Kansas regains coaches' No. 1 ranking

While most college basketball prognosticators and fans seem to be spending their time debating which four teams are worthy of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, Kansas regained the No. 1 ranking in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

Kansas replaced Syracuse atop the new poll released Monday and came awfully close to being a near-unanimous choice. The Jayhawks (29-2) received 30 of the 31 first-place votes, the other going to the third-ranked Orange (28-3).

Syracuse's first stop at No. 1 since 1990 (in The Associated Press rankings) lasted only one week; on Saturday, the Orange and Louisville closed Freedom Hall with the Cardinals pulling a 78-68 upset victory.

The Jayhawks, whose loss at Oklahoma State on Feb. 27 helped open the door for Syracuse to get to No. 1, were 15-1 in the Big 12 and are the top seed in the conference tournament.

Kentucky (29-2), also a former top-ranked team this season, moved up one spot to No. 2. Duke (26-5) remained fourth after starting the week with a 79-72 loss at Maryland that left the two sharing the ACC regular-season title.

Purdue (26-4) moved up one spot to fifth, West Virginia (24-6) made a two-spot jump to sixth, Ohio State (24-7) remained seventh and coach Steve Alford's New Mexico team (28-3) also rose two spots to eighth. Kansas State (24-6) and Villanova (24-6) filled out the top 10.

There was very little movement among the remainder of the teams in the rankings.

Michigan State (24-7) led off the second 10 and was followed by Butler (27-4), Tennessee (23-7), Gonzaga (26-5), BYU (28-4), Pittsburgh (24-7), Temple (26-5), Wisconsin (23-7), Maryland (23-7) and Baylor (24-6).

UTEP (24-5), Georgetown (20-9), Vanderbilt (23-7), Texas A&M (22-8) and Northern Iowa (28-4) rounded out the Top 25. Northern Iowa is making a return appearance in the rankings, replacing former No. 1 Texas.

Kansas also was ranked No. 1 in the AP poll released Monday.