Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Arizona No. 1 for a third time

Alabama out of Top 25

By Jim O'Connell
The Associated Press

Arizona moved atop the AP men's college basketball poll Monday for the third time this season, while former No. 1 Alabama dropped out of the Top 25.

In a season in which there has not been a clear-cut No. 1, the Wildcats (18-2) moved up one place to retake the top spot they held in the preseason poll, the first five weeks of the regular season, and for another two weeks after that.

Louisville (18-1) moved up three spots to second. The Cardinals have the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games. Kentucky (18-3) also moved up three spots to third.

Florida (19-3), which moved into the No. 1 spot last week for the first time in school history, dropped to fourth following a 70-55 loss to Kentucky.

Alabama (13-7) has lost five of its last six games and dropped out from No. 22. The Crimson Tide, ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history six weeks ago, became the first team to fall from the rankings after being No. 1 since Indiana and Duke both did it in 1979-80, when there was a Top 20.

Arizona received 37 first-place votes and 1,753 points from the national media panel after victories over Washington and Washington State.

The Wildcats are the fifth team in the last six seasons to hold the No. 1 spot three times in a season. Duke did it last season. Cincinnati did it in 1999-2000, and Duke and North Carolina did it in 1997-98.

The most trips to No. 1 in a season was four by North Carolina in 1993-94.

Louisville, last ranked No. 2. in the preseason poll of 1986-87, was No. 1 on 27 ballots and had 1,706 points, 42 more than Kentucky, which had five first-place votes.

Rivals Louisville and Kentucky are in the Top Five for the first time since Dec. 15, 1981, when Kentucky was No. 2 and Louisville No. 3.

Fourth-ranked Florida (19-3) received two first-place votes after rebounding from the loss to Kentucky with a win over Alabama.

Oklahoma (16-3) had the only other No. 1 vote and moved from seventh to fifth. The Sooners were followed in the Top Ten by Texas, Pittsburgh, Duke, Kansas and Notre Dame.

Five teams in last week's Top 10 lost six games - No. 8 Maryland lost twice - while Top 25 teams lost a total of 15 games.

Marquette moved up four places to No. 11, and was followed by Creighton, Oklahoma State, Illinois, Wake Forest, Maryland, Syracuse, Xavier, Mississippi State and Georgia.

The last five ranked teams were Missouri, California, Connecticut, Stanford and Saint Joseph's.

California (16-4) won at Oregon State and Oregon last week and moved back into the rankings after being out for one week. Saint Joseph's (17-3) had easy wins over Villanova and Fordham last week to move into the poll for the first time this season. The Hawks were ranked for the first polls of last season before falling out.

Purdue (15-5) dropped out from No. 24 after beating Wisconsin and losing to Minnesota. That was the Boilermakers' only Top 25 appearance this season.

Alabama, which won nine straight at the beginning of the season and was No. 1 for two weeks until losing at Utah, became the seventh school to fall out of the poll the same season it was on top. In addition to Indiana and Duke in 1979-80, it also happened to UCLA in 1965-66, Wichita State in 1964-65, Loyola of Chicago in 1963-64 and St. John's in 1951-52.

UCLA, Wichita State and Loyola all had it happen during the eight-year period when the AP had only a Top Ten. Of the six No. 1s to fall out of the poll, only Wichita State wasn't ranked in the final poll of the season.

AP Top 25

1. Arizona (37)18-21,7532
2. Louisville (27)18-11,7065
3. Kentucky (5)18-31,6646
4. Florida (2)19-31,5331
5. Oklahoma (1)16-31,5077
6. Texas15-41,3773
7. Pittsburgh16-31,3304
8. Duke16-31,2879
9. Kansas17-51,22012
10. Notre Dame19-41,21310
11. Marquette17-399915
12. Creighton21-299713
13. Oklahoma St.18-387311
14. Illinois16-484816
15. Wake Forest16-370714
16. Maryland14-67018
17. Syracuse16-365119
18. Xavier17-462020
19. Mississippi St.15-543023
20. Georgia13-631417
21. Missouri14-528321
22. California16-4256-
23. Connecticut14-523618
24. Stanford17-614825
25. Saint Joseph's17-3138-

