Gonzaga Jumps To 20th In Associated Press Top 25
Jan. 26, 2009
Duke returned to the top of The Associated Press' college basketball poll Monday, a place the Blue Devils have been very familiar with in recent years.
The Blue Devils (18-1) moved up one spot to No. 1, their first appearance there since the final poll of 2005-06. They were ranked on top for at least one week in every season from 1997-98 to 2003-04 and only UCLA's 134 weeks at No. 1 beats Duke's 111 in the 59-year history of the poll.
"When you have a chance to be voted No. 1 at any time it is an honor you don't take lightly," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday. "It is not something you try to keep winning but you try to keep improving. I think it goes with the territory we've been in for awhile."
Duke received 62 first-place votes and 1,789 points from the 72-member national media panel to easily outdistance Connecticut (18-1), which was No. 1 on six ballots and had 1,694 points, 47 more than Pittsburgh (18-1), which had three first-place votes.
Pitt moved into the No. 1 spot three weeks ago for the first time in school history and the Panthers were replaced at the top last week by Wake Forest, which had spent a total of two weeks at the top before that.
The Demon Deacons lost to Virginia Tech on Wednesday and dropped to No. 6. Duke beat North Carolina State and Maryland last week.
"It's a long race and it's good if you're in the lead at some time," Krzyzewski said. "It's never bad, but it's a long race."
Three teams - Saint Mary's, Washington and Kentucky - moved into the rankings for the first time this season, replacing Minnesota, Notre Dame and Florida.Gonzaga moved up three sports to 20th, meaning the Bulldogs and Gaels will once again meet as ranked teams when the two do battle Thursday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Last season marked the first time in WCC history two ranked teams had met in a conference game when the two rivals squared off.
Oklahoma (19-1), which received one first-place vote, moved from sixth to fourth, jumping North Carolina, which was a unanimous No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first seven weeks of the season.
With Duke, Wake Forest and North Carolina all being from the Atlantic Coast Conference, it is the fourth time one league has three teams reach No. 1 in the same season. The Southeastern Conference did it in 2002-03 (Alabama, Florida, Kentucky), while the Big Eight did it in 1989-90 (Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma) and the ACC in 1985-86 (Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke).
"Any level of high success, even though it's not permanent with a No. 1 ranking, it's a good benchmark," Krzyzewski said.
All but 18 of the weeks Duke has spent at No. 1 have been since Krzyzewski took over the program in 1980.
North Carolina is third on the No. 1 list with 104 weeks.
Louisville, which won at Syracuse on Sunday, moved up two spots to seventh and was followed by Marquette, Michigan State and Xavier.
Texas was 11th and was followed by Clemson, Butler, Arizona State, Syracuse, Purdue, UCLA, Memphis, Illinois and Gonzaga.
The last five ranked teams were Villanova, Saint Mary's, Washington, Kentucky and Georgetown.
Saint Mary's (18-1) moved into the rankings on a 15-game winning streak since a loss to Texas-El Paso. The Gaels were ranked for six weeks last season.
Washington (15-4) beat UCLA this weekend to take over first place in the Pac-10. The Huskies, who were last ranked in January 2007, have won four straight and 13 of 14 with the lone loss to California in triple overtime.
Kentucky (16-4) has won five straight and 11 of 12 with the lone loss on a 25-foot buzzer beater at Louisville. The Wildcats, who started the season with losses to VMI and North Carolina, were last ranked in the preseason poll of 2007-08.
Notre Dame (12-6) dropped out from 19th following its third straight loss, a 69-61 defeat to Connecticut which ended the Fighting Irish's 45-game home winning streak. They were ranked every week this season, reaching as high as seventh.
Minnesota (17-3) lost to Purdue last week before beating Indiana 67-63. The Gophers, who fell out from 21st, had been ranked for the past five weeks.
Florida (17-3) followed a 70-69 last-second loss to South Carolina with a 84-69 victory over Vanderbilt but that couldn't keep the Gators from falling out from 24th.
Georgetown, which lost to West Virginia and Seton Hall last week to extend its losing streak to three games, had the week's biggest drop, falling from No. 12 to 25th.
The Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll, with number of first-place votes and record in parentheses, total points and previous ranking: (Records through January 25, 2009) TEAM PTS PVS ---- --- --- 1. DUKE (62) (18-1) 1,789 2 2. CONNECTICUT (6) (18-1) 1,694 3 3. PITTSBURGH (3) (18-1) 1,647 4 4. OKLAHOMA (1) (19-1) 1,539 6 5. NORTH CAROLINA (17-2) 1,529 5 6. WAKE FOREST (16-1) 1,509 1 7. LOUISVILLE (15-3) 1,351 9 8. MARQUETTE (17-2) 1,209 11 9. MICHIGAN ST (16-3) 1,136 7 10. XAVIER (17-2) 1,084 15 11. TEXAS (14-4) 1,017 14 12. CLEMSON (17-2) 929 10 13. BUTLER (18-1) 916 16 14. ARIZONA ST (16-3) 834 17 15. SYRACUSE (17-4) 808 8 16. PURDUE (15-4) 724 18 17. UCLA (15-4) 544 13 18. MEMPHIS (16-3) 530 22 19. ILLINOIS (17-3) 401 25 20. GONZAGA (14-4) 381 23 21. VILLANOVA (15-4) 276 20 22. SAINT MARYS CA (18-1) 247 NR 23. WASHINGTON (15-4) 218 NR 24. KENTUCKY (16-4) 217 NR 25. GEORGETOWN (12-6) 189 12 Dropped Out: No. 19 NOTRE DAME, No. 21 MINNESOTA, No. 24 FLORIDA Others Receiving Votes: NOTRE DAME 154, MINNESOTA 138, KANSAS 84, FLORIDA 65, MISSOURI 52, VIRGINIA TECH 37, BAYLOR 34, WEST VIRGINIA 32, DAVIDSON 27, UTAH ST 23, DAYTON 14, CALIFORNIA 13, UNLV 4, FLORIDA ST 3, OHIO ST 1, VA COMMONWEALTH 1.
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