Kansas Moves From No. 6 to No. 1 In AP Top 25

Dec 2, 2003

By JIM O'CONNELL

AP Basketball Writer

Bill Self didn't have to wait to be No. 1 at Kansas.

The Jayhawks, taking advantage of losses by the top four teams last week, jumped from sixth to No. 1 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll Monday.

Their move to the top was the biggest in almost 40 years and matched the second biggest in the history of the poll, which started in the 1948-49 season.

"I don't believe we're deserving of it, but I don't know if anyone is right now," the first-year coach said before Monday morning's shootaround. "There are probably 10 to 12 teams out there who could be No. 1 the way things played out last week."

Kansas beat then-No. 3 Michigan State 81-74 in their only game last week, and combined with losses by Connecticut, Duke and Arizona (Nos. 1, 2 and 4 last week) and an unimpressive win by then-No. 5 Missouri, it meant another trip to No. 1.

Gonzaga (3-1), which swept both its games last week including an 82-76 overtime win over Georgia in the Spokane Arena, nonetheless slipped a notch to 17th. The Bulldogs had been 16th for two straight weeks following a No. 10 ranking in the preseason poll.

The Bulldogs didn't fair well in the USA Today/ESPN poll either, falling three spots to 24th. Maryland, who the Bulldogs meet on Saturday in the first round of the BB&T Classic at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., fell from 24th to 25th.

Florida beat Arizona to move up from eighth to No. 2 this week. Georgia Tech defeated Connecticut, and Purdue beat Duke, moving them into the rankings for the first time this season. Georgia Tech was 13th, and the Boilermakers were 20th.

Kansas was ranked No. 1 for four weeks in the 2001-02 season, its first stint at the top since getting there for five straight seasons from 1992-93 through 1996-97.

Nine teams received first-place votes this week, backing up Self's point of not being deserving of the top spot.

"Although it's very early, we'll enjoy the time we have it and we certainly hope to maintain it," said Self, who took over when Roy Williams left after 14 seasons to become coach at North Carolina.

The Jayhawks (3-0) beat Texas Christian 85-66 on Monday night, their first game since starting guard Michael Lee broke his right collarbone in practice last week. He is expected to be out for up to two months.

Kansas' jump from No. 6 to No. 1 matched Duke's rise on Dec. 14, 1965, and those were second only to West Virginia's moving from No. 8 to No. 1 on Dec. 24, 1957.

The Jayhawks received 52 first-place votes and 1,750 points from the 72-member national media panel, 146 more than Florida (2-0), which was No. 1 on eight ballots.

Connecticut, which was a runaway No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first two weeks of the regular season, dropped to third following its 77-61 loss to Georgia Tech in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT. The Huskies (4-1) received one No. 1 vote.

Missouri, the only member of last week's top five that didn't lose, moved up one place to fourth after beating Oakland, Mich., 90-85 in its season opener. The Tigers got three first-place votes.

Michigan State (3-1) dropped from third to fifth, while Duke (3-1) fell from second to sixth after losing 78-68 to Purdue in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Arizona (1-1) fell from fourth to seventh with the 78-77 loss to Florida in the Tipoff Classic, while Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina rounded out the Top 10.

Texas had two first-place votes and Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina had one each.

Georgia Tech was the ninth school to get at least one first-place vote and the Yellow Jackets were No. 1 on three ballots.

"This might be a surprise to some people," coach Paul Hewitt said of his team which was picked seventh in the preseason ACC poll. "But if you had been at practice every day, it would not be a surprise. We realized early in practice that we had a chance to be a very good basketball team."

Illinois moved up one spot to 11th, followed by Saint Joseph's, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Gonzaga, Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Purdue.

The last five ranked teams were Stanford, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Marquette and Oklahoma State.

Syracuse, which beat Kansas for the national title last year, was the other team in last week's Top 10 to lose a game. The Orangemen (1-1) were beaten 96-92 at home by Charlotte in their season opener and dropped from seventh to No. 16.

Louisville (0-1), which lost 70-69 in overtime to Iowa, fell out of the rankings from No. 17. North Carolina State (3-0) fell out from 25th despite wins over Howard and Florida A&M by an average of 25 points.

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 Nov. 30, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:

                        Record  Pts   Pvs
 1. Kansas (52)            2-0  1,750   6
 2. Florida (8)            2-0  1,604   8
 3. Connecticut (1)        4-1  1,524   1
 4. Missouri (3)           1-0  1,487   5
 5. Michigan St.           3-1  1,389   3
 6. Duke (1)               3-1  1,325   2
 7. Arizona                1-1  1,302   4
 8. Texas (2)              3-0  1,272  11
 9. Kentucky (1)           2-0  1,234  10
10. North Carolina (1)     3-0  1,200   9
11. Illinois               3-0  1,071  12
12. Saint Joseph's         3-0    916  13
13. Georgia Tech (3)       5-0    874   -
14. Oklahoma               3-0    835  14
15. Wisconsin              3-0    720  15
16. Syracuse               1-1    692   7
17. Gonzaga                3-1    570  16
18. Wake Forest            3-0    552  18
19. Cincinnati             3-0    527  19
20. Purdue                 4-0    493   -
21. Stanford               3-0    471  20
22. Pittsburgh             4-0    391  22
23. Notre Dame             2-0    342  21
24. Marquette              4-0    205  23
25. Oklahoma St.           3-0    117  24
Others receiving votes: Louisville 99, N.C. State 83, Iowa 71, Maryland 59, Dayton 53, Texas Tech 32, Oregon 20, Indiana 17, Arizona St. 13, Auburn 12, Mississippi St. 11, Providence 10, Charlotte 9, LSU 9, BYU 5, Georgia 5, Vanderbilt 5, Butler 4, UCLA 4, Florida St. 3, Ohio St. 3, George Washington 2, Xavier 2, Arkansas 1, California 1, Manhattan 1, Murray St. 1, Nevada 1, Niagara 1.

USA Today/ESPN Top 25 The top 25 teams in the USA Today-ESPN men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 1, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:

                            Record  Pts  Pvs
 1. Kansas (25)                2-0   748   5
 2. Florida (2)                2-0   686   8
 3. Kentucky                   2-0   612   9
 4. Connecticut (1)            4-1   598   1
 5. Missouri (1)               1-0   565   6
 6. Duke                       3-1   560   2
 6. Michigan State             3-1   560   4
 8. Arizona                    1-1   551   3
 9. Texas                      3-0   514  11
10. North Carolina (1)         3-0   498  10
11. Illinois                   3-0   479  12
12. Oklahoma                   3-0   384  13
13. Wisconsin                  3-0   354  15
14. Saint Joseph's             3-0   344  14
15. Georgia Tech               5-0   317   -
16. Wake Forest                3-0   295  18
17. Stanford                   3-0   270  17
18. Syracuse                   1-1   258   7
19. Cincinnati                 3-0   257  19
20. Notre Dame                 2-0   200  20
21. Purdue (1)                 4-0   192   -
22. Pittsburgh                 4-0   150  22
23. Marquette                  4-0   139  23
24. Gonzaga                    3-1   113  21
25. Maryland                   3-0    97  24

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma State 70, Texas Tech 67, Louisville 62, Dayton 27, North carolina State 19, Arizona State 13, Utah 13, Iowa 10, Oregon 8, Charlotte 7, Colorado 5, Creighton 5, Xavier 5, South Carolina 4, Brigham Young 3, Indiana 3, Miami (Ohio) 2, Providence 2, Rice 2, Southern Illinois 2, Boston College 1, Bowling Green 1, Manhattan 1, Nevada 1, Utah State 1.
 

 

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