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UConn Drops One Spot In AP Poll, After Maryland Squeaker

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Omar Calhoun, Shabazz Napier (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Omar Calhoun, Shabazz Napier (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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By JIM O’CONNELL,   AP Basketball Writer

Kentucky and Michigan State held the top spots in The Associated Press’ first regular-season college basketball poll, setting up the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in five years.

The Wildcats held the same three-point advantage over the Spartans from the preseason Top 25 on Monday, and they will meet Tuesday night in Chicago. The last 1-2 matchup was No. 2 Tennessee’s 66-62 victory over Memphis on Feb. 24, 2008.

Kentucky received 28 first-place votes and 1,552 points from the 65-member national media panel. Michigan State had 22 No. 1 votes. Defending champion Louisville remained third and was No. 1 on 12 ballots.

Duke, which got the other three first-place votes, and Kansas stayed fourth and fifth. They will meet in the other game of the Chicago doubleheader.

Arizona, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Syracuse and Ohio State rounded out the top 10. There were no changes in the 25 teams from the preseason poll.

By JIM O’CONNELL,  AP Basketball Writer

Breaking down The Associated Press college basketball poll after the first weekend of the regular season.

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 ONE-TWO MATCHUPS: When top-ranked Kentucky and Michigan State meet Tuesday night in Chicago it will be the 39th time the top two teams in The Associated Press poll have met and the first since No. 2 Tennessee beat Memphis 66-62 on Feb. 24, 2008.

This will be the earliest 1-2 matchup with the previous being No. 1 Indiana’s 84-64 victory over UCLA at St. Louis on Nov. 29, 1975.

No. 1 seeds hold a 21-17 advantage in the meetings of top teams with the No. 2 teams having won three of the last four.

The Southeastern Conference has been in eight of these games and Kentucky has been in all of them except for the most recent when Tennessee beat Memphis. The Wildcats have a 5-2 record in these games with the most recent being No. 2 Kentucky’s 81-74 victory over Massachusetts in the 1996 Final Four semifinals.

The Big Ten has been in nine of these games and it had both teams in the most recent, No. 2 Ohio State’s 49-48 win over Wisconsin on Feb. 25, 2007. In the eight other games Big Ten teams have a 3-5 mark. Ohio State has been in the most with a 1-2 record. Indiana has a 2-0 mark in 1-2 matchups.

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 IMPRESSIVE BILL: Tuesday night’s doubleheader has the 1-2 matchup of Kentucky and Michigan State and the meeting of Nos. 4 and 5 with Duke facing Kansas.

After considerable research it appears the only other time four teams ranked in the Top 5 were in the same building for a doubleheader was the national semifinals in 2008, the only Final Four that has had all four No. 1 seeds.

That day in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Kansas beat North Carolina 84-66 and Memphis defeated UCLA 78-63. Kansas won the title two days later in overtime.

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 JUST MISS: There may not have been any newcomers to the Top 25 but there was a change at No. 26.

Creighton, which beat Alcorn State 107-61 in its opener, vaulted Tennessee, which hasn’t played yet, for the first spot outside the rankings.

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 EARLY MARGINS: The first weekend of the regular season saw ranked teams go 26-0– Kentucky and Notre Dame played two games while Memphis didn’t play– and their average margin of victory was 23.2 points.

Five teams won by single digits with Connecticut’s 78-77 win over Maryland the closest. The other single-digit wins were by Florida, Marquette, Oregon and UCLA.

The biggest blowout was Oklahoma State’s 117-62 victory over Oklahoma State.

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 GREAT START: The American Athletic Conference had three teams– Louisville, Memphis and Connecticut– in the preseason Top 25 and the new league got off to a perfect start. Over the first three days of the regular season teams from the American went 9-0. The only conferences to make it out of the first weekend undefeated were the Big Ten and West Coast.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
The Top Twenty Five
By The Associated Press

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 10, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:<
^                         Record   Pts Prv<
1. Kentucky (28)           2-0  1,552   1<
2. Michigan St. (22)       1-0  1,549   2<
3. Louisville (12)         2-0  1,494   3<
4. Duke (3)                1-0  1,454   4<
5. Kansas                  1-0  1,358   5<
6. Arizona                 1-0  1,291   6<
7. Michigan                1-0  1,154   7<
8. Oklahoma St.            1-0  1,124   8<
9. Syracuse                1-0  1,087   8<
10. Ohio St.                1-0  1,033  11<
11. Florida                 1-0    995  10<
12. North Carolina          1-0    950  12<
13. Memphis                 0-0    743  13<
14. VCU                     1-0    708  14<
15. Gonzaga                 1-0    561  15<
16. Wichita St.             1-0    555  16<
17. Marquette               1-0    491  17<
18. Oregon                  1-0    484  19<
19. UConn                   1-0    441  18<
20. Wisconsin               1-0    357  20<
21. Notre Dame              2-0    328  21<
22. New Mexico              1-0    240  23<
23. Baylor                  1-0    235  25<
24. UCLA                    1-0    196  22<
25. Virginia                1-0    170  24<
Others receiving votes: Creighton 148, Tennessee 138, Indiana 78, Iowa 54, Harvard 46, Boise St. 24, Colorado 18, Villanova 14, Arizona St. 11, LSU 8, Washington 8, Pittsburgh 6, UNLV 6, Georgetown 4, Missouri 3, Saint Louis 3, Stanford 3, Cincinnati 2, Towson 1.
<
Ballots Online: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/

  (© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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