AP Has Gonzaga No. 15, Duke No. 7 Entering Showdown

Dec. 14, 2009

By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

It will be No. 15 Gonzaga battling No. 7 Duke at Madison Square Garden Saturday in the Aeropostale Classic.

That's where the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday has the two clubs ranked. The Bulldogs moved up six spots from a week ago while Duke moved up one spot from the previous week.

Saturday's game will be televised on CBS starting at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.

Gonzaga downed Davidson last Saturday in the Battle in Seattle 103-91 after easily disposing of Augustana College earlier in the week 79-40. Duke was idle last week.

Kansas was the runaway No. 1 pick, just as it has been each week since the season began last month.

Kansas State and New Mexico entered the rankings this week. The Wildcats joined the poll for the first time since the 2007-08 season, a drought dwarfed by the Lobos, whose previous appearance in the Top 25 was in March 1999.

The Jayhawks (9-0), who easily beat Radford and La Salle last week, received 61 first-place votes from the national media panel and were well ahead of Texas (8-0), which received one first-place vote and was No. 2 for the third straight week.

Kentucky (10-0), which was No. 1 on one ballot, and Purdue (9-0) both moved up one spot to third and fourth, following Villanova's 75-65 loss to Temple on Sunday. The Wildcats (9-1) dropped to eighth.

Syracuse (10-0), which beat Florida last week for its third win over a ranked team this season, received the other two first-place votes and jumped from seventh to fifth.

West Virginia remained sixth and was followed by Duke, Villanova, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Georgetown, which beat Top 25 teams Butler and Washington last week, moved up four places to 11th, followed by Michigan State, Florida, Connecticut, Gonzaga, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Ohio State, New Mexico and Mississippi.

The bottom five ranked teams were Butler, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Washington and Cincinnati.

 

 

Kansas State (9-1) moved in at 17th following a 95-80 victory over UNLV on Saturday, its sixth straight win since an 86-74 loss to Mississippi in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Wildcats were ranked for eight weeks in 2007-08, Michael Beasley's only season in Manhattan before leaving for the NBA.

New Mexico (10-0) kept its unbeaten season going with an 84-81 victory over Texas A&M in Houston on Saturday. The Lobos have shown steady improvement under third-year coach Steve Alford, who led them to the Mountain West Conference regular-season title last season.

This is their first appearance in the Top 25 since a three-season run under coach Dave Bliss that ended with the final poll of 1998-99.

UNLV (7-1) was ranked for two weeks before falling out from 18th after the loss to Kansas State.

Wisconsin (7-2) moved into the poll last week after handing Duke its first loss of the season in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. But the Badgers were gone this week after following the victory over the Blue Devils with an 88-84 overtime loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Texas Tech, which beat Texas Christian 80-70 in its only game last week, had the biggest jump, moving from 23rd to 16th. Texas A&M, which beat North Texas 75-65 before losing to New Mexico, and Washington, which lost 74-66 to Georgetown in the Wooden Classic, both fell seven places, to 23rd and 24th, respectively.

The only games between ranked teams this week are Saturday at neutral sites: Gonzaga plays Duke at Madison Square Garden, and North Carolina faces Texas at Cowboys Stadium.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball
poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through
Dec. 13, 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 (61)            9-0  1,620   1
2. Texas (1)              8-0  1,512   2
3. Kentucky (1)          10-0  1,486   4
4. Purdue                 9-0  1,426   5
5. Syracuse (2)          10-0  1,388   7
6. West Virginia          8-0  1,315   6
7. Duke                   7-1  1,137   8
8. Villanova              9-1  1,107   3
9. Tennessee              7-1  1,104   9
10. North Carolina         8-2  1,039  11
11. Georgetown             8-0  1,008  15
12. Michigan St.           8-2    922  12
13. Florida                8-1    864  10
14. Connecticut            6-2    762  14
15. Gonzaga                8-2    505  21
16. Texas Tech             9-0    492  23
17. Kansas St.             9-1    391   -
18. Ohio St.               7-2    383  13
19. New Mexico            10-0    364   -
20. Mississippi            8-1    334  25
21. Butler                 7-3    257  22
22. Georgia Tech           6-1    253  24
23. Texas A&M              8-2    221  16
24. Washington             6-2    179  17
25. Cincinnati             6-2    174  19
Others receiving votes: Memphis 129, Wisconsin 110, UNLV 96,
Clemson 84, Temple 83, Northwestern 59, Illinois 44, Miami 40,
St. John's 30, Oklahoma St. 29, Charlotte 24, Dayton 24, Seton
Hall 24, Florida St. 23, Missouri St. 20, BYU 14, Mississippi
St. 9, Virginia Tech 7, Baylor 6, Minnesota 5, Cornell 3, N.C.
State 3, Rhode Island 3, Tulsa 3, N. Iowa 2, Pittsburgh 2, W.
Carolina 2, Wake Forest 2, Army 1, William & Mary 1.

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