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Archive for Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Duke still No. 1; poll changes little

December 27, 2005

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Duke held the No. 1 spot it has occupied since the preseason rankings after a light week of games failed to produce changes Monday at the top of the Associated Press' men's college basketball poll.

But there was movement near the bottom of the rankings. Wisconsin came into the poll for the first time this season at No. 24, and West Virginia returned at No. 25 after a four-week absence.

Connecticut, Villanova, Memphis, Florida and Illinois stayed second through sixth.

Wisconsin and West Virginia replaced Tennessee, which fell out after a one-week appearance, and Iowa, which fell out for the first time this season despite being on a three-game winning streak.

Duke (11-0), which beat St. John's, 70-57, in its only game last week, was again an overwhelming choice at No. 1. The Blue Devils received 61 of the 69 first-place votes and 1,714 points from the national media panel.

Connecticut (9-0) set a Gampel Pavilion scoring record in a 129-61 victory over Morehead State in its only game last week. The Huskies, ranked second for a third straight week, got seven No. 1 votes and 1,658 points.

Villanova (8-0) received the only other first-place vote.

Washington jumped two places to seventh, while Gonzaga held on at No. 8. Michigan State, Louisville, UCLA, George Washington and Boston College all moved up one spot from last week and are ninth through 13th.

Oklahoma (6-2), which lost 92-68 to West Virginia last week, fell from seventh to 14th.

Texas was No. 15, followed by Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Nevada.

Ohio State, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Wisconsin and West Virginia were the last five ranked teams.

Wisconsin (9-1) moved into the rankings on a five-game winning streak that includes victories over in-state rivals Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marquette and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Badgers' only loss was 91-88 at Wake Forest in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Wisconsin was ranked for all but five weeks last season, reaching as high as No. 18.

West Virginia (7-3) was 14th in the preseason poll and ranked for the first two weeks of the regular season before losing consecutively to Texas, Kentucky and LSU. But the Mountaineers have won their last five games, most recently beating Oklahoma at Oklahoma City.

Tennessee (6-1) moved into the Top 25 last week for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Volunteers lost 89-73 to Oklahoma State at Oklahoma City in their only game last week.

Iowa (10-3) won three straight games after losing to Northern Iowa and Iowa State, but still fell from the rankings for the first time this season. Starting point guard Jeff Horner injured his knee against Northern Iowa and is expected to return this week.

There are two games featuring ranked teams this week. Gonzaga is at Memphis tonight in a Top-10 matchup. George Washington visits North Carolina State on Friday.

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