Kansas, Texas still atop AP Top 25

BY foxsports • December 14, 2009

Kansas was the runaway No. 1 pick in The Associated Press' college basketball poll Monday, just as it has been each week since the season began last month.

Kansas State and New Mexico entered the rankings this week. The Wildcats joined the poll for the first time since the 2007-08 season, a drought dwarfed by the Lobos, whose previous appearance in the Top 25 was in March 1999.

The Jayhawks (9-0), who easily beat Radford and La Salle last week, received 61 first-place votes from the national media panel and were well ahead of Texas (8-0), which received one first-place vote and was No. 2 for the third straight week.

Kentucky (10-0), which was No. 1 on one ballot, and Purdue (9-0) both moved up one spot to third and fourth, following Villanova's 75-65 loss to Temple on Sunday. The Wildcats (9-1) dropped to eighth.

Syracuse (10-0), which beat Florida last week for its third win over a ranked team this season, received the other two first-place votes and jumped from seventh to fifth.

West Virginia remained sixth and was followed by Duke, Villanova, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Georgetown, which beat Top 25 teams Butler and Washington last week, moved up four places to 11th, followed by Michigan State, Florida, Connecticut, Gonzaga, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Ohio State, New Mexico and Mississippi.

The bottom five ranked teams were Butler, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Washington and Cincinnati.

Kansas State (9-1) moved in at 17th following a 95-80 victory over UNLV on Saturday, its sixth straight win since an 86-74 loss to Mississippi in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Wildcats were ranked for eight weeks in 2007-08, Michael Beasley's only season in Manhattan before leaving for the NBA.

New Mexico (10-0) kept its unbeaten season going with an 84-81 victory over Texas A&M in Houston on Saturday. The Lobos have shown steady improvement under third-year coach Steve Alford, who led them to the Mountain West Conference regular-season title last season.

This is their first appearance in the Top 25 since a three-season run under coach Dave Bliss that ended with the final poll of 1998-99.

UNLV (7-1) was ranked for two weeks before falling out from 18th after the loss to Kansas State.

Wisconsin (7-2) moved into the poll last week after handing Duke its first loss of the season in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. But the Badgers were gone this week after following the victory over the Blue Devils with an 88-84 overtime loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Texas Tech, which beat Texas Christian 80-70 in its only game last week, had the biggest jump, moving from 23rd to 16th.

Texas A&M, which beat North Texas 75-65 before losing to New Mexico, and Washington, which lost 74-66 to Georgetown in the Wooden Classic, both fell seven places, to 23rd and 24th, respectively.

The only games between ranked teams this week are Saturday at neutral sites: Gonzaga plays Duke at Madison Square Garden, and North Carolina faces Texas at Cowboys Stadium.

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