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  1. Sports

Full disclosure: My final Associated Press top 25 men’s hoops ballot

If this week’s ballot bears strong resemblance to last week’s, there’s good reason.
FSU, under coach Leonard Hamilton, finished fourth on Joey Knight's final Associated Press top-25 ballot of the 2019-20 season. [STEVE CANNON | AP]

Among the sequence of sobering emails landing in my inbox last Friday was one from the Associated Press, providing a mournful reminder the sports world had just stopped on a dime.

With no March Madness, we are going to change the schedule for the final polls of the year…

No March Madness. Oh sure, we had learned the day before the NCAA Tournament had become one of the globe’s most prominent coronavirus casualties, but the suddenness of that news alert was numbing.

By contrast, this email stung, perhaps indicating a painful reality was setting in.

At any rate, a process typically done the day after the NCAA title game ― casting my final AP ballot of the season ― was being expedited. In that spirit, I filled it out expeditiously, in about 60 seconds.

It’s a duplicate of my final ballot of the regular season.

Related: Had tickets to a now canceled sports event? Here's how to get a refund

While some teams started ― or even completed ― conference tournament play before the NCAA called off its championship, many never made it to the floor. No chance to move up or down in the eyes of voters, much less win a trophy.

Didn’t seem fair to penalize, say, No. 10 BYU (a 51-50 loser to Saint Mary’s in last Monday’s WCC semifinals) while other idle ranked teams ― who very well could have fallen in their league tourneys ― went unscathed.

So for me, that abbreviated championship week was a wash. With that philosophy in mind, here’s the ballot I turned in Monday (and the previous Monday, for that matter).

1. Kansas

2. Gonzaga

3. Dayton

4. Florida State

5. San Diego State

6. Kentucky

7. Creighton

8. Michigan State

9. Baylor

10. BYU

11. Duke

12. Maryland

13. Villanova

14. Virginia

15. Seton Hall

16. Oregon

17. Louisville

18. Ohio State

19. Illinois

20. Wisconsin

21. Iowa

22. Auburn

23. Providence

24. Utah State

25. Houston