CBKB: Kansas still No. 1 in AP Top 25
By JIM O’CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
For the first time in 33 years, there is only one team from the Atlantic Coast Conference in The Associated Press Top 25.
Fifth-ranked Duke was the lone ACC team in the college basketball poll Monday, something that last happened on Dec. 13, 1977, when North Carolina was No. 5 in what was then the Top 20.
Seven other schools from the 12-team league have been ranked at some point this season: North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Maryland, Florida State, Miami and Wake Forest.
Kansas (26-1), one of five teams from the Big 12 in the rankings, is again the runaway No. 1, receiving 61 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel Monday. The Jayhawks were on top for the fourth straight week and 13th this season.
Kentucky (26-1), which was No. 1 on the other four ballots, held onto second after surviving its trip to Vanderbilt last weekend with a 58-56 victory.
Purdue, Syracuse, Duke and Kansas State all moved up one spot from last week to round out the first six. Villanova, which lost to Connecticut and Pittsburgh last week, dropped four places to seventh.
The Wildcats, Kansas, Kentucky and Duke are the only teams to remain in the top 10 all season.
West Virginia, Ohio State and New Mexico rounded out the top 10. It is New Mexico’s highest ranking since being eighth on Dec. 2, 1997. The Lobos have won 11 straight and at 25-3 have the best record in school history after that many games.
Georgetown led the second ten, followed by Pittsburgh, BYU, Michigan State, Butler, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Tennessee and Temple.
The last five ranked teams were Texas, Texas A&M, Richmond, Baylor and Northern Iowa.
Texas, which was ranked No. 1 last month for the first time in school history, is at the lowest ranking of the season after dropping from 15th to No. 21. The Longhorns have gone 4-6, including a loss to Missouri last week, since starting the season 17-0.
Northern Iowa (24-3) returned to the poll after being out for one week. The Panthers, who beat Old Dominion 71-62 in a BracketBuster game on Friday, have won eight of their last nine, the only loss coming at Bradley.
Wake Forest (18-7) left the ACC with just the one ranked team after falling from 23rd following losses to Virginia Tech and North Carolina State.
The Big East also has five ranked teams this week — all in the top 12. The Big Ten has four teams in the Top 25 and the Southeastern Conference has three.
Pittsburgh made the week’s biggest jump, moving from 19th to No. 12 after wins over Marquette and Villanova.
Texas A&M will be in two of this week’s games between ranked teams. The Aggies are at Baylor on Tuesday and host Texas on Saturday.
There will be three matchups of first- and second-place conference teams on Saturday: Villanova is at Syracuse in the Big East; New Mexico is at BYU in the Mountain West; and Michigan State is at Purdue in the Big Ten.