Arizona nears unanimous No. 1 in coaches' poll

Dec. 16, 2013 at 2:04 PM   |   Comments

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Arizona moves closer Monday to a unanimous selection as No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' basketball poll while Syracuse and Ohio State are tied for second.

Arizona (11-0) again receives 30 of the 32 first-place votes and the Wildcats were second on the other two ballots. That was an improvement of one poll point over last week when Arizona took over the top spot.

Ohio State (10-0) and Syracuse (10-0) each get one first-place mention and total 748 points in the poll. The Orange's move from third to a tie for second is the only change in the poll's first six places.

Kentucky and Kansas, teams laden with young talent, see the biggest drops this week. Kentucky, the pre-season No. 1, drops 11 spots to 21st while Kansas, which was No. 2 in the Nov. 25 poll, falls six places to No. 19.

No team gained more than three places in the poll but there are two new entries. Colorado and Missouri are both ranked for the first time this season. Iowa and Michigan fall from the Top 25.

Louisville (9-1) remains fourth with Michigan State (8-1) again No. 5 and Wisconsin (12-0) sitting in sixth. Oklahoma State (9-1) is up two spots to seventh, forcing Duke (7-2) to eighth and Wichita State (10-0) to ninth. Connecticut (9-0) is 10th after a week at No. 12.

Oregon (9-0) keeps the 11th place with Villanova (10-0) up two to 12th and Iowa State (8-0) going from 16th to No. 13. Memphis (7-1) moves to 14th. Gonzaga (10-1), tied with Iowa State for 16th last week, is tied with Baylor (8-1) for No. 15 this time.

Florida (7-2) comes in at No. 17 ahead of No. 18 North Carolina, which joined Iowa State and Baylor in moving up three places this week. Kansas (7-3) sags to 19th and Massachusetts (9-0) is still 20th.

Kentucky (8-3) settles at 21st with UCLA (9-1) at 22 and San Diego State (7-1) in the 23rd spot. Colorado (10-1) takes the 24th place and Missouri (10-0) makes the poll at No. 25.

Key games this week include Memphis playing Florida on Tuesday and Duke taking on UCLA Thursday. Both of those games are in New York. Also, Oklahoma and Colorado square off Saturday in Las Vegas.

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