Big Ten champ Illinois still 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 13th straight week and
as the lone undefeated team in Division I was a unanimous choice for the fifth
week in a row.
The Fighting Illini (28-0) had just one game last week, rolling to an 84-48
victory against Northwestern. After Michigan State’s overtime loss at Indiana
on Sunday, Illinois wrapped up the outright Big Ten regular-season title.
A perfect season is still on the line for Bruce Weber’s team and this week’s
slate features games at home against Purdue on Thursday and at Ohio State on
Illinois earned all 71 first-place votes and a total of 1,775 points from the
national media panel.
North Carolina (24-3), coming off a tough two-point win at Maryland on Sunday,
remained second, but there were changes in the remainder of the top-10.
Kentucky (22-3) moved up two spots from fifth to third and Wake Forest (24-4)
also jumped two spots to fourth, while Boston College (23-2) fell from third
to fifth. The Eagles suffered their second loss of the season last week at
Villanova, then rebounded with a victory over Seton Hall.
Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Louisville and Washington completed the top-10.
Kansas moved up one spot to seventh after a thrilling 81-79 win over Oklahoma
State on Sunday. The loss was the second of the week for the Cowboys, who also
fell at Nebraska and dropped four places from fourth to eighth in the poll.
Louisville moved up two spots from 11th to ninth, while Washington’s 93-85 win
over Arizona on Saturday helped the Huskies vault four places to 10th.
Arizona fell from ninth to 11th after the setback in Seattle and was followed
by Gonzaga, Syracuse, Michigan State, Connecticut, Utah, Pacific, Charlotte,
Villanova and Oklahoma.
Villanova moved up four spots, tying Washington for the biggest jump, after
wins over Boston College and Georgetown.
The last five teams ranked were Alabama, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and
Nevada, as no new schools joined this week’s poll.
Pittsburgh, losers of three in a row, had the biggest fall, plummeting six
spots from 18th to 24th. The Panthers will try to get back on the winning
track Monday, but will have to do so in a road tilt at Boston College.
Other games this week involving ranked teams against each other include
Thursday’s Conference USA showdown between Louisville and Charlotte at Freedom
On Saturday, Big East rivals meet when Syracuse tries to exact a measure of
revenge against Connecticut, which beat the Orange at the Carrier Dome on
The ACC regular-season finale on Sunday pits North Carolina against Duke in
Chapel Hill. The two bitter enemies met on February 9 in Durham when Duke
pulled out a 71-70 win after North Carolina failed to get off a last-second