Marquette, Oklahoma crack Top 25

Updated: January 11, 2005, 10:07 AM ET
Associated Press

Illinois and Kansas remained 1-2 in the AP college basketball poll for the sixth straight week, while Marquette and Oklahoma cracked the Top 25 for the first time this season Monday.

The Illini (16-0), who beat Ohio State and Purdue this week, received 58 first-place votes and 1,783 points from the national media panel. Against Purdue, Illinois trailed at halftime for the first time this season.

The Jayhawks (11-0), winners over Texas A&M and Kentucky, were No. 1 on 13 ballots and had 1,730 points. The win over Kentucky was Kansas' first on an opponent's court this season.

North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke held third through fifth with the Tar Heels, who beat Maryland 109-75 on Saturday, getting the only other first-place vote.

Oklahoma State and Syracuse switched places at sixth and seventh as did Georgia Tech and Kentucky at eighth and ninth. Texas advanced five spots to No. 10.

Mississippi State moved from 18th to 11th, and was followed by Connecticut, Boston College, Washington, Michigan State, Gonzaga, Arizona, Cincinnati, Louisville and Pittsburgh.

Boston College (13-0) beat Connecticut and Providence in its first week in the poll and had the week's biggest jump -- from 25th to 13th.

Illinois, Kansas, Duke and Boston College are the only remaining undefeated teams in Division I.

The last five ranked teams were George Washington, Marquette, Alabama, Iowa and Oklahoma.

Marquette (13-1) moved into the rankings on a four-game winning streak since its only loss, 48-43 to Arizona. The Golden Eagles were ranked nine of the first 10 weeks last season, reaching as high as No. 21.

Oklahoma (11-2) has won five straight games since a 78-67 loss to Duke. The Sooners' other loss came against Washington in the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout. Oklahoma was ranked for the first 13 polls last season, reaching as high as No. 6.

Maryland and West Virginia fell out of the poll. The Terrapins (9-3) dropped from 22nd after the 34-point loss at North Carolina. Maryland had been ranked all season, reaching as high as 12th.

West Virginia (11-1) moved into the Top 25 for the first time since 1997 last week, but the Mountaineers fell from 21st when they split games -- losing 84-46 at Villanova and beating St. John's 64-60.

Iowa (12-3), which lost to Michigan and Ohio State last week, had the biggest drop, falling from 14th to 24th.

The Hawkeyes were one of 11 ranked teams to lose last week, but were the only two-time losers.

Maryland's fall left the Atlantic Coast Conference with four teams in the Top 25. The ACC had tied the record with seven ranked teams and had them there for five straight weeks. Virginia and North Carolina State fell out last Monday.

The ACC (North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, Georgia Tech), the Big East (Syracuse, Connecticut, Boston College, Pittsburgh) and the Big 12 (Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma) are tied with four teams each in the Top 25. The Big Ten, Southeastern Conference and Conference USA each have three ranked teams.

North Carolina is involved in two of this week's four double-ranked games. The Tar Heels host Georgia Tech on Tuesday and are at Wake Forest on Saturday.

Also, Louisville is at Cincinnati on Saturday, while Connecticut played Oklahoma on Monday night.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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