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Coaches vote Kentucky No. 1

April 3, 2012 at 1:39 PM

MCLEAN, Va., April 3 (UPI) -- The Kentucky Wildcats, fresh off an 8-point win in the NCAA Tournament final, were unanimous choices for No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll.

The poll was updated Tuesday, one day after Kentucky defeated Kansas 67-59 in the NCAA Tournament championship game. The vote is basically pro forma but the panel of 31 coaches made the Wildcats (38-2) the unanimous choice as No. 1.

Kentucky claimed all but one first-place vote over the last seven weeks of the regular season.

Kansas (32-7) received every second-place vote after its run to the title game while Ohio State (31-8) and Louisville (30-10) -- the other Final Four participants -- were third and fourth, respectively.

Louisville was 18th in the final regular-season poll. Also jumping an impressive amount was Florida, which went from 21st to No. 9 after advancing to the Elite Eight. The biggest drops were eight spots -- by Missouri and Michigan -- while Murray State slipped seven places and Duke six.

Four teams unranked in the final regular-season poll made the Top 25. They are Cincinnati, North Carolina State, Xavier and Ohio. St. Mary's (Calif.), Wichita State, San Diego State and Nevada-Las Vegas dropped out of the rankings.

Syracuse (34-3) moves from No. 2 to fifth with North Carolina (32-6) in sixth ahead of No. 7 Michigan State (29-8), eighth-ranked Baylor (30-8) and No. 9 Florida (26-11). Marquette (27-8) completes the Top 10.

Missouri (30-5) comes in at 11th and Wisconsin (26-10) is No. 12 while Indiana (27-9) takes the 13th place, Duke (27-7) is 14th and Florida State (25-10) sits in 15th.

Murray State (31-2) is No. 16, Georgetown (24-9) is at 17th and Cincinnati (26-11) which hadn't been ranked since the first regular-season poll, is placed at 18. Vanderbilt (25-11) is 19th and No. 20 belongs to North Carolina State (24-13), which didn't receive any votes until the final regular-season poll.

Creighton (29-6) takes the No. 21 rung ahead of, in order, Michigan (24-10), New Mexico (28-7), Xavier (23-13) and Ohio (29-8).

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