Monday , Dec , 05 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Duke keeps top spot; Carolina returns to poll

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Duke remained the top team in the latest
Associated Press college basketball poll, despite a last-second win over
Virginia Tech on Sunday, and heated rival North Carolina joined the poll for
the first time this season following its stunning win at Kentucky on Saturday.

Duke (7-0) needed a halfcourt prayer at the buzzer by Sean Dockery to pull out
a 77-75 home win over Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils, who also won at Indiana
during the week, received 53 first-place votes — eight fewer than last week
— and a total of 1,767 points from a nationwide medial panel.

Texas (7-0) picked up three of those No. 1 tallies for a total of nine top
votes to remain second with 1,699 points.

The Blue Devils and Longhorns are scheduled to meet on Saturday at East
Rutherford, New Jersey.

Connecticut (6-0) picked up the other five first-place votes Duke lost and
remained third in the poll with nine top tallies and 1,693 points.

Villanova, with one first-place vote, Louisville, Boston College, Memphis,
Oklahoma, Gonzaga and Florida completed the top 10.

Oklahoma dropped from fifth to eighth after an 85-74 loss at Villanova on
Saturday, while Gonzaga dropped from sixth to ninth following a 99-95 setback
to Washington on Sunday.

Meanwhile, an 83-79 win at Kentucky on Saturday helped North Carolina move
into the rankings this week at No. 23. The Tar Heels hardly resemble the
defending national champions that they are, having lost their top seven
scorers from a year ago, but they are off to a 4-1 start with their lone loss
coming last week in a 68-64 setback to Illinois in a rematch of the NCAA
Tournament championship game.

Illinois started the second 10 this week and was followed by Iowa, Washington,
Michigan State, Kentucky, UCLA, Nevada, Indiana, George Washington, Wake
Forest, Maryland, Alabama, North Carolina, Arizona and North Carolina State.

North Carolina replaced LSU, which had only a one-week stay in the poll at No.
25 following an 84-83 loss to Houston.

Houston also beat another top-25 team last week with a 69-65 victory over
Arizona, which remained in the rankings despite a 2-3 record. The Cougars are
closing in on a poll spot, just 26 points behind NC State.

In addition to the Duke/Texas matchup, other games this week featuring ranked
teams against one another include Maryland against George Washington on Monday
and Boston College against Michigan State in New York City on Tuesday. On
Saturday, Kentucky will meet Indiana in Indianapolis and UCLA will square off
against Nevada in Anaheim, while on Sunday Boston College visits Maryland.