Gonzaga Cracks AP Top 25, Duke Still Unanimous No. 1

Dec 10, 2001

AP Basketball Writer

The Gonzaga Bulldogs, winners of four straight, returned to the AP Top 25 poll for the second time in the school's history. The Zags were ranked the first seven weeks of the 1999-2000 season before making their return to this week's poll at No. 25. Gonzaga is currently 7-2 with games at Washington on Tuesday and at home against Washington State on Saturday.

Duke was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP college basketball poll for the second straight week Monday, while three teams fell from the Top 25.

The Blue Devils (8-0), who beat Temple and Michigan last week, received all 72 first-place votes and 1,800 points from the national media panel.

Missouri, Maryland and Kansas held second through fourth and Florida moved up one spot to round out the first five.

Arizona and Virginia each moved up one place to sixth and seventh, and were followed in the Top Ten by Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Illinois.

Only one of the three newcomers to the rankings is in for the first time this season.

Gonzaga enters the poll for the first time this season at No. 25. Indiana (6-2), which was out of the poll the last two weeks after getting as high as No. 20, moved back in at No. 21, and Oklahoma (5-1), which was 25th in the preseason poll then fell out, returned to the rankings at 24th.

Boston College moved up two places to lead the Second Ten and was followed by Stanford, Syracuse, Marquette, Iowa, Saint Joseph's, UCLA, Georgetown, Wake Forest and Ball State.

The last five ranked teams were Indiana, Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Gonzaga.

Indiana's return to the rankings followed wins over instate rivals Notre Dame and Ball State.

Oklahoma beat St. Bonaventure and Louisiana Tech last week to stretch its winning streak to four games after losing to Michigan State in the second round of the Preseason NIT.

Gonzaga returned to the Top 25 following victories last week over Eastern Washington and Fresno State. The Bulldogs' losses have been to Illinois in the season opener and to Marquette in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Fresno State (7-3) dropped out from 21st after losing to Gonzaga and San Diego State. The Bulldogs, whose other loss was to Wake Forest in the Preseason NIT semifinals, had been ranked the last three weeks.

Memphis (6-3) was 12th in the preseason poll and the first one of the regular season, then dropped to 20th and 22nd before falling out following last week's loss at Mississippi. The Tigers, who feature freshman sensation Dajuan Wagner, lost to Iowa and Alabama in the semifinals and third-place game of the Guardians Classic.

Western Kentucky (6-2) bounced back from losses to Creighton and Vanderbilt with road wins last week over Akron and Austin Peay, but still dropped out after being 25th. Chris Marcus, the Hilltoppers' senior center, hasn't played in the last three games and is expected to miss about another month with a stress fracture in his ankle.

Alabama (6-2), which lost 79-57 to UCLA on Saturday, had the week's biggest drop, falling from 16th to 22nd, while Wake Forest (6-2), which lost 83-76 at Kansas and then beat South Carolina State 115-75, had the week's biggest jump, moving from 23rd to 19th.

The only games involving two ranked teams are Saturday, when No. 6 Arizona is at No. 23 Michigan State, and No. 15 Iowa visits No. 2 Missouri.

AP TOP 25 Poll
(Dec. 10, 2001)

Rank School Rec. Votes Last Week Ranking 1. Duke (72) 8-0 1,800 1 2. Missouri 9-0 1,698 2 3. Maryland 7-1 1,637 3 4. Kansas 6-1 1,529 4 5. Florida 6-1 1,468 6 6. Arizona 5-1 1,459 7 7. Virginia 5-0 1,332 8 8. Oklahoma State 9-0 1,256 10 9. Kentucky 5-1 1,202 11 10. Illinois 7-2 1,197 5 11. Boston College 7-0 1,085 13 12. Stanford 3-1 856 14 13. Syracuse 9-1 853 9 14. Marquette 9-0 824 17 15. Iowa 7-3 655 12 16. Saint Joseph's 5-1 631 18 17. UCLA 4-2 611 20 18. Georgetown 6-1 599 19 19. Wake Forest 6-2 348 23 20. Ball State 5-2 339 15 21. Indiana 6-2 334 NR 22. Alabama 6-2 285 16 23. Michigan State 5-3 198 24 24. Oklahoma 5-1 163 NR 25. Gonzaga 7-2 154 NR

Others receiving votes: Cincinnati 120, Memphis 103, Southern Illinois 101, Western Kentucky 73, Butler 66, Notre Dame 61, Fresno State 61, Georgia 60, Connecticut 58, North Carolina State 30, Miami (Fla) 29, Mississippi 28, Ohio State 27, Texas 18, Mississippi State 18, Pepperdine 7, Texas Tech 6, California 5, Temple 5, Pennsylvania 5, Utah State 3, South Florida 2, Tennessee 2, Virginia Commonwealth 1.

Dropped from rankings: Fresno State (No. 21), Memphis (No. 22), Western Kentucky (No. 25).



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