Syracuse takes top spot in poll, Arizona falls to 2nd

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse’s reward for winning one of the best college basketball games of the season was a spot on top of The Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Combined with No. 1 Arizona’s first loss of the season last weekend, the Orange’s 91-89 overtime win over Duke on Saturday moved them up one spot to the top.

Syracuse (21-0) received all 65 first-place votes from the national media panel Monday, making the Orange the first unanimous No. 1 since Duke was for six weeks in 2010-11.

"We’re happy to be No. 1," coach Jim Boeheim said Monday, hours before the Orange met Notre Dame. "Obviously, it’s taken a lot of hard work. It’s an honor. We’ll try to keep playing well."

Syracuse, off to the best start in school history, is on top of the poll for the first time since a six-week run in 2011-12.

This is the 15th week all-time Syracuse has been No. 1.

Syracuse is the fourth team to hold the No. 1 ranking this season. Kentucky was on top for the preseason poll and one in the regular season while Michigan State was No. 1 for three weeks and Arizona, which lost to California hours after Syracuse beat Duke, for the last eight.

Arizona (21-1) and Syracuse, which were 1-2 for the last eight weeks, switched spots this week.

Florida, Wichita State, the only other unbeaten in Division I, and San Diego State remained third through fifth and were followed by Villanova, Cincinnati, Kansas, Michigan State and Michigan.

Duke, which also won at Pittsburgh last week, was 11th, a jump of six spots from last week’s poll.

No. 20 Virginia, No. 22 Connecticut and No. 23 Gonzaga returned to the rankings. They replaced Ohio State and Wisconsin, which both reached as high as No. 3 this season, and Massachusetts.

The Duke-Syracuse game drew a Carrier Dome-record crowd of 35,446 and it was a record for wins between competing coaches with Boeheim at 941 with the victory and Mike Krzyzewski, the all-time leader with 973.

Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon beat the buzzer in regulation with an off-balance 3-pointer that tied it at 78 and Jerami Grant scored eight points in overtime to lead the Orange in the first meeting between the schools as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The teams meet again in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 22 which means a crowd of about 26,000 fewer people, but it could be just as good a game.

"We don’t want to just settle on that one," Syracuse guard Trevor Cooney said after the Duke game. "We want to keep moving and keep winning and keep playing well."

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 2, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Team W-L Pts Pvs
 1. Syracuse (65)  21-0 1625 2
 2. Arizona    21-1 1517 1
 3. Florida  19-2 1482 3
 4. Wichita St.    23-0 1447 4
 5. San Diego St.    19-1 1370 5
 6. Villanova    19-2 1252 9
 7. Cincinnati  21-2 1182 13
 8. Kansas    16-5 1141 6
 9. Michigan St.  19-3 1136 7
10. Michigan    16-5 949 10
11. Duke  17-5 940 17
12. Creighton    18-3 790 20
13. Saint Louis    20-2 728 19
14. Louisville  18-4 723 12
15. Texas  17-4 719 25
16. Iowa St.    16-4 717 16
17. Iowa  17-5 669 15
18. Kentucky    16-5 653 11
19. Oklahoma St.    16-5 420 8
20. Virginia  17-5 364
21. Oklahoma    17-5 361 23
22. UConn  17-4 252
23. Gonzaga 20-3 237
24. Memphis    16-5 114 22
25. Pittsburgh    18-4 110 18

Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 79, Ohio St. 45, VCU 44, SMU 15, New Mexico 12, California 9, UCLA 9, Harvard 4, George Washington 3, LSU 3, Tennessee 2, American U. 1, Southern Miss. 1.