Spartans hold on to No. 1 spot in AP poll as conference play begins


As Big Ten play gets ready to tip off, the conference continues to claim the No. 1 team in the country.

Michigan State held on to the top spot in the latest AP poll when the latest top-25 rankings were released Monday afternoon.

Maryland stayed at No. 4, and Purdue remained at No. 14 in this week's poll.

Michigan State heads into conference play with a perfect 13-0 record, the only such mark in college basketball. There are four other undefeated teams in the country: 12-0 Xavier, 11-0 South Carolina, 11-0 Southern Methodist and 11-0 Oklahoma. The Spartans will be without their best player, Denzel Valentine, for a little while longer as he recovers from knee surgery. Michigan State begins conference play Tuesday night against Iowa.

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Maryland improved to 11-1 with a 20-point win over Marshall on Sunday. Burdened with high expectations at season's outset, the Terps' lone loss came on the road against North Carolina. Maryland begins its Big Ten schedule Wednesday against Penn State.

Purdue boasts a 12-1 record as conference play begins. The Boilermakers' lone loss came against a top-10 Butler team. Purdue opens Big Ten play Tuesday against Wisconsin.

Northwestern and Iowa also received votes in this week's poll.

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