CBKB: Kansas closes as the unanimous No. 1
By JIM O’CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
Kansas was on top of the preseason poll and the Jayhawks were in the same spot in the season’s final Top 25.
The Jayhawks, the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, were a unanimous pick Monday, their 15th week this season on top of the rankings. That matches Kansas in 1996-97 and Illinois in 2004-05 for the most weeks at No. 1 in a season since Duke ran the table in 1991-92.
Kansas (32-2) received all the first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel and was on top for the second straight week. The Jayhawks were No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first eight weeks of the season until losing at Tennessee. They had another four-week stretch at No. 1 ended by a loss at Oklahoma State.
This is the second time Kansas was No. 1 in the final poll. In 1996-97, the Jayhawks went into the NCAA tournament as the top-ranked team and they lost to Arizona in the round of 16.
While the top of the poll didn’t change much at No. 1 in 2009-10 — with Texas, Kentucky and Syracuse also reaching No. 1 for a total of four weeks — a record 53 teams were ranked at some point in the season. That broke the record of 49 teams in 2007-08.
Kentucky, Duke and Syracuse, the other No. 1 seeds, were second through fourth this week. This was the 13th time in the last 14 seasons Duke was ranked in the top 10 in the final poll.
Ohio State was fifth followed by West Virginia, Kansas State, New Mexico, Villanova and Purdue.
Butler led the second 10 followed by Temple, Michigan State, Georgetown, Tennessee, Wisconsin, BYU, Pittsburgh, Baylor and Maryland.
The last five ranked teams were Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, Texas A&M, Richmond and Xavier.
Texas moved into the No. 1 for the first time in school history in January and stayed there for two weeks before starting a season-ending run that saw the Longhorns go 7-9 after a 17-0 start. They became the fifth team to hold the No. 1 ranking and then drop out of the poll in the same season — Alabama was the last to do it in 2002-03.
Kentucky spent one week on top and the Wildcats were a unanimous pick that week. Syracuse moved to No. 1 for one week, the Orange’s first time on top since 1990.
Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova and Duke spent the entire season in the top 10. Michigan State, Purdue, West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgetown were the other teams to be ranked all season.
Five schools — Notre Dame, Portland, Northwestern, Miami and Wake Forest — were one-week wonders.
More than half of the preseason Top 25 weren’t in the final poll, matching the worst predicting job by the panel ever. In 1990-91 and 2001-02, 14 teams also failed to make the final poll after starting the season as a ranked team. Included in this year’s group were Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut, Washington and Michigan, all ranked in the top 15 in the preseason.
The Big East matched its own record with nine teams being ranked at some point in the season with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten next with eight, while the Big 12 had seven.
Twelve of the 31 conferences had at least one team ranked this season.