Illinois still unbeaten and still a unanimous No. 1
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Illinois remained the top-ranked team in the
Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the 12th straight week and
as the lone undefeated team in Division I was a unanimous choice for the
fourth week in a row.
There were numerous changes within the top-25, as a number of schools suffered
losses last week, but only one new team joined the poll this week with Nevada
making its first-ever appearance at No. 25.
Illinois remained a constant at the top of the rankings, earning all 72 first-
place votes and a total of 1,800 points from the national media panel. The
Fighting Illini (27-0) posted a pair of road wins last week — a 20-point rout
at Penn State and a 10-point triumph at Iowa. This week’s lone opponent in the
quest for a perfect regular season is Northwestern on Wednesday in Champaign.
A pair of top-10 teams had a rough time last week, as Kansas and Syracuse each
lost twice. The Jayhawks, losers to Texas Tech and Iowa State, fell from
second to eighth and the Orange, after setbacks to Pittsburgh and Boston
College, dropped from ninth to 15th.
North Carolina (22-3) took advantage of Kansas’ plight and moved up two spots
to second. Boston College jumped from sixth to third, giving the Big East-
leading Eagles (22-1) their highest ranking in school history.
Oklahoma State (20-3) had the biggest jump within the poll, vaulting from
eighth to fourth, while Kentucky (20-3), despite a loss at South Carolina,
dropped only from third to fifth.
Wake Forest, Duke, Kansas, Arizona and Michigan State rounded out the top-10.
The second 10 consisted of Louisville, Gonzaga, Utah, Washington, Syracuse,
Alabama, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Pacific and Wisconsin. Charlotte, Oklahoma,
Villanova, Cincinnati and Nevada completed the poll.
Nevada (20-5) has won six in a row and nine of its last 10. The WAC-leading
Wolf Pack will play as a ranked team for the first time on Monday at home
Iowa State, which knocked off Kansas in overtime on Saturday and has won seven
in a row, nearly cracked the rankings. The Cyclones fell just four points shy
of Nevada in the voting.
Maryland was the odd team out this week. The Terrapins entered the poll after
an overtime win against Duke, but followed it up with a loss to North Carolina
State and a double-overtime win at Virginia.
A pair of ranked teams square off Monday when Kansas visits Oklahoma, while on
Wednesday Boston College visits Villanova. A Big Ten battle on Thursday pits
Wisconsin at Michigan State.
Saturday’s schedule features three games with ranked teams against each other,
as Kentucky visits Alabama, Pittsburgh hosts Connecticut and Arizona travels
to Washington in the Pac-10. On Sunday, a pair of top-10 teams in the Big 12
meet in Kansas when the Jayhawks welcome Oklahoma State.