The new year is here, which means conference play is underway across the college basketball landscape.
And while we won't kick off 2023 with a new top team, the final week of December brought plenty of action throughout the sport.
Here’s everything you missed in Week 8 of the season, and the latest Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.
UConn finally goes down, leaving 2 undefeated teams
There are just two undefeated teams left in college basketball.
UConn, after an impressive 14-game win streak in its best start to a season since 1998, dropped its first game Saturday in Cincinnati. Xavier, despite a sick Jack Nunge, knocked off the Huskies, 83-73.
The Musketeers finished the game on a 12-2 run in the final nearly 2 1/2 minutes to pick up their eighth straight win. They jumped up four spots in this week’s rankings to No. 18 after their biggest win of the season. Their only losses came in November at the hands of Gonzaga, Indiana and Duke, all by single digits.
Though UConn’s loss isn’t detrimental, it stops the Huskies from overtaking Purdue in this week’s rankings. They fell two spots to No. 4.
"The group is real down," UConn head coach Dan Hurley said after the loss, via The Associated Press. "These guys wanted to make a statement on the road and have a chance to be No. 1 on Monday. Xavier's as good as anybody in the league. Not many teams in the country could have come in here and won this game."
The Boilermakers kept the top spot again this week. They hold a 13-0 record headed into Monday night’s matchup with Rutgers. The only other undefeated team in college basketball is New Mexico, who narrowly survived a one-point battle with Wyoming on Saturday. The Lobos jumped up one spot this week to No. 21.
Texas 5-0 since losing Chris Beard
There have been plenty of close calls, but the Longhorns are still undefeated since losing head coach Chris Beard.
Texas fended off a late push from Oklahoma on Saturday to take a one-point win in Norman, their fifth since Beard was suspended amid domestic assault allegations.
The Longhorns (12-1) stayed at No. 6 in this week's poll.
It’s unclear when, or if, Beard will rejoin the Longhorns after his felony assault arrest last month. Associate head coach Rodney Terry has taken Beard’s place as acting head coach, and has kept things moving as smoothly as possible. Texas will host Kansas State on Tuesday before traveling to Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Miami keeps rolling
OK, let’s talk about Miami.
The Hurricanes weren’t ranked to start the season, and their blowout loss to Maryland in their fifth game seemed to back up that decision by poll voters.
Since then, Jim Larrañaga’s team has been on a tear. The Hurricanes moved up two spots this week to No. 12 in the latest poll, one spot behind Virginia.
The Hurricanes have won nine straight, most recently a 76-65 win over Notre Dame on Friday. That win followed a huge two-point victory over Virginia the week before, which marked the Cavaliers’ second straight loss and sent them tumbling in the polls.
Though ACC conference play is just getting going, Miami has inserted itself into the conversation about conference contenders. The Hurricanes are undefeated in league competition, with that win over Virginia under their belt, and have proven they can run with anyone. Isaiah Wong is playing great, too, averaging a team-high 17.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Oh, and Duke and North Carolina are still struggling, which opens up the ACC for Miami to step right in.
The Hurricanes will still have to prove their worth, and have a pair of games against Duke and a road matchup with North Carolina looming in the coming months. At least for now, they seem to be the hottest team in the ACC.
Full AP Top 25
The full AP Top 25 poll from Monday, Jan. 2:
1. Purdue (13-0)
2. Houston (14-1)
3. Kansas (12-1)
4. UConn (14-1)
5. Arizona (13-1)
6. Texas (12-1)
7. Alabama (11-2)
8. Tennessee (11-2)
9. Gonzaga (12-3)
10. UCLA (13-2)
11. Virginia (10-2)
12. Miami (13-1)
13. Arkansas (11-2)
14. Wisconsin (10-2)
15. Indiana (10-3)
16. Duke (11-3)
17. TCU (12-1)
18. Xavier (12-3)
19. Baylor (10-3)
20. Missouri (12-1)
21. New Mexico (14-0)
22. Auburn (11-2)
23. Charleston (14-1)
24. Ohio State (10-3)
25. Iowa State (10-2)
Others receiving votes: LSU 83, San Diego State 72, Mississippi State 62, Kentucky 53, Kansas State 41, Illinois 21, Marquette 20, Providence 14, Virginia Tech 7, Memphis 6, West Virginia 5, Michigan State 5, Florida Atlantic 3, Creighton 1