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Feb 22, 2016 02:29 PM EST

AP Top 25 Basketball Week 16: Villanova Holds Top Spot Heading Into Crucial Road Game

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For the third consecutive week, Villanova held the top spot of The Associated Press college basketball poll.

With 45 first-place votes, one more than the Wildcats had last week, Villanova's lead over Kansas (2) barely grew and the team will get its first major test atop the Top 25 this Wednesday when they visit fifth-ranked Xavier.

Villanova is riding a seven-game winning streak that includes 12-point win on the road against Providence (11th overall at the time. With just three games to go, a win over Xavier could all but lock up the Big East regular season title for Villanova. 1.5 games back, Xavier could also set up an interesting final week of games with a win.

The last time these two played was in Dec. and then-16th-ranked Villanova trounced then-sixth-ranked Xavier at home 95-64.

Despite its loss to Texas Tech, Oklahoma held onto third overall after beating West Virginia. However, Virginia moved up four places into a tie for third following a 20-point victory over N.C. State. Michigan State (6), North Carolina (7), Iowa (8), Arizona (9), and Maryland (10) rounded out the Top 10.

Louisville (11) missed catching Maryland by 74 points, rising seven places after beating a red-hot Syracuse team and Duke (15). Despite the loss and their overall inconsistency this season, the Blue Devils managed to rise five places on the strength of their road victory over North Carolina.

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