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Archive for Tuesday, March 1, 2005

No surprise: Illinois still on top

Unbeaten Illini unanimous No. 1; LSU tops women’s poll

March 1, 2005

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Illinois was No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll Monday, the Illini's 13th straight week on top and their fifth consecutive poll as a unanimous choice.

The Illini (28-0) beat Northwestern in their only game last week. Coupled with a loss by Michigan State, that was enough for them to win their second straight Big Ten title.

The 13-week run at No. 1 is the longest since Kansas was on top for 15 straight polls in 1996-97. Five weeks as a unanimous choice of the 72-member national media panel is the longest such streak since Duke's five-week run in 2001-02.

North Carolina (24-3) beat North Carolina State and Maryland last week to remain No. 2.

Kentucky, which beat Alabama in a key Southeastern Conference game on Saturday, moved up two spots to third. Wake Forest made the same jump to fourth, while Boston College, which lost at Villanova last Wednesday, dropped from No. 3 -- the highest ranking in school history -- to fifth.

Kansas, which has the second-longest active streak at 91 straight polls, moved from eighth to No. 7. Oklahoma State, the team the Jayhawks beat to end their three-game losing streak, dropped from fourth to No. 8.

On the women's side, North Carolina's second victory of the season over Duke gave the Tar Heels a nice boost in poll, not to mention a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

The Tar Heels jumped four spots to fourth Monday, the reward for their 77-68 victory over the Blue Devils on Sunday night.

Duke fell from second to sixth, the sharpest drop in the poll and the Blue Devils' lowest ranking since they were 10th the week of Nov. 29.

LSU remained a unanimous No. 1, the fifth straight week the Lady Tigers have led the poll and the fourth consecutive week they received every first-place vote.

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