Gonzaga 6th In AP Top 25

March 4, 2002

AP Basketball Writer

Kansas, Maryland and Duke were 1-2-3 in the AP college basketball poll for the third consecutive week Monday, while Oregon made its first Top Ten appearance in 26 years.

The top-ranked Jayhawks (27-2) completed the first perfect season in Big 12 history with their 95-92 victory over Missouri on Sunday and stretched their winning streak to 14 games.

Kansas received 57 first-place votes and 1,761 points from the national media panel, easily outdistancing Maryland (25-3), which was No. 1 on 14 ballots and had 1,717 points.

The Terrapins, who had already wrapped up the Atlantic Coast Conference title, beat Virginia 112-92 Sunday in the last game played at Maryland's Cole Field House.

Duke (26-3) closed the regular season with a 93-68 victory over North Carolina, bouncing back from Thursday night's loss to Virginia.

Oklahoma and Cincinnati were fourth and fifth, switching places from the pervious week.

Gonzaga moved up one place to sixth, once again the highest ranking in school history. The Bulldogs are bidding for their fourth straight West Coast Conference Tournament title, meeting Pepperdine in Monday's title game. Pittsburgh jumped three places to seventh, the Panthers' highest ranking since they were No. 5 on March 8, 1988.

Alabama, Oregon and Illinois rounded out the Top Ten.

Oregon (23-7), the Pac-10's regular season champion, was last in the Top Ten on Feb. 4, 1975, in a season in which the Ducks reached No. 8.

Illinois (23-7), one of four teams to share the Big Ten championship, also returned to the Top Ten, but the Fighting Illini's absence extended just five weeks. Ranked as high as third this season, Illinois fell as low as 21st before its current eight-game winning streak turned its standing around.

Florida dropped from eighth to 11th following Saturday's 70-67 loss at Kentucky, the first time this season the Gators were out of the Top Ten.

In addition to Duke and Florida, three other teams in last week's Top Ten - Cincinnati, Alabama and Marquette - lost last week.

Kentucky was No. 12 in the latest poll, followed by Marquette, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Stanford, Georgia, Western Kentucky, Connecticut and Miami.

The last five ranked teams were Ohio State, Southern California, Indiana, Xavier and California.

Xavier (22-5) was the week's lone newcomer, replacing Wake Forest, which fell out from 24th. The Musketeers, the Atlantic 10's regular season champion with a 14-2 conference record, have won three straight and 17 of their last 19. Xavier was ranked for two weeks last season.

Wake Forest (19-11) had been ranked since the second poll of the regular season, reaching as high as 14th. But the Demon Deacons' 90-77 loss to Georgia Tech last Wednesday was their fifth in six games.

The final poll of the season will be released next Monday.

By The Associated Press

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 3, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:

1.Kansas (57)27-21,7611
2.Maryland (14)25-31,7172
14.Oklahoma St.23-783112
18.W. Kentucky26-348220
21.Ohio St.20-735118
22.Southern California20-834819

Others receiving votes: Wake Forest 84, Texas Tech 69, Mississippi St. 65, Hawaii 59, Kent St. 51, Pepperdine 41, Michigan St. 38, UCLA 23, Tulsa 18, Wisconsin 15, Texas 14, Virginia 10, S. Illinois 8, N.C. State 7, Mississippi 6, Wyoming 5, Cent. Connecticut St.4, Notre Dame 4, Butler 3, Louisville 3, Memphis 3, Penn 3, Missouri 2.



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