Monday , Jan , 31 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Illinois a unanimous No. 1 in men’s poll

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Illinois remained the top-ranked team in
the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the ninth straight
week, receiving all 72 first-place votes and 1,800 points from the national
media panel.

The Fighting Illini (21-0) are the first unanimous No. 1 since Duke
accomplished the feat for nine polls during a 10-week span in 2001-02.

Illinois snapped Wisconsin’s 38-game home winning streak and also recorded a
win over Minnesota last week to remain one of two unbeaten teams in Division
I. The nine-week run at the top spot marks the longest since Connecticut did
it for 10 weeks in 1998-99.

North Carolina moved up a position to second, while Kansas, which rebounded
from a loss to Villanova to post wins over Baylor and Texas last week, jumped
from sixth to No. 3. The Tar Heels (17-2) earned 1,707 points, while the
Jayhawks (16-1) got 1,603.

Duke (16-1), which garnered the one No. 1 vote that Illinois didn’t receive
last week, dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten following a loss to Maryland
and also fell two spots in the poll to fourth.

Boston College (18-0) stayed unbeaten with victories over Providence and
Georgetown last week and advanced three places to fifth. It marks the highest
ranking in school history.

Kentucky moved up one position to sixth and was followed by Wake Forest,
Syracuse, Louisville and Oklahoma State. The Orange fell four spots to eighth
after a setback against Pittsburgh.

Alabama advanced from 14th to No. 11 and was trailed by Michigan State and
Washington. Arizona and Oklahoma tied for 14th and then it was Pittsburgh,
Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Wisconsin and Texas.

Completing the top 25 were Utah, Maryland, Connecticut, Villanova and Georgia
Tech.

Maryland and Villanova entered the rankings, while Mississippi State and Iowa
dropped out. The Terrapins were ranked as high as 12th, before falling out of
the poll three weeks ago. However, Maryland beat Duke and Georgia Tech last
week to get back into the top 25.

Villanova followed up its impressive win over Kansas with triumphs over Notre
Dame and Rutgers.

Duke will participate in two of the five games this week involving two ranked
teams. The Blue Devils travel to Wake Forest on Wednesday and then host
Georgia Tech on Saturday. The other key contests have Illinois at Michigan
State on Tuesday and Villanova at Connecticut and Cincinnati at Louisville on
Wednesday.