Indiana stays at No. 1 in AP Top 25 despite loss

(AP) — Indiana coach Tom Crean used
an analogy to the state’s second favorite sport after the Hoosiers
remained No. 1 in The Associated Press’ Top 25 for a second straight
week.

It had been over a month since a team
managed to stay on top, and Indiana broke that trend despite losing a
game last week, leading Crean to bring up auto racing.

“I had a good friend tell me that
in-season rankings are the barometer of representing what lane you’re in
and the direction and how far you are moving towards your goals,” Crean
said Monday. “We want to stay in the left lane and keep working on our
team and pace because we know there are quite a few others in the left
lane as well.”

The Hoosiers (21-3) lost to Illinois
on a last-second basket Thursday but rebounded with a win at then-No.10
Ohio State on Sunday. In a week when four of the top five teams and six
of the top 10 lost, it was enough to keep the No. 1 ranking.

“They were really disappointed on
Thursday night. And instead of carrying that disappointment into a `woe
is me’ mentality, they really did trigger how to get better. And I think
it was in the sense of closing games,” Crean said.

“I think there was a different level, a
sense of urgency because of the way we didn’t finish it off, combined
with the fact that we knew we were playing a team that it is
outstanding.”

This ends a stretch of five
consecutive weeks with a new No. 1, two weeks short of the longest such
stretch in 1993-94. Duke started the run followed by Louisville, Duke
again, Michigan and Indiana.

The Hoosiers received 26 first-place
votes from the 65-member national media panel Monday, while Duke, the
only member of the top five not to lose last week, moved up two spots to
second after getting 20 first-place votes.

The last time a No. 1 team lost and
kept the ranking the next week was the final poll of last season.
Kentucky fell to Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference tournament
championship game, but Nos. 2-4 also went down that week, so the
Wildcats were No. 1 heading into the NCAA tournament.

Miami, which received 17 No. 1 votes,
jumped from eighth to No. 3, the Hurricanes’ highest ranking ever.
Michigan dropped one spot to fourth, while Gonzaga, which got the other
two first-place votes, moved up one spot to fifth.

Syracuse was sixth, followed by Florida, Michigan State, Arizona and Kansas State.

Along with Indiana and Ohio State,
the other top 10 teams to lose last week were No. 2 Florida, No. 3
Michigan, No. 5 Kansas and No. 7 Arizona.

There were four newcomers to the rankings: No. 20 Wisconsin, No. 22 Memphis, No. 24 Colorado State and No. 25 Kentucky.

Wisconsin, Memphis and Kentucky, the
defending national champion, were all ranked early in the season, while
Colorado State makes it first appearance in the poll since March 9,
1954.

They replace Creighton, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Missouri, the only one of the four not to lose two games last week.

In all, 14 ranked teams lost at least once, with five losing twice.