Monday , Jan , 24 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Illinois tops men’s poll for eighth straight week

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Illinois remained the No. 1 team in the
Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the eighth straight
week, receiving all but one of the 72 first-place votes from the national
media panel.

The Fighting Illini (19-0) earned 1,799 points, 95 more than Duke (15-0),
which garnered the final first-place vote and moved up from fourth to second
in the rankings.

The last unanimous No. 1 team was Duke, which accomplished it nine times in a
10-week span in 2001-02.

North Carolina (16-2) and Syracuse (19-1) each jumped three spots to third and
fourth, respectively, while Wake Forest (16-2) fell two places to fifth.

Kansas dropped from No. 2 to No. 6 following an 83-62 loss to Villanova on
Saturday. The Jayhawks (14-1) were No. 1 in the preseason poll and the first
top 25 of the regular season, then were second for nine straight weeks.

Kentucky (14-2) was seventh, followed by Boston College (16-0), Oklahoma State
(14-2) and Washington (16-2). The Cowboys dropped four places after a loss to
Texas last week.

Arizona advanced two positions to 11th and was trailed by Louisville,
Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan State, Texas, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Connecticut and

The Sooners’ win over Texas last week marked its second against a ranked team
in as many weeks (Connecticut) and continued their three-week rise from 25th
to No. 18 to this week’s 13th. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide, who crushed
Mississippi State and also beat Ole Miss, had the week’s biggest leap, moving
from 22nd to No. 14.

Completing the poll were Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Mississippi State and
Utah, which replaced Marquette in the top 25. The Utes, who were last ranked
for two weeks in 2002-03, have won 11 straight since losing at Arizona on
December 11.

Georgia Tech plummeted from 12th to No. 22 after losing at home to Virginia
Tech in its only game last week. It was their third straight setback.

This week features six games involving two ranked teams — Illinois at
Wisconsin, Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, Wake Forest at Georgia Tech, Washington
at Arizona, Syracuse at Pittsburgh and Texas at Kansas.