Gonzaga Holds Steady At No. 17 In AP Poll

Jan. 31, 2005

AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK - Illinois was No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll for the ninth straight week Monday, and for the first time the Illini were a unanimous choice.

An impressive win at Wisconsin and a home victory over Minnesota kept the Illini (21-0) unbeaten. Unlike last week when they received all but one first-place votes from the national media panel, the Illini were No. 1 on all 72 ballots.

They are the first unanimous No. 1 since Duke did it for nine polls in a 10-week span in 2001-02. The Illini's nine-week run at No. 1 is the longest since Connecticut was there for 10 weeks in 1998-99.

Boston College (18-0), the only other unbeaten team in Division I, jumped from eighth to No. 5, the highest ranking in school history.

Maryland and Villanova moved into the rankings Monday. Maryland had been out of the Top 25 for three weeks, while Villanova was in for the first time since 1996-97.

North Carolina moved up one spot to second, while Kansas, which bounced back from its first loss of the season with wins over Baylor and Texas, jumped from sixth to No. 3.

Duke, which received the one No. 1 vote that Illinois didn't last week, fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a loss to Maryland and dropped from second to fourth.

Boston College, which stayed unbeaten with wins over Providence and Georgetown last week, was ranked sixth twice before.

The Eagles reached No. 6 for one week in December 1967 when Bob Cousy was the coach and Terry Driscoll was the star player. They got there again for a week in December 1983 when Gary Williams was coaching Michael Adams.

Kentucky moved up one spot to No. 6 and was followed by Wake Forest, Syracuse, Louisville and Oklahoma State.

Alabama jumped from 14th to No. 11, its highest ranking of the season, and was followed by Michigan State, Washington and Oklahoma and Arizona, which were tied for 14th. Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Wisconsin and Texas rounded out the top 20.

The last five ranked teams were Utah, Maryland, Connecticut, Villanova and Georgia Tech.

Maryland (13-5) was ranked as high as 12th this season before falling out of the Top 25 three weeks ago. The Terrapins had lost three of five before beating Duke and Georgia Tech last week to return to the ranks of the ranked.

Villanova (12-4) lost to Georgetown by two points and Boston College by one before handing Kansas its first loss of the season, a 21-point win that caught the country's attention. Last week the Wildcats beat Notre Dame and Rutgers.

The last season Villanova was in the rankings, the Wildcats got up to No. 4.

Iowa (15-5), which lost to Northwestern and beat Indiana last week, dropped out from No. 23. The Hawkeyes were ranked for the last nine weeks, getting as high as 14th.

Mississippi State (16-5) lost to LSU in its only game last week and fell out from 24th. The Bulldogs were No. 12 in the preseason poll and were ranked every week, reaching as high as No. 11. Mississippi State is 2-3 since guard Winsome Frazier broke his foot.

Thirteen ranked teams lost last week, but six of the losses were to other members of the Top 25.

Duke will play in two of the five games this week involving two ranked teams. On Wednesday, the Blue Devils are at Wake Forest and they host Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The other double-ranked games are Illinois at Michigan State on Tuesday, Villanova at Connecticut and Cincinnati at Louisville on Wednesday.

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 30, 2005)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. ILLINOIS (72) (21-0)                 1,800     1
 2. NORTH CAROLINA (17-2)                1,707     3
 3. KANSAS (16-1)                        1,603     6
 4. DUKE (16-1)                          1,514     2
 5. BOSTON COLLEGE (18-0)                1,505     8
 6. KENTUCKY (16-2)                      1,497     7
 7. WAKE FOREST (17-3)                   1,337     5
 8. SYRACUSE (20-2)                      1,318     4
 9. LOUISVILLE (18-3)                    1,208    12
10. OKLAHOMA ST (15-3)                   1,062     9
11. ALABAMA (17-3)                         982    14
12. MICHIGAN ST (14-3)                     916    15
13. WASHINGTON (17-3)                      910    10
14. (tie) ARIZONA (17-4)                   815    11
14. (tie) OKLAHOMA (16-3)                  815    13
16. PITTSBURGH (14-3)                      738    20
17. GONZAGA (15-4)                         569    17
18. CINCINNATI (17-3)                      558    21
19. WISCONSIN (14-4)                       496    18
20. TEXAS (15-5)                           396    16
21. UTAH (17-3)                            305    25
22. MARYLAND (13-5)                        259    NR
23. CONNECTICUT (12-5)                     256    19
24. VILLANOVA (12-4)                       228    NR
25. GEORGIA TECH (12-6)                    213    22
Dropped Out: No. 23 Iowa, No. 24 Mississippi St
Others Receiving Votes: IOWA 113, WICHITA ST 85, PACIFIC 52,



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