Illini leapfrog Kansas, take top spot

Updated: December 7, 2004, 2:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Kansas keeps winning ... and keeps getting passed.

On the strength of a dominating win over previously top-ranked Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Illinois jumped over the Jayhawks to become the new No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

The Illini (6-0), who also beat Arkansas in Little Rock over the weekend, claimed 18 of the 31 first-place votes and have 757 points, eight more than Kansas (4-0), which remains second with 10 first-place votes.

Georgia Tech (2 first-place votes) moved up to third followed by Syracuse and Oklahoma State (1), which play each other Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic (ESPN, 9 ET).

Connecticut is now sixth, followed by last week's No. 1, Wake Forest. North Carolina jumped back into the top 10, moving up three slots to number eight, with ACC and in-state brethren Duke and N.C. State rounding out the top 10.

Kentucky dropped three spots to No. 11 after losing at North Carolina. Michigan State had the week's biggest slide, falling seven slots to 16th after losing to Duke and George Washington. Maryland slipped five spots to No. 17 after going 1-2 during the week.

New to the poll? Iowa is at No. 24 and George Washington, on the strength of the wins over the Spartans and Terps, clocks in at No. 25.

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