Others receiving votes: Purdue 132, Oregon 77, Butler 67, Utah 65, Dayton 54, Manhattan 30, Auburn 28, Fresno St. 28, Gonzaga 21, Alabama 20, S. Illinois 17, Cincinnati 13, Wisconsin 13, Michigan St. 11, Tennessee 9, BYU 8, Kent St. 6, Indiana 3, Arizona St. 2, Colorado 2, Virginia 2, Holy Cross 1.

USA Today/ESPN Top 25

1. Arizona (25)18-27672
2. Louisville (6)18-17166
3. Kentucky18-36997
4. Oklahoma16-36925
5. Florida19-36421
6. Texas15-45883
7. Pittsburgh16-35664
8. Duke16-35509
9. Notre Dame19-451610
10. Kansas17-551311
11. Marquette17-345914
12. Creighton21-243613
13. Illinois16-438216
14. Oklahoma State18-335312
15. Maryland14-63478
16. Xavier17-428519
17. Wake Forest16-327315
18. Syracuse16-326721
19. Connecticut14-514317
20. Mississippi State15-514124
21. Missouri14-514022
22. Georgia13-611418
23. California16-482-
24. Stanford17-681-
25. Purdue15-56325

Others receiving votes: Oregon 53, Saint Joseph's 41, Utah 33, Dayton 31, Butler 24, Cincinnati 17, Brigham Young 13, Alabama 12, Southern Illinois 9, Wisconsin 8, Auburn 3, Minnesota 3, Kent State 3, Gonzaga 2, Wyoming 2, College of Charleston 1, Colorado 1, Fresno State 1, Manhattan 1, Michigan State 1, Tennessee 1.

RPI Ratings

1. Louisville181.562960.6605
2. Texas154.64034.6573
3. Georgia136.69211.6569
4. Arizona182.585135.6560
5. Oklahoma St.173.610921.6544
6. Kentucky183.599426.6542
7. Florida193.594428.6536
8. Notre Dame194.618416.6532
9. Oklahoma163.614918.6507
10. Duke163.592029.6432
11. Kansas155.624210.6378
12. Missouri145.63715.6367
13. Purdue155.621513.6362
14. Stanford176.623612.6324
15. BYU165.619815.6322
16. Wake Forest163.574844.6321
17. Marquette173.566453.6320
18. Cincinnati146.63526.6310
19. Syracuse163.562261.6249
20. Pittsburgh163.556766.6219
21. Utah164.580939.6216
22. California164.559963.6172
23. Xavier174.555370.6160
24. Auburn165.571145.6122
25. Dayton164.548974.6120

Women's College Basketball

AP Top 25

1. Connecticut (44)22-01,1001
2. Duke21-11,0412
3. Tennessee20-39963
4. LSU20-19744
5. Kansas St.21-28865
6. Stanford19-28456
7. Texas Tech19-28407
8. North Carolina21-28347
9. Purdue19-374210
10. Louisiana Tech19-27349
11. Texas15-564211
12. Penn St.20-560013
13. Arkansas18-553914
14. Georgia16-547617
15. South Carolina17-543216
16. Mississippi St.16-642912
17. Minnesota17-432715
18. Vanderbilt15-731118
19. Villanova17-428222
20. UC Santa Barbara17-327919
21. Wis.-Green Bay19-322521
22. Ohio St.17-520325
23. Rutgers14-5122-
24. Arizona16-6113-
25. Boston College15-69623

Others receiving votes: Utah 58, Oklahoma 43, Washington 41, DePaul 21, Colorado 15, Charlotte 12, George Washington 8, Virginia Tech 8, Indiana St. 7, Illinois 5, Tulane 4, Auburn 3, Austin Peay 2, Xavier 2, Baylor 1, Cincinnati 1, Montana St. 1.

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