Syracuse unanimous No. 1 again in AP poll; SMU joins the rankings at No. 23
Syracuse is a unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the second consecutive week while SMU moved into the Top 25 for the first time in almost three decades.
The Orange (23-0) received all 65 first-place votes from the national media panel Monday. Arizona, Florida, Wichita State, San Diego State and Villanova remained second through sixth, respectively. Wichita State (25-0) is the only other unbeaten team in Division I.
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Wisconsin and Ohio State, Nos. 21 and 22, both returned to the rankings after a one-week absence. SMU moved in at No. 23.
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Gonzaga fell out of the Top 25.
Breaking down this week's AP poll:
SMU RETURNS: Even Larry Brown was young the last time SMU was ranked.
In their second season under the 73-year-old Hall of Fame coach, the Mustangs moved into the Top 25 for the first time since the next-to-last poll of 1984-85, a season when they reached as high as No. 2.
SMU (19-5) moved in off a 76-53 victory against then-No. 7 Cincinnati, a win that snapped the Bearcats' 15-game winning streak.
It was the Mustangs' third win against a ranked team in a seven-game span since they moved back into a renovated Moody Coliseum five weeks ago.
Before the streak SMU hadn't beaten a ranked team since December 2003 and the last time the Mustangs beat more than one ranked team in a season was 1984-85 when Jon Koncak was the star player and Dave Bliss was the head coach.
SMU's other wins against ranked teams this season were then-No. 17 Connecticut and then-No. 22 Memphis, like Cincinnati, all American Athletic Conference games.
QUICK TRIP: The week's other newcomers to the poll are teams that have spent all but last week in the Top 25.
No. 21 Wisconsin, which beat No. 9 Michigan State on Sunday, had been ranked all season until falling out last week. The Badgers had reached as high as No. 3 as they opened the season 16-0. They lost five of their next seven and the win against Michigan State snapped a three-game home losing streak.
No. 22 Ohio State also came back after falling out of the poll for one week. The Buckeyes, who were No. 11 in the preseason Top 25, reached as high as No. 3 by starting the season 15-0. Last week's win against Purdue was Ohio State's third in a row after losing five of six.
SEE YA: Oklahoma State's rough stretch continued with the Cowboys being knocked out of the Top 25.
The Cowboys' fourth consecutive loss was to Texas Tech on Saturday and that was the game when preseason All-America Marcus Smart shoved a fan and was suspended for three games. Two weeks ago the Cowboys were ranked No. 8, the same spot they held in the preseason Top 25. Oklahoma State, which reached as high as No. 6, was ranked for the past 21 polls, the eighth-longest current streak.
Oklahoma, which lost to West Virginia last week, dropped out after being ranked the past four weeks. The Sooners reached as high as 21st.
Gonzaga returned to the poll last week and fell out Monday after losing to Memphis. The Bulldogs, who were No. 15 in the preseason poll, were out for three weeks before returning last week.
NEW LEAGUE: The American Athletic Conference hit an impressive height in its first season.
With SMU moving into the rankings this week the AAC has five members in the Top 25 joining the Big Ten for the most.
Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis and Connecticut are the other AAC schools in the poll.
The Big Ten reached five with the return of Wisconsin and Ohio State. Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa are the others from the Big Ten.
The Big 12 had five ranked teams but Oklahoma State and Oklahoma fell out this week leaving Kansas, Iowa State and Texas in the Top 25.
The Atlantic Coast Conference stayed with four ranked teams: Syracuse, Duke, Virginia and Pittsburgh.
TIME ON TOP: This is Syracuse's 16th poll as No. 1.
That moved the Orange into a tie with Stanford and Kansas State for 15th on the all-time list. Illinois is next with 17 weeks at No. 1.
The all-time leader is UCLA with 134 weeks on top.
DOUBLE-RANKED GAMES: There are six games between ranked teams this week and No. 15 Michigan is in two of them.
On Tuesday, the Wolverines are at No. 22 Ohio State and on Sunday they play host to No. 21 Wisconsin.
On Wednesday, No. 1 Syracuse is at No. 25 Pittsburgh.
No. 20 Memphis visits No. 24 Connecticut and No. 3 Florida is at No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday.
On Sunday, No. 6 Villanova visits No. 18 Creighton.