Cardinal Moves Up One Notch To No. 2 In AP Top 25 Poll

Dec. 25, 2000

STANFORD, Calif. - Michigan State waited 21 years between national championships. It took alittle longer for the Spartans to become No. 1 in The Associated Press collegebasketball poll a second time.

On Monday, the defending national champions became the third team to holdthe top ranking this season, joining Duke, which was No. 1 the last four weeksuntil losing to Stanford last Thursday, and Arizona, which was the preseasonNo. 1 and stayed there for the first two weeks of the regular season.

The Spartans (9-0), who beat Seton Hall in their only game last week, becameNo. 1 for the first time in school history on Jan. 3, 1979, and stayed therefor one more week.

That team was led by sophomore guard Magic Johnson and went on to win theonly other national championship in school history.

Duke (10-1) dropped from first to third and was one of seven schools thatlast week lost for the first time this season.

Arizona's drop from 10th to No. 12 ended the longest consecutive run ofweeks in the Top Ten. The Wildcats (6-3), who beat LSU in their only game lastweek, were in the Top Ten all 19 polls last season and the first seven thisseason.

The longest Top Ten run now belongs to No. 2 Stanford, which was in thereevery poll of last season except the preseason and all eight this season.

Michigan State, which has won 20 straight games dating to last season,received 46 first-place votes and 1,605 points from the national media panel tomove up one place. Stanford (9-0), which was No. 1 on the other 19 ballots andhad 1,579 points, also moved up one spot after beating Duke 84-83 in the PeteNewell Classic.

Wake Forest and Florida each moved up two spots to fourth and fifth, whileTennessee dropped two spots to sixth after losing to Virginia before beatingSyracuse.

Kansas moved from ninth to No. 7, while Virginia had the week's biggest jumpfrom No. 14 to eight. The Top Ten appearance is the first for the Cavaliers(8-0) since they were No. 7 on Jan. 18, 1993.

Illinois, which beat Missouri in overtime before losing at Texas, droppedfrom fifth to No. 9, while Connecticut moved up one place to round out the TopTen.

Seton Hall dropped three places to lead the Second Ten and was followed byArizona, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Syracuse, Southern California, Oklahoma,Maryland, Cincinnati and Alabama.

The last five ranked teams were Georgetown, Notre Dame, Iowa, Mississippiand Iowa State.

In addition to Duke, the other teams to lose for the first time last weekwere Tennessee, Syracuse, Southern California, Alabama, Iowa and Mississippi.

Iowa State (10-1) moved into the rankings for the third time this seasonafter winning the Yahoo! Sports Invitational, including a 73-68 victory overMississippi in the championship game. The Cyclones were 25th in the preseasonpoll, dropped out for three weeks, then returned at No. 25. A loss to Iowaknocked them out the next week and they returned this week after being out thelast two.

Arkansas (7-3) dropped out from 25th after losing 88-79 in overtime toOklahoma.

Illinois' fall from fifth to No. 9 and Iowa's drop from 19th to No. 23 tiedfor the week's biggest drop.

Michigan State's first game as No. 1 will be Wednesday in Auburn Hills,Mich., against Bowling Green. The Spartans then play Wright State at home onSaturday. The Raiders stunned Michigan State last season, beating the then-No.8 Spartans 53-49.

AP Basketball Writer

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