Monday , Jan , 08 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

North Carolina moves to the top of hoops poll

New York, NY (Sports Network) – North Carolina has ascended to the top of the
Associated Press college basketball poll, following a week that saw three of
the top 10 teams in the country lose.

UCLA was one of those losing squads, as the Bruins dropped a 68-66 decision at
Oregon on Saturday for their first loss of the season. The other top teams to
fall on the weekend were Duke and Alabama.

North Carolina (14-1) had been ranked second for the past three weeks, but
this week earned 64 first-place votes and a total of 1,788 points from a
national media panel.

The Tar Heels have won 11 in a row since their lone loss of the season against
Gonzaga in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off on November 22.

Florida (14-2) moved up one spot to second after receiving three first-place
votes and 1,682 points, while Wisconsin (15-1) garnered one top tally to jump
one spot to third for the highest ranking in school history.

UCLA (14-1) still received four first-place votes and fell three spots to
fourth after the loss at McArthur Court. The Bruins had been No. 1 for the
past six weeks.

Ohio State moved up a spot to fifth and was followed by Kansas, Pittsburgh,
Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Arizona.

Duke, which lost in overtime at home against Virginia Tech on Saturday,
tumbled six spots to 11th.

Butler, LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, Clemson, Air Force, Nevada and
Memphis completed the second 10.

Alabama fell from eighth to 14th after an 88-61 loss at Arkansas, while
Clemson moved up six spots from 23rd to 17th after a narrow 75-74 victory over
Georgia Tech kept the Tigers as the only unbeaten team in Division I.

The final five teams ranked were West Virginia, Notre Dame, Washington State,
Connecticut and Texas. Notre Dame and Washington State tied for 22nd.

Washington State, on the strength of Saturday’s 77-73 overtime victory over
Arizona, joined the poll for the first time since February of 1983. Texas also
moved back into the rankings after a two-week stint earlier this season.

Notre Dame fell five spots after a 66-48 drubbing at the hands of Georgetown
on Saturday, while UConn also dropped six spots following a 66-49 setback at
LSU.

Another Big East team, Marquette, was 15th last week, but losses at Providence
and at home against Syracuse dropped the Golden Eagles out of the rankings.
Washington was the other team to drop out, as the Huskies — then ranked 24th
— suffered their third straight loss on Thursday against Arizona before
beating Arizona State on Saturday.

Tuesday features three matchups of ranked teams against each other, as West
Virginia visits Notre Dame, Alabama welcomes LSU and third-ranked Wisconsin
hosts No. 5 Ohio State.

Oklahoma State travels to Kansas on Wednesday in a battle of Big 12 top-10
teams, while Saturday features an interconference matchup between Tennessee
and Ohio State and a Pac-10 battle Sunday pits Oregon at Arizona.