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Wildcats Burst Into AP Top 25 Poll
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 19, 2001
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 19, 2001

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Without playing a game, Duke strengthened its hold on the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press college basketball poll, while Arizona used three impressive wins to make a grand entrance into the rankings.

The defending national-champion Blue Devils received 67 of 70 first-place votes from the national media panel Monday, compared with 61 of 72 they had in the preseason poll.

Illinois, which beat Gonzaga 76-58 in its season opener on Friday, got the other three first-place votes in moving up one spot to second.

UCLA and Kansas were third and fourth, moving up from fifth and seventh, respectively.

Duke, UCLA and Kansas all opened their seasons Monday at the Maui Invitational. Kansas lost 93-91 to Ball State, becoming the fifth preseason Top Ten team to lose this season.

Missouri (2-0) moved from eighth to fifth, while Maryland (2-1), one of other Top Ten teams in the preseason poll to lose, dropped from second to sixth.

Florida (2-1) dropped one spot to seventh and was followed by Arizona (3-0), which made the second-most dramatic entrance into the rankings since the poll expanded to a Top 25 for the 1989-90 season.

The Wildcats, who lost four starters from last season's national runner-up, beat Maryland and Florida to open the season in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York on Nov. 8-9. They followed that with an 88-74 victory at then-No. 23 Texas on Saturday.

The only team to make a bigger jump into the rankings was Kansas at the start of the 1989-90 season. The Jayhawks went from unranked to No. 5 after winning the Preseason NIT with the last three victories coming over No. 1 UNLV, No. 2 LSU and No. 25 St. John's. Kansas went on to be ranked No. 1 for four weeks that season.

Iowa (3-0) stayed No. 9, while Kentucky, which lost to Western Kentucky at home last week, dropped from fourth to 10th.

Virginia again led the Second Ten, followed by Memphis, Michigan State, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Georgetown, Boston College, Syracuse, Saint Joseph's and Indiana.

The last five teams were Western Kentucky, Alabama, Fresno State, Southern California and Temple.

Saint Joseph's was the fourth Top Ten team to lose, and the defeat to Eastern Washington dropped the Hawks from 10th to No. 19.

Western Kentucky (2-0) and Fresno State (2-0) joined Arizona as this week's newcomers. Fresno State was ranked for five weeks last season, but the impressive win at Kentucky got Western Kentucky into the Top 25 for the first time since the last two weeks of the 1994-95 season.

The three teams that fell out were No. 19 North Carolina, which was beaten 77-69 by Hampton in its home opener, No. 23 Texas, which lost at home to Arizona, and No. 25 Oklahoma (1-1), which lost 67-55 at Michigan State.

The Maui Invitational isn't the only tournament with multiple ranked teams this week. The inaugural Guardians Classic in Kansas City, Mo., will have Missouri against Alabama and Memphis against Iowa in Tuesday's semifinals, while the Preseason NIT in New York will have Michigan State against Syracuse in one of Wednesday's semifinals.

AP Basketball Writer

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

1.Duke (67)0-01,7471
2.Illinois (3)1-01,6643
13.Michigan St.2-089215
15.Oklahoma St.2-072718
17.Boston College1-062017
19.Saint Joseph's1-147410
21.W. Kentucky2-0299-
23.Fresno St.2-0282-
24.Southern California1-114920

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma 121, Wake Forest 116, Texas 77, Connecticut 74, North Carolina 45, Cincinnati 35, Utah 26, Gonzaga 23, Tennessee 21, Louisville 20, Mississippi 17, Hampton 13, Auburn 11, Xavier 11, Purdue 10, N.C. State 6, LSU 5, California 4, Notre Dame 4, Providence 4, Kent St. 3, Oregon 3, Arkansas 2, Texas Tech 2, Butler 1, Holy Cross 1, Miami 1, South Florida 1, UAB 1.

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