Monday , Dec , 06 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Illinois vaults to No. 1 in AP college basketball poll

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Illinois vaulted four spots to No. 1 in the
Associated Press men’s college basketball poll following an impressive win
last Wednesday over then-top-rated Wake Forest.

The Fighting Illini, who defeated the Demon Deacons 91-73, received 25 first-
place votes and 1,717 points from the national media panel. It marks the third
time in school history that Illinois (6-0) has reached No. 1. The Fighting
Illini also defeated Arkansas last week.

Kansas (4-0) remained second in the poll and garnered 23 first-place votes and
1,700 points. The Jayhawks posted wins over Nevada and Pacific.

Georgia Tech (5-0) and Syracuse (7-0) traded places from last week. The Yellow
Jackets used convincing victories over Michigan and Georgia to move to third,
earning 12 first-place votes and 1,632 points. The Orange, who collected nine
No. 1 votes and 1,607 points, dropped one position to fourth, despite staying
unbeaten with wins over St. Bonaventure and Colgate.

Oklahoma State (5-0) advanced one place to fifth, while Wake Forest (6-1)
fell five spots to sixth. The Cowboys were No. 1 on two ballots.
Connecticut (3-0) received the final first-place vote and stayed seventh.

Rounding out the top 10 were North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky.

Pittsburgh moved up two positions to 11th and was followed by North Carolina
State, Louisville, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Iowa, Alabama, Virginia and
Michigan State. The Spartans plummeted nine spots to 20th after losing to
George Washington.

Completing the poll were George Washington, Mississippi State, Maryland,
Wisconsin and Gonzaga. The Colonials, who beat Michigan State and Maryland on
consecutive days to capture the BB&T Classic, is ranked for the first time
since a three-week run in 1997-98.

Gonzaga moved back into the top 25 after a one-week absence, while Florida and
Notre Dame both dropped out. The Gators had been 19th, but suffered a loss to
Miami-Florida, while the Fighting Irish fell from the rankings after a setback
against Michigan.

This week’s only contest featuring two ranked teams occurs on Tuesday night
when Oklahoma State and Syracuse battle at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy
V Classic.