Six newcomers enter AP Top 25

1/14/2014

By JIM O'CONNELL

By JIM O'CONNELL

AP Basketball Writer

Breaking down this week's Associated Press college basketball poll:

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NEW FACES: There was a five-week stretch earlier this season where the same 25 schools were ranked in The Associated Press college basketball poll. This week made up for that changeless run with six teams moving into the poll, including two tied for 25th.

The newcomers are No. 19 Cincinnati, No. 20 Creighton, No. 22 Pittsburgh, No. 24 Saint Louis, and UCLA and Oklahoma, which are tied for 25th.

Only Creighton and UCLA were ranked earlier this season — the Bluejays for two weeks and the Bruins for five. Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Saint Louis were all ranked at some point last season.

Oklahoma is in the Top 25 for the first time since being in the first three polls of 2009-10.

Those falling out were Oregon, Missouri, Gonzaga, Illinois and Kansas State.

Oregon, which was ranked as high as No. 10 this season, fell out from 17th as the Ducks lost two games to extend their losing streak to three games. Gonzaga was No. 15 in the preseason Top 25 and got as high as 11th. The Zags fell out from 22nd after losing to Portland and their stretch of 30 consecutive polls was the longest among the schools that fell out this week.

Illinois, which lost to Wisconsin and Northwestern, and Kansas State, which lost to Kansas, were both ranked for one week.

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ON TOP: Arizona has been ranked No. 1 for six straight weeks, a run that now has the Wildcats on top longer than this season's other No. 1s combined.

Kentucky was No. 1 in the preseason poll and the first regular-season vote. Michigan State moved in for three weeks and then Arizona took over.

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BREAKING UP: The top five spots in the poll had been the same for the last five weeks: Arizona, Syracuse, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. Ohio State's two losses last week broke up that group.

Arizona and Syracuse stayed 1-2 for a sixth straight week but Wisconsin and Michigan State are now third and fourth while Ohio State dropped to 11th after losing to Michigan State and Iowa.

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TOP FORTY: The addition of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis and Oklahoma mean 40 schools have been ranked at some point this season, just four off the total for all last season.

The record for teams ranked in a season is 53 set in 2009-10.

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LEAGUE LEADERS: The big movement toward the bottom of the Top 25 left the Big 12 with the most ranked teams. With Oklahoma replacing Kansas State, the Big 12 kept its total at five. The Big Ten dropped to four ranked teams with Illinois falling out.

The Big Ten, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference are all tied for the season total with six teams having man an appearance in the Top 25. The American Athletic Conference, Pac-12 and Atlantic 10 have all had four teams ranked at some point this season.

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TOP TEN TIME: San Diego State moved to No. 10 this week, the Aztecs' first appearance in the Top Ten since they were there for the final 13 weeks of 2010-11. They reached as high as No. 4 during that stretch.

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STILL PERFECT: Arizona, Syracuse, Wisconsin and Wichita State are the remaining undefeated teams in Division I. Ohio State, which lost to Michigan State and Iowa; and Iowa State, which lost to Oklahoma, dropped from the list last week.

Every Division I team has at least one win this season after Cornell beat Oberlin 77-55 on Saturday to move to 1-13.

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DOUBLE-RANKED: There are five games this week between ranked teams and Kansas is in two of them.

On Monday, No. 15 Kansas is at No. 8 Iowa State. No. 25 UCLA visits No. 21 Colorado on Thursday.

The other three games are on Saturday.

In a matchup of two of the new Atlantic Coast Conference teams, No. 22 Pittsburgh is at No. 2 Syracuse, a game that will have plenty Big East nostalgia to it. The Big 12 has the other two double-ranked games with No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Kansas and No. 25 Oklahoma at No. 12 Baylor.

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