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Kansas moves into No. 1 spot

12/2/2003 - Kansas Jayhawks

When the top four ranked teams lost during a five-day span last week, Kansas had a good idea it would be the nation's new No. 1 team.

The Jayhawks were right.

Kansas (2-0) moved into the top spot in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll Monday, collecting 25 first-place votes. It's the first time Kansas has been ranked No. 1 since the 2001-02 season, when the Jayhawks held the AP's top spot for three weeks in late February/early March.

The Jayhawks were also voted No. 1 by the media in this week's AP poll. Kansas replaces preseason No. 1 Connecticut atop both polls. The Huskies lost to Georgia Tech in the Preseason NIT semifinals 77-61, a day after the Jayhawks knocked off then-No. 4 Michigan State. Over Thanksgiving, both Duke and Arizona lost, giving the Jayhawks a direct path to the top.

Connecticut (4-1) received one first-place vote from the coaches in dropping to No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today poll -- behind SEC rivals Florida (2-0) and Kentucky (2-0). The Gators received two first-place votes. Missouri rounds out the top five.

Duke (3-1) and Michigan State (3-1) dropped from No. 2 and No. 4, respectively, into a tie at No. 6, while Arizona (1-1) fell from No. 3 to No. 8 after losing 78-77 to Florida in Springfield, Mass. Texas and North Carolina, both 3-0, came in at No. 9 and No. 10 -- with the Tar Heels picking on a first-place vote.

Making the biggest move was Georgia Tech. Previously unranked, the Yellow Jackets (5-0) landed at No. 15 after winning the Preseason NIT title with victories over UConn and Texas Tech in Madison Square Garden.

Also cracking the poll for the first time was Purdue, which upset the Blue Devils in the Great Alaska Shootout championship game. The Boilermakers (4-0) came in at No. 21 and even received a first-place vote.

Syracuse (1-1), the defending national champion, dropped 11 spots to No. 18 after losing to Charlotte at home in its opener, 96-92. Falling out of the top 25 was Texas Tech (4-1), which was ranked No. 25, and Louisville, which lost its opener to Iowa as the 16th-ranked team.

Spots 11-to-14 were held by 3-0 teams Illinois, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Saint Joseph's.

Wake Forest moved up two spots to No. 16, while Stanford (3-0) held steady at 17th. Cincinnati (3-0) and Notre Dame (2-0) remained 19th and 20th.

Joining Purdue in the final five were Pittsburgh (22nd, 4-0), Marquette (23rd, 4-0), Gonzaga (24th, 3-1) and Maryland (25th, 3-0).