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Where BYU ranks in the AP Top 25 poll following its first Big 12 loss

BYU guard Trevin Knell (21) reacts after being fouled by Cincinnati Bearcats in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. Cincinnati won 71-60.

BYU men’s basketball is feeling the consequences of its first Big 12 loss.

The Cougars have fallen to No. 18 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, dropping six spots from their previous No. 12 ranking after being bested 71-60 by Cincinnati in the team’s conference opener.

Mark Pope’s crew appeared overwhelmed in its initial crack at Big 12 competition, coughing up 18 turnovers and shooting just 32.8% from the field against the Bearcats.

An analytic darling due to its efficient offensive scheme and solid defensive play, BYU failed to showcase its strengths and thus struggled mightily.

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The Cougars earned 426 points in the poll to place behind No. 17 Colorado State (436) but ahead of San Diego State (386), which BYU defeated in Provo on Nov. 10.

Five other Big 12 teams were featured in the poll, all ranked ahead of the Cougars except for No. 25 Texas.

Houston, Kansas and Oklahoma are all in the top 10 at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 9, respectively.

BYU’s next opponent, Baylor, jumped four spots to rank No. 14.

In other poll news, Utah State made its first appearance in the poll this season, slotting in at No. 20 after a 77-72 win over Colorado State.

And the Cougars weren’t the only local team taking a tumble. After ranking fourth outside the Top 25 with 82 total votes, Utah received just two votes this week following a pair of road losses.

BYU will look to get back to its winning ways in a road test at Baylor Tuesday night. It will be the Cougars’ first ranked regular-season matchup since taking down No. 2 Gonzaga on Feb. 23, 2020.