzer-beater on Saturday. It is the third game MSU lost in the final seconds this season. In Puerto Rico, South Carolina won 74-67 in overtime after a tying the game in the final second of regulation. The next day, SMU took a 62-61 lead on a basket with 10 seconds remaining.

“No one is going to feel sorry for you,” Bears coach Paul Lusk said. “You have to continue to keep them positive, hold them accountable and continue to practice to get better. They’ve done a pretty good job focusing on the task at hand.”

Armstead honored _ WSU guard Malcolm Armstead earned MVC newcomer of the week honors.

Armstead, a senior from Florence, Ala., averaged 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in wins over Illinois State and Creighton. His two free throws against Creighton, with 14 seconds remaining, gave WSU its final margin of victory.

Armstead is the first Shocker other than Cleanthony Early to win the weekly honor. Early has won it five times this season.

Bradley guard Walt Lemon Jr. was named player of the week after averaging 18.0 points and 6.0 assists in wins over Southern Illinois and Missouri State.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 20, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:

Record Pts Prv

1. Duke (39) 16-1 1,578 3

2. Michigan (11) 17-1 1,539 5

3. Kansas (7) 16-1 1,486 4

3. Syracuse (8) 17-1 1,486 6

5. Louisville 16-2 1,348 1

6. Arizona 16-1 1,270 7

7. Indiana 16-2 1,211 2

8. Florida 14-2 1,181 10

9. Butler 16-2 1,146 13

10. Gonzaga 17-2 994 8

11. Kansas St. 15-2 927 16

12. Minnesota 15-3 905 9

13. Michigan St. 16-3 831 18

14. Ohio St. 13-4 701 11

15. New Mexico 16-2 659 19

16. Oregon 16-2 624 21

17. Creighton 17-2 611 12

18. NC State 15-3 587 14

19. VCU 16-3 433 22

20. Wichita St. 17-2 363 —

21. Cincinnati 16-3 322 —

22. Missouri 13-4 234 17

23. Mississippi 15-2 172 —

24. Notre Dame 15-3 123 20

25. Miami 13-3 93 —

Others receiving votes: Marquette 92, Wisconsin 55, UCLA 41, UNLV 32, Wyoming 28, San Diego St. 26, Colorado St. 7, Memphis 6, Georgetown 4, Iowa St. 3, North Carolina 3, Louisiana Tech 2, Bucknell 1, Pittsburgh 1.

Ballots Online: http://tinyurl.com/43u6jr6

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