Men's Basketball 22nd In Associated Press Poll

Dec 24, 2001

AP Basketball Writer

Duke was the unanimous No. 1 choice in the AP college basketball poll for a fourth straight week, and Butler went into the rankings Monday for the first time in 53 years.

The Blue Devils (10-0), who beat then-No. 7 Kentucky in the Jimmy V Classic last week, got all 71 first-place votes and 1,775 points from the national media panel to easily outdistance Kansas (9-1), which moved up one spot to second and had 1,660 points.

Duke has been ranked No. 1 from the preseason poll on.

Gonzaga jumped two notches to 22nd to remain in the poll for the second straight week. The Bulldogs routed Eastern Oregon 105-45 last Saturday, and begin an East Coast swing Saturday at Monmouth. Gonzaga will meet Saint Joseph's New Year's Eve in Philadelphia. Saint Joseph's, which was No. 10 in the preseason poll, dropped from 15th to completely out of the rankings following losses to Georgia State and North Carolina in the Tournament of Champions at Charlotte, N.C. The Hawks (6-3) had won six straight games since opening the season with a loss to Eastern Washington.

Butler and Miami, the week's two newcomers at 23rd and 24th, are also among the five remaining unbeaten teams in Division I along with Duke, Virginia and Oklahoma State.

"I think we've proved we can play with anybody," Butler point guard Thomas Jackson said. "We've proved that we're a good team. In the past, we've not gotten a lot of respect, so we're used to that."

Butler's only other appearance in the rankings came in the first season of the AP poll, 1948-49, when the Bulldogs were ranked all eight weeks, reaching as high as 11th.

"I wasn't around then," 46-year-old coach Todd Lickliter joked. "But I grew up in Indianapolis, and I never would have guessed it would have been that long because I've always had tremendous respect for Butler basketball."

Florida moved from fourth to third, again reaching the highest ranking in school history.

Virginia (8-0) and Oklahoma State (12-0) each moved up one spot, to fourth and fifth, and were followed by Kentucky, Illinois, Maryland, Iowa and Missouri in the Top Ten.

Maryland's drop from a school-record second to No. 8 was the week's biggest fall, while Oklahoma, which beat Terrapins 72-56, had the biggest jump, from 22nd to No. 12.

Boston College, which lost its first game of the season last week, dropped one place to lead the Second Ten and was followed by Oklahoma, Michigan State, Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Marquette and Georgetown.

The last five ranked teams were Alabama, Gonzaga. Butler, Miami and Wake Forest.

Butler's most impressive victory among its 11 at the season's start came last week, when the Bulldogs (11-0) won 75-66 at Ball State and knocked the Cardinals out of the Top 25. The Bulldogs are playing under their third coach in as many seasons - Todd Lickliter followed Thad Matta, who was at Butler one season after succeeding Barry Collier.

Matta is now at Xavier, Ohio, while Collier is at Nebraska. The Bulldogs are looking for their third straight NCAA tournament berth.

Miami (11-0) opened the season by winning the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of its eight wins since, only the one over Texas A&M was on the road.

The Hurricanes last appeared in the poll in the final two weeks of the 1999-00 season.

Ball State, which opened the season with wins over Kansas (then ranked fourth) and UCLA (then ranked third) and a loss to Duke in the Maui Invitational, was the other team to fall from among the ranked. The Cardinals (7-3) also lost to Indiana this season.

The only games with two ranked teams this week are on Saturday: No. 19 Marquette is at No. 25 Wake Forest, No. 20 Georgetown is at No. 15 UCLA and No. 13 Michigan State is at No. 16 Stanford.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 23, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:

                  Record  Pts  Pv
 1. Duke (71)       10-0  1,775  1
 2. Kansas           9-1  1,660  3
 3. Florida          9-1  1,620  4
 4. Virginia         8-0  1,506  5
 5. Oklahoma St.    12-0  1,470  6
 6. Kentucky         7-2  1,400  7
 7. Illinois        10-2  1,377  9
 8. Maryland         8-2  1,315  2
 9. Iowa            10-3  1,076 12
10. Missouri         9-2  1,019  8
11. Boston College  11-1    935 10
12. Oklahoma         9-1    852 22
13. Michigan St.     9-3    830 17
14. Arizona          6-3    755 11
15. UCLA             7-2    660 19
16. Stanford         6-2    625 13
17. Cincinnati      11-1    620 25
18. Syracuse        10-2    617 18
19. Marquette       10-1    566 14
20. Georgetown       9-2    441 16
21. Alabama          9-2    390 23
22. Gonzaga         10-2    362 24 
23. Butler          11-0    287  -
24. Miami           11-0    277  -
25. Wake Forest      8-3    100 20

Others receiving votes: Saint Joseph's 77, Connecticut 64, Ball St. 62, Notre Dame 61, W. Kentucky 58, Texas 42, Memphis 26, Oregon 25, Louisville 22, Georgia 19, Texas Tech 19, BYU 18, N.C. State 12, S. Illinois 10, Mississippi 5, California 4, Coll. of Charleston 3, St. John's 3, Utah St. 3, Mississippi St. 2, Pittsburgh 2, Hawaii 1, Tulsa 1, Wyoming 1.


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