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Syracuse Remains Atop AP Poll; UConn Voted #21

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Jim Boeheim, Syracues Orange, 2014 (Justin Aller/Getty Images)

Jim Boeheim, Syracues Orange, 2014 (Justin Aller/Getty Images)

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Syracuse is still No. 1 in the AP college basketball poll, but it is no longer a unanimous choice.

The Orange (25-0), who won two games in the final seconds last week, are on top for a third straight week but they received 64 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel. They were a unanimous choice the last two weeks.

Florida (23-2), which won at Kentucky on Saturday, moved from third to second and received the other first-place vote.

Wichita State (27-0), the only other unbeaten Division I team, stayed third while Arizona, which lost to Arizona State last week, dropped from second to fourth.

Duke moved from eighth to fifth and was followed by San Diego State, Cincinnati, Kansas, Villanova and Saint Louis.

UCLA, at No. 23, and Gonzaga, at No. 25, return to the rankings replacing SMU and Pittsburgh.

(© Copyright 2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)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 Feb. 16, 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. Syracuse (64)         25-0  1,624   1
2. Florida (1)           23-2  1,543   3
3. Wichita St.           27-0  1,489   4
4. Arizona               23-2  1,427   2
5. Duke                  20-5  1,296   8
6. San Diego St.         22-2  1,232   5
7. Cincinnati            23-3  1,157  10
8. Kansas                19-6  1,129   7
9. Villanova             22-3  1,020   6
10. Saint Louis           23-2  1,019  12
11. Creighton             21-4    991  18
11. Louisville            21-4    991  13
13. Michigan St.          21-5    788   9
14. Virginia              21-5    752  17
15. Iowa                  19-6    721  16
16. Wisconsin             21-5    609  21
17. Iowa St.              19-5    597  11
18. Kentucky              19-6    579  14
19. Texas                 20-5    577  19
20. Michigan              18-7    421  15
21. UConn                 20-5    382  24
22. Memphis               19-6    204  20
23. UCLA                  20-5    168   _
24. Ohio St.              20-6    133  22
25. Gonzaga               23-4    112   _
Others receiving votes: North Carolina 54, Arizona St. 45, Pittsburgh 21, SMU 21, Stephen F. Austin 8, Oklahoma 7, New Mexico 3, VCU 2, Green Bay 1, Kansas St. 1, Louisiana Tech 1.
<
Ballots Online: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
^By JIM O’CONNELL=
^AP Basketball Writer=
Breaking down this week’s Associated Press college basketball poll:

___

 NO LONGER UNANIMOUS: Syracuse is on top of the AP poll for a third straight week but unlike the first two the Orange are not a unanimous No. 1.

Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press changed his No. 1 vote from Syracuse to Florida, which moved from third to second in the poll.

“Simply put, I watched both teams play both games last week and I think Florida is the best team in the country,” Rexrode said. “That’s pretty much it.”

This is the Orange’s 17th week all-time on top of the poll, tied with Illinois for 14th place on the No. 1 list. Next up would be Michigan, which has been No. 1 for 22 weeks. UCLA holds the all-time mark with 134 weeks on top.

___

 EVEN HUNDRED: This is Kansas’ 100th consecutive week as a ranked team second on the current list to Duke, which has been in the Top 25 for 132 consecutive polls, a streak that started with the preseason poll of 2007-08. UCLA holds the all-time record of 221 consecutive weeks, a run that went from 1966 to 1980.

Michigan State is in the poll for a 50th consecutive week. The Spartans are fifth on the current list behind Duke, Kansas, Syracuse (74) and Florida (61).

___

 RISING BILLIKENS: Saint Louis’ 17-game winning streak has the Billikens (23-20 at No. 10 this week. This is their first Top Ten appearance since Dec. 29, 1964 when they were No. 9 with Rich Naes, an all-Missouri Valley Conference first team selection, as their leading scorer and rebounder.

Coached by John Bennington, the Billikens finished 18-9 that season and lost to Army in the first round of the NIT.

___

 QUICK VISIT: SMU cracked the Top 25 last week for the first time since the next-to-last poll of 1984-85, a season when they reached as high as No. 2.

The Mustangs (20-6), who were ranked 23rd, didn’t stay among the ranked very long this time as a 71-64 loss to Temple knocked them out of the Top 25.

Pittsburgh was the other team to fall from the ranks of the ranked. The Panthers (20-6) lost to Syracuse 58-56 and North Carolina 75-71 last week and dropped from 25th. They had been ranked for five weeks reaching as high as No. 18.

___

 WELCOME BACK: The two newcomers to this week’s poll have both been ranked this season.

No. 23 UCLA (20-5) was out of the Top 25 the last five weeks but the Bruins return having won six of their last seven games under first-year coach Steve Alford. The Bruins, who were No. 22 in the preseason poll and were ranked for the first four weeks of the regular season before falling out the first time, play at California and Stanford this weekend.

No. 25 Gonzaga (23-4) returned to the poll two weeks ago and dropped out following a loss at Memphis. The Bulldogs beat Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount last week to clinch at least a tie for the West Coast Conference regular season title, their 13th in the last 14 years. The Bulldogs were ranked 15th in the preseason poll and reached as high as No. 11 before falling out of the poll for the first time.

___

 DOUBLE-RANKED GAMES: There are six games between ranked teams this week and none will draw as much attention as No. 1 Syracuse at No. 5 Duke on Saturday.

When these teams met in Syracuse on Feb. 1, the Orange prevailed 91-89 in overtime in a game that was labeled an instant classic. It will be a rematch of the college basketball’s all-time winningest coaches; Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke.

Texas has a couple of chances at season sweeps this week. The 19th-ranked Longhorns are at No. 17 Iowa State on Tuesday and they are at No. 8 Kansas on Saturday.

The other double-ranked games are No. 11 Louisville at No. 7 Cincinnati and No. 16 Wisconsin at No. 15 Iowa, both on Saturday, and No. 13 Michigan State at No. 20 Michigan on Sunday.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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