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Kentucky, Ohio State lead basketball poll

Dec. 5, 2011 at 1:41 PM

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Kentucky and Ohio State keep the top two spots in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' basketball poll and new entrants Monday include unbeaten Harvard.

Kentucky (8-0) pulled in 19 of the 29 first-place votes from the panel of coaches but that was three fewer than a week ago, perhaps because of its narrow one-point victory over North Carolina.

Those first-place votes migrated to Ohio State (8-0), which has cut into the Wildcats hold on No. 1. Ohio State is just nine poll points behind Kentucky.

Syracuse (8-0) received the other first-place vote and remains in third, 50 points back of Kentucky.

There are four new teams in the Top 25 this week. Georgetown (7-1) comes in at 21st and Illinois (8-0) is tied for 22nd with Gonazga (5-1). Harvard (8-0) is ranked No. 24 and Texas A&M is 25th.

Louisville (7-0) improves its position two places to No. 5 as Duke (7-1) and North Carolina (6-2) each slip one place to fifth and sixth, respectively. Baylor (7-0) is up one to seventh, with Xavier improving three rungs to No. 8. Connecticut (7-1) and Missouri (7-0) complete the Top 10.

Marquette (7-0) goes from 15th to 11th while Florida (5-2) falls from ninth to 12th. Kansas (5-2) is at No. 13 ahead of, in order, Pittsburgh (7-1) and Alabama (7-1).

Wisconsin (6-2), coming off an 0-2 week in which it lost to North Carolina and Marquette, drops from seventh to No. 16 but Creighton (7-0) is up five to 17th and No. 18 Mississippi State (8-1) is up six. Michigan (6-2) is 19th and Memphis (4-2) takes the No. 20 spot.

Vanderbilt, Nevada-Las Vegas, California and St. Louis drop out of the Top 25 this week.

Key games this week have Harvard playing at Connecticut on Thursday and Ohio State traveling to Kansas Saturday.

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