Stanford Returns To No. 1

Feb. 19, 2001

By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

After two weeks at No. 2, Stanford moved back to the top of The AssociatedPress college basketball poll Monday, while St. Joseph's and Providence enteredthe Top 25 for the first time this season.

The Cardinal (23-1), who beat archrival California 88-56 in their only gamelast week, held the top spot for four weeks until dropping one spot followingtheir loss to UCLA.

They made the move following North Carolina's 75-65 loss to Clemson onSunday, which not only dropped the Tar Heels to No. 2, but ended the nation'slongest Division I winning streak at 18 games.

Stanford received 67 first-place votes and 1,723 points from the nationalmedia panel, while the Tar Heels (21-3) were No. 1 on one ballot and got 1,581points.

Illinois (21-5), which received the only other first-place vote, moved upone place to a season-high third following wins over Wisconsin and Indiana.

Duke, which lost to Virginia then bounced back with an impressive 81-59victory over St. John's, dropped from third to fourth, while Michigan Stateheld fifth.

Iowa State climbed one place to a season-high sixth, while Florida jumpedfrom 11th to seventh.

Arizona, Virginia and Boston College rounded out the Top Ten.

Kansas, which lost to Baylor and Iowa State last week, fell five places to aseason-low 11th to lead the Second Ten. The Jayhawks were followed byMississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, UCLA, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Wisconsinand Maryland.

The last five teams in the poll were Georgetown, Tennessee, St. Joseph's,Wake Forest and Providence.

St. Joseph's (21-4) makes it first Top 25 appearance since the final poll ofthe 1996-97 season and came in on a seven-game winning streak. The Hawks' onlyloss in the last 16 games was at Xavier.

Providence (18-7) had won seven of eight before losing 81-73 at BostonCollege on Saturday in a matchup of the Big East's surprise teams. The Friarswere last ranked on Jan. 24, 1989, at No. 20.

Fresno State (20-5) dropped out from 20th after losing to Texas Christianand Texas-El Paso last week. The Bulldogs were ranked for four weeks, gettingas high as No. 19.

The other team to fall out from last week was No. 25 Iowa. The Hawkeyes(17-8) lost to Michigan and Michigan State last week and are 1-4 since LukeRecker broke his right knee cap on Jan. 27.

Kentucky and UCLA, both of whom returned to the poll last week after beingout for 11 weeks, had the week's biggest jumps. Kentucky, which beat Tennesseeand Vanderbilt, moved from 22nd to No. 13, while UCLA, which beat Arizona andArizona State, went from No. 24 to 15th.

The biggest drop of the week was the seven places both Syracuse andTennessee fell. Syracuse lost to Miami and West Virginia and fell from 10th toNo. 17, while Tennessee saw its losing streak reach four with losses toKentucky and Florida and dropped from No. 15 to 22nd.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' men's college basketball poll,with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 18, total pointsbased on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-placevote and previous ranking:

                         Record    Pts   Pvs 1. Stanford (67)          23-1   1,723   2 2. North Carolina (1)     21-3   1,581   1 3. Illinois (1)           21-5   1,540   4 4. Duke                   23-3   1,522   3 5. Michigan St.           20-3   1,491   5 6. Iowa St.               22-3   1,440   7 7. Florida                18-5   1,239  11 8. Arizona                18-7   1,153   8 9. Virginia               18-6   1,110  1210. Boston College         19-3   1,046   911. Kansas                 19-5   1,016   612. Mississippi            21-4    907   1613. Kentucky               17-7    804   2214. Alabama                20-5    714   2115. UCLA                   17-6    708   2416. Oklahoma               20-5    639   1317. Syracuse               19-6    591   1018. Notre Dame             17-6    568   1419. Wisconsin              16-7    439   1920. Maryland               16-9    378   1721. Georgetown             20-5    351   1822. Tennessee              18-8    313   1523. St. Joseph's           21-4    285    -24. Wake Forest            17-8    244   2325. Providence             18-7    118    -

Others receiving votes: Xavier 103, Gonzaga 92, Fresno St. 84, Texas 40,Cincinnati 36, Creighton 22, Georgia Tech 19, Iowa 16, Georgia St. 12,Connecticut 10, Ohio St. 9, Southern Cal 9, UC Irvine 9, Penn St. 8, Hofstra 6,Utah St. 6, BYU 5, Mississippi St. 4, Utah 3, W. Kentucky 3, California 2, HolyCross 2, Missouri 2, West Virginia 2, Butler 1.

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