Bears Break Into Rankings After Home Sweep Of UCLA, USC
Feb 25, 2002
By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
Kansas became the first team this season other than Duke to be ranked No. 1in the AP college basketball poll in consecutive weeks.
The Jayhawks (25-2) held the top spot in the national media voting Monday, aday after winning 88-87 at Nebraska, their 12th straight victory that clinchedthe Big 12 regular season title.
It is the third time this season Kansas has been No. 1. The first timelasted only a week as the Jayhawks lost at UCLA, the last time they lost thisseason.
Kansas received 51 first-place votes and 1,769 points, 43 more thanMaryland, which held the No. 2 spot after beating Wake Forest 90-89 Sunday. TheTerrapins received 14 No. 1 votes.
Duke (25-2), which had seven first-place votes and 1,686 points, was thirdfor the second straight week. The Blue Devils are the only other team to beranked No. 1 this season, holding the top spot for all but the three weeksKansas was there.
Cincinnati stayed No. 4, while Oklahoma and Alabama swapped fifth and sixth.Gonzaga, Florida and Marquette stayed seventh through ninth, respectively,while Pittsburgh moved up one spot to No. 10, the Panthers' first Top Tenranking since the final poll of the 1987-88 season.
Kentucky led the Second Ten and was followed by Oklahoma State, Oregon,Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, Stanford, Ohio State, Southern California andWestern Kentucky.
The last five ranked teams were California, Miami, Connecticut, Wake Forestand Indiana.
California, which was last ranked in the 1998-99 season, and Connecticut,which was in the Top 25 last month, were this week's newcomers, replacingVirginia and UCLA.
Virginia (16-9) and UCLA (18-9) became the sixth and seventh teams thisseason to be ranked in the Top Ten and fall out of the poll. The others wereMissouri, Iowa, Saint Joseph's, Syracuse and Boston College.
That ties the most Top Ten teams to fall out of the rankings since the pollexpanded from 20 to 25 for the 1990-91 season. It also happened in 1992-93. Thefewest number of teams to fall from Top Ten to out of the rankings was twowhich happened in 1993-94, 1995-96 and 1996-97.
California (20-6) entered the rankings having won six of its last seven,including last weekend's home sweep of UCLA and Southern California. The Bearshave climbed into a tie for second in the Pac-10, a half-game behind Oregon.
Connecticut (19-6) have won four straight to get back into the rankings. TheHuskies were ranked for two weeks in January but fell out by losing three offour before starting the current winning streak.
Virginia, which has lost seven of nine and finishes the regular season withgames against Duke and Maryland, was ranked No. 4 on Dec. 31. The Cavaliershave fallen each week since, dropping out this week from 22nd.
UCLA, which was ranked third in the first poll of the regular season, wasNo. 9 on the poll released Jan. 14, two days after the win over Kansas. Since,the Bruins have split their 12 games.
Stanford, which lost home games to Southern California and UCLA lastweekend, had the week's biggest drop, falling from 10th to No. 17. WesternKentucky's climb from 24th to No. 20 was the biggest climb of the week.
There are five games involving two ranked teams this week. On Tuesday,Indiana is at Illinois. Stanford is at Arizona and Oregon is at SouthernCalifornia on Thursday. On Saturday, Florida is at Kentucky and Californiavisits Arizona.