Undefeated Memphis tops AP poll unanimously again

By Jim O'Connell

Memphis is still the only unbeaten and still a unanimous No. 1.

The Tigers (23-0), easy winners over SMU and Central Florida last week, were a runaway choice at the top of The Associated Press’ college basketball poll for a second straight week Monday.

The last Division I team with a chance at a perfect season, Memphis received all 72 first-place votes and 1,800 points from the national media panel. The Tigers’ two-week run as a unanimous No. 1 matches Florida’s stint with all the first-place votes last season on its way to a second straight national championship.

Illinois was a unanimous No. 1 for five straight weeks – and six overall – in 2004-05.

Duke (21-1), which beat archrival North Carolina and Boston College last week, held No. 2 for a second straight week with 1,714 points.

Kansas (23-1) moved up one spot to third and Tennessee (21-2), which plays at Memphis on Feb. 23, jumped three spots to fourth.

North Carolina, which followed the loss to Duke with a double-overtime win over Clemson, dropped two places to fifth. The Tar Heels (22-2) played both games without starting point guard Ty Lawson, who is recovering from a sprained ankle.

UCLA dropped one spot to sixth after Sunday’s loss at Washington. Stanford, Georgetown, Butler and Michigan State rounded out the top 10.

The No. 9 ranking is the highest ever for Butler (21-2), which was 10th last week.

Texas moved up one place to 11th and was followed by Xavier, Indiana, Drake, Wisconsin, Texas A&M;, Connecticut, Kansas State, Purdue and Notre Dame.

Washington State, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Vanderbilt and Saint Mary’s, Calif., held the last five places.

Louisville (18-6) returned to the rankings after being out for eight weeks. The Cardinals were No. 6 in the preseason Top 25, but after a run of early season injuries they were out of the rankings after five regular-season polls. Louisville returned having won five of its last six games, including this week’s victories over Marquette and Georgetown.

Losses to Louisville and Notre Dame last week knocked Marquette (16-6) out from 16th, the first time this season the Golden Eagles have not been in the Top 25. Marquette was 11th in the preseason poll and spent four weeks at No. 10. The loss to Notre Dame dropped the Golden Eagles to 1-4 on the road in the Big East.

Wisconsin’s 74-67 home loss to Purdue on Saturday caused the week’s biggest drop in the poll as the Badgers (19-4), who beat Iowa 60-54 earlier in the week, fell from eighth to No. 15.

Indiana and Michigan State will both face two ranked teams this week, including a game against each other on Saturday.