Jayhawks jump seven spots


By JIM O’CONNELL

AP Basketball Writer

Arizona and Syracuse are the top two teams in The Associated Press Top 25 for a seventh straight week.

The Wildcats (18-0) are again the runaway No. 1, receiving 61 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. The Orange (18-0) got the other No. 1 votes.

Michigan State moved up one place to third while Villanova jumped two spots to fourth. Wichita State, at 19-0 the only other unbeaten in Division I, stayed fifth and was followed by Florida, San Diego State, Kansas, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Kansas has beaten three straight ranked opponents and jumped from 15th to No. 8.

Michigan, at No. 21, and Kansas State, at 22nd, moved into the poll this week, replacing Creighton, Colorado and UCLA. There was a tie for 25th last week.

Breaking down this week’s Associated Press college basketball poll:

KANSAS’ STREAK: Kansas has won four straight games since losing to San Diego State. The last three have been over ranked teams — No. 25 Kansas State, No. 8 Iowa State, No. 9 Oklahoma State — and the Jayhawks had a chance to make it four Top 25 opponents in a row when they faced No. 24 Baylor Monday night.

Kansas has the most wins over ranked teams this season with an early-season victory over then-No. 4 Duke in November.

Six schools have three wins over ranked teams: Iowa State, Kansas State, North Carolina, San Diego State, Syracuse and Wisconsin. North Carolina is the only one of those not currently in the Top 25.

WELCOME BACK: Michigan and Kansas State are the newcomers to this week’s poll and both have already been ranked this season.

No. 21 Michigan was seventh in the preseason Top 25 and was ranked for the first four weeks of the regular season before falling out when it lost to Charlotte and Duke in a three-game span.

No. 22 Kansas State moved into the poll two weeks ago at No. 25, fell out after losing to Kansas, and then returned this week.

HAWKEYE HIGH: Iowa is in the top 10 for the first time since the poll of Jan. 1, 2002, when the Hawkeyes were ranked ninth. Iowa jumped from 14th to 10th following its 94-72 victory over Minnesota on Sunday, its only game of the week. The previous week the Hawkeyes won 84-74 at then-unbeaten and third-ranked Ohio State.

LEAGUE LOOK: Kansas State moving back into the Top 25 gives the Big 12 six ranked teams, one more than the Big Ten, which got its fifth team with Michigan moving in.

The Pac-12 saw Colorado and UCLA drop out of the rankings this week, leaving it with just No. 1 Arizona in the Top 25.

TWO-TIMERS: Three ranked teams lost twice last week and none of them dropped out of the Top 25.

Wisconsin, which fell to Indiana and Michigan, dropped from third to No. 9. Iowa State, which lost to Kansas and Texas, fell from No. 8 to 16th. Baylor, which lost to Texas Tech and Oklahoma, dropped from 12th to No. 24.

In all, 12 ranked teams lost at least once last week.

UP AND DOWNS: Kansas made the week’s big move in the Top 25, rising seven spots to No. 8 with wins over Iowa State and Oklahoma State, which were both ranked in the top 10. Louisville, with victories over Houston and Connecticut, went up six places to 12th.

The biggest drop of the week was Baylor’s 12-place fall to 24th after losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

DOUBLE-RANKED GAMES: Michigan is welcomed back into the Top 25 with two games against ranked teams this week.

The 21st-ranked Wolverines host No. 10 Iowa on Wednesday and visit No. 3 Michigan State on Saturday.

The other double-ranked games this week are No. 24 Baylor at No. 8 Kansas on Monday night and No. 22 Kansas State at No. 16 Iowa State on Saturday.

(See complete top 25 poll in Scoreboard.)

 

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