Michigan State still No. 1, looking to extend time at top of rankings
Michigan State won three games last week and remains a runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll.
The Spartans (6-0) held the top spot for a second consecutive week by receiving 56 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media poll.
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Ohio State, Syracuse, Louisville and Wisconsin rounded out the top 10. Louisville dropped from third after losing to North Carolina.
Iowa and Massachusetts moved into the rankings at 23rd and 24th. They replaced VCU, which dropped from 10th after losing twice, and New Mexico, which had been 19th.
Breaking down this week's AP college basketball poll:
SPARTAN STREAK: Michigan State's only game this week is Friday against Mount St. Mary's. If the heavily favored Spartans win they will have their longest run ever at the top of the AP college basketball poll.
This is Michigan State's third stint at No. 1 and the previous two lasted two weeks, the length the Spartans have been on top this time.
The previous two appearances at the top were in 1978-79, a national championship season, and 2000-01, when Michigan State reached the Final Four as defending national champion.
NEWCOMERS: Iowa and Massachusetts are the new teams in this week's poll at Nos. 23 and 24, respectively.
The Hawkeyes (5-0) beat Penn 86-55 in their only game last week. They are ranked for the first time since the final poll of 2005-06.
The Minutemen (6-0) won the Charleston Classic by beating Nebraska, then-No. 19 New Mexico and Clemson. They moved into the rankings for the first time since the first regular-season poll of 1998-99, three years after the school's only Final Four appearance when John Calipari was the coach and Marcus Camby was the All-America center. One of the guards on that team was current UMass head coach Derek Kellogg.
QUICK VISIT: VCU moved into the top 10 last week for the first time. Not only was the Rams' stint there a quick one, they fell out the Top 25 after losing twice in the Puerto Rico Tip-off. VCU (4-2) lost to Florida State 85-67 in the opening round and 84-80 to Georgetown in the fifth-place game. In between, they did beat Long Beach State 73-67 in the consolation semifinals.
ALSO GONE: New Mexico, which was ranked 19th, was the other team to fall from the ranks of the ranked. The Lobos (4-1) beat UAB 97-94 in double overtime in the opening round of the Charleston Classic then lost 81-65 to Massachusetts in the semifinals. They did come back for a 79-58 victory against Davidson in the third-place game. New Mexico had been ranked for the last 12 weeks of 2012-13 and the first three polls of this season.
CONFERENCE RACE: Iowa moving into the poll gave the Big Ten five ranked teams, breaking the tie for the top spot with the Big 12.
The Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference and first-year American Athletic Conference remained tied for third with three teams each.
Massachusetts replaced fellow Atlantic 10 team VCU as that conference's lone representative in the Top 25. New Mexico, the other team to fall out of the poll this week, was the only ranked team from the Mountain West Conference.
DOUBLE-RANKED GAMES: There aren't any scheduled Top 25 matchups this week but there could be six if things fall the right way in some holiday tournaments.
The EA Sports Maui Invitational could have one in the semifinals if Baylor and Gonzaga win their first-round games and the winner of that could meet Syracuse in Wednesday's championship game.
Friday's title game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden could be a top-10 matchup of Arizona and Duke if they win in the semifinals.
The Battle 4 Atlantis' championship game on Saturday could be Kansas against Top 25 newcomer Iowa.
There could be two ranked matchups on Sunday.
The Old Spice Classic title game could be Oklahoma State meeting Memphis, a game that took place in Stillwater, Okla., last week and was a 101-80 victory for the home team.
The Wooden Legacy in Fullerton, Calif., could have an All-Big East championship game of Marquette against Creighton. Teams from the same conference aren't in the same in-season tournaments but fields are set at least a year in advance and Creighton moved from the Missouri Valley to the Big East during the summer. The same thing could happen in the Battle 4 Atlantis where Xavier, which moved from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East in the summer, might face Villanova.
WINNING STREAK: Defending national champion Louisville had its 21-game winning streak snapped by North Carolina in the title game of the Hall of Fame Classic.
The longest winning streak now belongs to Baylor, which closed last season with five wins in the NIT and has won its first four games this season.
RISE AND FALL: North Carolina's win against Louisville was the impetus for the week's biggest climb in the rankings -- the Tar Heels jumped from No. 24 to No. 16.
The biggest drop was Memphis' fall from No. 11 to No. 21 after the Tigers' 101-80 loss at Oklahoma State.