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Cal basketball returns to the top 25, ranked 25th in AP & Coaches Poll

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Go Bears!

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This is an unusual feeling as a modern Cal fan. But with only one week remaining in the regular season and two weeks until March Madness, the California Golden Bears are back in the top 25. After falling out of the rankings in January due to their slow start in conference play, Cal is currently situated at 25th in both the AP and the Coaches Poll after going 7 for 7 in February.

The Bears are riding a seven game win streak into the desert and have been blowing their opposition away. It's the soft part of the schedule, but aside from a close call against Washington, Cal has been destroying the opposition, winning the other six games by double digits while sporting a point differential of +14.3 during that stretch. I'm surprised Cal didn't leap higher this week (19-10 Texas is ahead of us???), but the Bears can control if they stay there.

If Cal can play a close game against Arizona but win decisively against Arizona State, I expect the Bears will maintain their top 25 ranking going into the Pac-12 tournament, and with a solid showing can finish the regular season with their first top 25 ranking since 2003.

AP Top 25

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS
1 Kansas (63) 25-4 1,623
2 Michigan State (2) 24-5 1,510
3 Villanova 25-4 1,479
4 Virginia 22-6 1,405
5 Xavier 25-4 1,356
6 Oklahoma 22-6 1,297
7 Miami (FL) 23-5 1,211
8 North Carolina 23-6 1,205
9 Oregon 23-6 1,065
10 West Virginia 22-7 1,056
11 Louisville 22-7 822
12 Indiana 23-6 819
13 Utah 23-7 751
14 Maryland 23-6 733
15 Purdue 22-7 613
16 Iowa 20-8 572
17 Duke 21-8 495
18 Arizona 22-7 450
19 Baylor 21-8 447
20 Texas A&M 22-7 419
21 Iowa State 20-9 413
22 Kentucky 21-8 405
23 Texas 19-10 338
24 SMU 24-4 196
25 California 21-8 178
Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 93, Seton Hall 60, Wichita St 43, Saint Joseph's 29, Notre Dame 14, Texas Tech 12, Cincinnati 4, Vanderbilt 3, Saint Mary's 3, Arkansas-Little Rock 2, Valparaiso 2, Dayton 1, Stephen F. Austin 1
Dropped out: Notre Dame 23.

USA TODAY Coaches Poll

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREV HI/LOW
1 Kansas (31) 25-4 799 2 1/7
2 Villanova 25-4 734 1 1/17
3 Michigan St (1) 24-5 733 7 1/13
4 Virginia 22-6 673 3 3/13
5 Xavier 25-4 637 5 4/NR
6 Oklahoma 22-6 623 4 1/8
7 Miami-Florida 23-5 607 11 9/NR
8 North Carolina 23-6 584 6 1/11
9 West Virginia 22-7 518 12 7/23
10 Oregon 23-6 510 13 12/NR
11 Indiana 23-6 434 15 14/NR
12 Maryland 23-6 405 9 2/9
13 Purdue 22-7 330 19 8/24
13 Utah 23-7 330 23 16/NR
15 Iowa 20-8 321 8 4/NR
16 Arizona 22-7 307 10 6/20
17 Baylor 21-8 288 16 13/25
18 Texas A&M 22-7 261 21 5/NR
19 Kentucky 21-8 226 14 1/21
20 Iowa St. 20-9 221 17 2/21
21 Duke 21-8 211 18 3/NR
22 Texas 19-10 187 25 25/NR
23 Wichita St. 23-7 68 28 11/NR
24 St. Mary's 24-4 61 27 25/NR
25 California 21-8 58 32 13/NR
Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 52; Notre Dame 42; Seton Hall 39; Texas Tech 36; Providence 28; St. Joseph?s 17; Pittsburgh 17; South Carolina 16; Dayton 14; Valparaiso 6; St. Bonaventure 4; Colorado 2; Arkansas-Little Rock 1.
Dropped out: SNo. 20 Notre Dame, No. 22 Dayton, No. 24 Providence.