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Jayhawks get the call ahead of Mizzou

12/1/2003 - Kansas Jayhawks

Bill Self didn't have to wait to be No. 1 at Kansas.

The Jayhawks, taking advantage of losses by the top four teams
last week, jumped from sixth to No. 1 in The Associated Press men's
college basketball poll Monday.

Their move to the top was the biggest in almost 40 years and
matched the second biggest in the history of the poll, which
started in the 1948-49 season.

"I don't believe we're deserving of it, but I don't know if
anyone is right now," the first-year coach said before Monday
morning's shootaround. "There are probably 10 to 12 teams out
there who could be No. 1 the way things played out last week."

Kansas (2-0) beat then-No. 3 Michigan State 81-74 in their only
game last week, and combined with losses by Connecticut, Duke and
Arizona (Nos. 1, 2 and 4 last week) and an unimpressive win by
then-No. 5 Missouri, it meant another trip to No. 1.

Florida beat Arizona to move up from eighth to No. 2 this week.
Georgia Tech defeated Connecticut, and Purdue beat Duke, moving
them into the rankings for the first time this season. Georgia Tech
was 13th, and the Boilermakers were 20th.

Kansas was ranked No. 1 for four weeks in the 2001-02 season,
its first stint at the top since getting there for five straight
seasons from 1992-93 through 1996-97.

Nine teams received first-place votes this week, backing up
Self's point of not being deserving of the top spot.

"Although it's very early, we'll enjoy the time we have it and
we certainly hope to maintain it," said Self, who took over when
Roy Williams left after 14 seasons to become coach at North
Carolina.

The Jayhawks were at Texas Christian on Monday night, their
first game since starting guard Michael Lee broke his right
collarbone in practice last week. He is expected to be out for up
to two months.

Kansas' jump from No. 6 to No. 1 matched Duke's rise on Dec. 14,
1965, and those were second only to West Virginia's moving from No.
8 to No. 1 on Dec. 24, 1957.

The Jayhawks received 52 first-place votes and 1,750 points from
the 72-member national media panel, 146 more than Florida (2-0),
which was No. 1 on eight ballots.

Connecticut, which was a runaway No. 1 in the preseason poll and
for the first two weeks of the regular season, dropped to third
following its 77-61 loss to Georgia Tech in the semifinals of the
Preseason NIT. The Huskies (4-1) received one No. 1 vote.

Missouri, the only member of last week's top five that didn't
lose, moved up one place to fourth after beating Oakland, Mich.,
90-85 in its season opener. The Tigers got three first-place votes.

Michigan State (3-1) dropped from third to fifth, while Duke
(3-1) fell from second to sixth after losing 78-68 to Purdue in the
championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Arizona (1-1) fell from fourth to seventh with the 78-77 loss to
Florida in the Tipoff Classic, while Texas, Kentucky and North
Carolina rounded out the Top 10.

Texas had two first-place votes and Duke, Kentucky and North
Carolina had one each.

Georgia Tech was the ninth school to get at least one
first-place vote and the Yellow Jackets were No. 1 on three
ballots.

Illinois moved up one spot to 11th, followed by Saint Joseph's,
Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Gonzaga, Wake Forest,
Cincinnati and Purdue.

The last five ranked teams were Stanford, Pittsburgh, Notre
Dame, Marquette and Oklahoma State.

Syracuse, which beat Kansas for the national title last year,
was the other team in last week's Top 10 to lose a game. The
Orangemen (1-1) were beaten 96-92 at home by Charlotte in their
season opener and dropped from seventh to No. 16.

Louisville (0-1), which lost 70-69 in overtime to Iowa, fell out
of the rankings from No. 17. North Carolina State (3-0) fell out
from 25th despite wins over Howard and Florida A&M by an average of
25 points.