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College basketball: Syracuse still No. 1 — despite losing one vote
First Published Feb 17 2014 08:51 pm • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 04:50 pm

Syracuse is still No. 1 in the AP college basketball poll, but it is no longer a unanimous choice.

The Orange (25-0), who won two games in the final seconds last week, are on top for a third straight week but they received 64 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel. They were a unanimous choice the last two weeks.

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Florida (23-2), which won at Kentucky on Saturday, moved from third to second and received the other first-place vote.

Wichita State (27-0), the only other unbeaten Division I team, stayed third while Arizona, which lost to Arizona State last week, dropped from second to fourth.

Duke moved from eighth to fifth and was followed by San Diego State, Cincinnati, Kansas, Villanova and Saint Louis.

Saint Louis’ 17-game winning streak elevated the Billikens (23-2) to No. 10. This is their first Top Ten appearance since Dec. 29, 1964, when they were No. 9 with Rich Naes, an all-Missouri Valley Conference first team selection, as their leading scorer and rebounder.

UCLA, at No. 23, and Gonzaga, at No. 25, return to the rankings replacing SMU and Pittsburgh.

No. 23 UCLA (20-5) was out of the Top 25 the last five weeks but the Bruins return having won six of their last seven games under first-year coach Steve Alford. The Bruins, who were No. 22 in the preseason poll and were ranked for the first four weeks of the regular season before falling out the first time, play at California and Stanford this weekend.

No. 25 Gonzaga (23-4) returned to the poll two weeks ago and dropped out following a loss at Memphis. The Bulldogs beat Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount last week to clinch at least a tie for the West Coast Conference regular season title, their 13th in the last 14 years. The Bulldogs were ranked 15th in the preseason poll and reached as high as No. 11 before falling out of the poll for the first time.

There are six games between ranked teams this week and none will draw as much attention as No. 1 Syracuse at No. 5 Duke on Saturday. When these teams met in Syracuse on Feb. 1, the Orange prevailed 91-89 in overtime.


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