Duke carries day as coaches' new No. 1

Updated: January 26, 2009, 7:33 PM ET
ESPN.com

A member of the Atlantic Coast Conference still lays claim to the No. 1 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. It's just not Wake Forest.

The top ranking changed hands for the third consecutive week as Duke supplanted Wake at No. 1. The Blue Devils (18-1) received 30 of 31 first-place votes, with the other vote going to No. 2 Connecticut (18-1). The Demon Deacons, also 18-1, fell to fourth after losing for the first time, 78-71 to Virginia Tech in their only game last week.

Duke visits Wake Forest on Wednesday night (ESPN, 7 ET).

The Blue Devils have been ranked No. 1 in nine seasons since 1997-98, most of any school. Duke also is the third ACC team (North Carolina and Wake) to be ranked No. 1 this season; since ESPN's association with the coaches' poll began with the 1997-98 season, no conference has had three teams ranked No. 1 in a single season. Pittsburgh, which held the poll's No. 1 spot three weeks ago, moved up to third while Oklahoma maintained its hold at No. 5. North Carolina (17-2), which lost to Wake three weeks ago but has now won three straight, remained sixth.

Louisville (15-3) represents the poll's biggest shaker after settling in at No. 7, a leap of five spots. The Cardinals, ranked third in the preseason, have won seven in a row and share the lead in the Big East with No. 8 Marquette (17-2). Both are 6-0 in the conference.

Michigan State (16-3) fell two spots to ninth after losing to Northwestern last week, while Xavier (17-2), riding an eight-game winning streak, popped into the top 10 from 13th.

Clemson was one of two teams this week to fall out of the top 10, the Tigers (17-2, ninth last week) landing at No. 11 after losing by 24 to North Carolina as part of a 1-1 week. Syracuse (17-4) descended seven spots to 15th after losing by double digits to both Pitt and Louisville.

The rest of the top 20: Texas (14-4) at No. 12, followed by Butler (18-1), Arizona State (16-3), the Orange, UCLA (15-4), Purdue (15-4), Saint Mary's (18-1), Memphis (16-3) and Illinois (17-3).

Big East members Villanova (15-4), Notre Dame (12-6) and Georgetown (12-6), and Minnesota (17-3) and Gonzaga (14-4) round out the Top 25. The Zags' return marked Baylor's fall from the rankings.

Information from ESPN Research was used in this report.

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