Originally created 02/12/02

Top three in poll the same again but three fall from rankings



Duke, Kansas and Maryland were the top three teams in the AP college basketball poll Monday, the fourth straight week they have held those spots.

For the sixth straight week there were plenty of changes throughout the rest of the Top 25, though, including two teams that had been ranked in the Top Ten during the season falling out.

Duke (22-1) was a unanimous No. 1 for the fourth straight week and the ninth time this season. The Blue Devils, who beat Florida State - the only team to beat them this season - and Georgia Tech last week, received all 71 first-place votes from the national media panel.

Kansas (21-2) beat Kansas State and Texas Tech to hold on to second, while No. 3 Maryland (19-3) beat North Carolina in its only game last week.

Duke is at Maryland on Sunday in a rematch of the Blue Devils' 99-78 victory in January. Duke and Maryland played four times last season with the Blue Devils winning three, including the national semifinal game, as they went on to the national championship.

Fourteen ranked teams lost a total of 17 games last week, the sixth consecutive week at least 14 members of the Top 25 lost at least once.

This week's newcomers were Pittsburgh, Indiana and North Carolina State, while Missouri, Syracuse and Texas Tech dropped out.

Missouri was ranked as high as No. 2 this season, while Syracuse reached eighth earlier in the year. Three other teams which cracked the Top Ten this season - Saint Joseph's, Boston College and Iowa - have also fallen out of the rankings.

Missouri became the third team since the poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989-90 to fall out of the poll after reaching No. 2. The others both happened in 1999-2000 when North Carolina and Auburn did it, although Auburn did return to the rankings for the final poll of the season.

Oklahoma was fourth for a second straight week and was followed in the Top Ten by Cincinnati, Florida, Alabama, Gonzaga, Arizona and Kentucky.

Marquette, which beat East Carolina and Southern Mississippi last week, jumped from 18th to No. 11, a move bettered this week only by Stanford, which moved from No. 20 to 12th after wins over Oregon and Oregon State.

Miami was 13th and was followed by Pittsburgh, Virginia, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Illinois, Wake Forest and UCLA.

The last five ranked teams were Georgia, Indiana, Ohio State, North Carolina State and Southern California.

Pittsburgh (21-4) was ranked for two weeks earlier in the season and returned after winning six of seven games, including a victory at Syracuse on Sunday.

Indiana (16-7) also returned after having been ranked for three weeks earlier in the season. The Hoosiers, who lead the Big Ten, beat Iowa and Louisville last week to extend their home winning streak to 10 games.

North Carolina State was last ranked in the 1999-2000 season, cracking the Top 25 for two weeks. The Wolfpack (18-6) beat Virginia and Florida State on the road last week and have seven wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference, two more than last season.

Missouri (17-7), which was No. 2 for two weeks in December, dropped out from 22nd following Saturday's loss to Baylor.

Syracuse (18-7) was 23rd last week but the loss to Pittsburgh was the Orangemen's fifth in seven games.

Texas Tech (16-6) was ranked for two weeks but fell from 24th after losing to Oklahoma State and Kansas last week.

Oregon and Ohio State were the other ranked teams to lose two games last week. The Ducks (17-7) lost to Stanford in overtime and California in double overtime, both on the road, and dropped from 13th to No. 17.

Ohio State (17-5) also lost two road games, in overtime to Wisconsin and Michigan State. The Buckeyes' fall from 16th to No. 23 was the week's biggest drop.

The addition of North Carolina State gives the ACC five teams in the Top 25 (Duke, Maryland, Virginia and Wake Forest), tying it with the Pac-10 (Arizona, Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Southern California) for the most from one conference.



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