Northwestern in AP poll for first time in 40 years
It usually isn’t big news when a team from the Big Ten moves into
The Associated Press’ college basketball poll. It is when that team
The Wildcats moved into the poll on Monday at No. 25, their
first appearance in the rankings since January 1969, when it was
still just a Top 20.
With Kansas again a runaway No. 1, as it has been since the
preseason poll, the top eight teams remained the same for the third
The Jayhawks (11-0), who beat California 84-69 in their only
game last week, received 52 first-place votes from the 65-member
national media panel.
Texas (11-0), which beat Michigan State 79-68 last week for
its second straight win over a top 10 team, was No. 1 on 11 ballots
and remained second, while Kentucky(13-0) had one first-place vote
and was third.
Purdue (11-0) was fourth, followed by Syracuse (12-0) —
which had the other first-place vote — West Virginia (10-0), Duke
North Carolina and Connecticut both moved up a spot to round
out the top 10.
Northwestern (10-1) has won nine straight games since a loss
to Butler. The Wildcats, the only team from a BCS conference to
never play in the NCAA tournament, were ranked for three weeks
during the 1968-69 season. They made the poll only two other times:
for one week in 1954-55; and seven weeks in 1958-59.
Three other teams moved into the rankings this week. No. 22
Florida State (11-2) and No. 23 Wisconsin (10-2) were both ranked
for one week earlier this season. UAB (11-1) moved in at No. 24,
the Blazers’ first ranking since the final poll of 2005-06.
Butler, which lost to UAB last week, dropped out from No. 20.
The Bulldogs (8-4) were 11th in the preseason poll and were ranked
in the six previous regular-season polls. The other teams to fall
out were all ranked for the last four weeks: No. 18 Florida (8-3),
No. 19Texas A&M (9-3) and No. 25 Gonzaga (8-3) all moved into
the Top 25 four weeks ago.
Michigan State fell two spots to 11th and was followed by
Kansas State, Georgetown, Tennessee, Ohio State, Mississippi,
Washington, Temple, New Mexico and Texas Tech.
The bottom five ranked teams were Clemson, Florida State,
Wisconsin, UAB and Northwestern.
New Mexico (12-1) had the week’s biggest fall, dropping six
places to 19th after a 75-66 loss at Oral Roberts.
The addition of Wisconsin and Northwestern gives the Big Ten
five ranked teams, tying the Big East for most in the Top 25. The
Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference both have four.
There are six games between ranked teams this week with the
headliner Friday’s matchup between Purdue and West Virginia, two of
the six remaining unbeaten teams in Division I.