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 what was its best start to a season since 1998, dropped its first game on 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 two and a half minutes to pick up their eighth straight win. They jumped up four spots in this week’s rankings to No. 18 in what is by far their biggest win of the season. Their only losses came at the hands of Gonzaga, Indiana and Duke, though all by single digits.
Though UConn’s loss isn’t detrimental by any means, it does stop the Huskies from overtaking Purdue in this week’s rankings. They fell two spots to No. 4.
"The group is real down," UConn 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 once 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, which 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 coach Chris Beard.
The Longhorns, now 12-1, stayed at No. 6 in this week's poll.
It's unclear when, or if, Beard will rejoin the Longhorns after his . Associate head coach Rodney Terry has taken Beard's place as the team's acting head coach, and has clearly 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 out, and their blowout loss to Maryland in their fifth game seemed to back that decision by poll voters up.
Since then, however, Jim Larranaga’s team has been on a tear. They moved up two spots this week to No. 12 in the latest poll, still just one spot behind Virginia.
The Hurricanes have won nine straight games, 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 certainly inserted itself into the conversation. The Hurricanes are undefeated so far in conference play, 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 both 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. But 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 (12-2)
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