Duke back at No. 1 for third time

Feb. 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM
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MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Duke, for a third time this season, returned Monday to the No. 1 spot in the USA Today Coaches' basketball poll.

This marks the fifth consecutive week the No. 1 team in the poll changed. Duke started the string by losing the week of Jan. 7. The Blue Devils were followed by Louisville, Duke (again), Kansas and Indiana.

Indiana was one of the seven highest ranked teams to lose last week. Another was Kansas, which lost twice and plunges eight spots to 13th. Creighton also lost twice and falls 10 places to 23rd. Five ranked teams suffered two losses last week, although one was Ohio State, which was beaten by the previous No. 1 and 3-ranked teams.

There are five new teams in this week's Top 25, with Georgetown, up six spots, and Oklahoma State and Pittsburgh, both up eight, seeing strong gains.

The murkiness at the top is shown by the first-place vote split. Five teams receive at least one No. 1 mention. Duke (21-2) gets 18 in returning to No. 1 but Indiana (21-3) pulls in six and is second. Gonzaga (23-2) is first on one ballot and comes in at No. 3 while Miami (Fla.), No. 11 a week ago, has five first-place votes and is now fourth. The other went to No. 5 Michigan (21-3).

Florida (19-3) slips four places to No. 6 and Syracuse (20-3) is up two to seventh, followed by No. 8 Michigan State (20-4) and Arizona (20-3) in ninth. Butler (20-4) is voted 10th.

Kansas State (19-4) is up four to 11th, with Louisville (19-5) steady at No. 12 and Kansas (19-4), two weeks removed from No. 1, in 13th. Ohio State (17-6) is 14th and Georgetown (17-4) takes the 15th place.

Oklahoma State (17-5) and Pittsburgh (20-5) are 16th and 17th, respectively, after their steep climbs but New Mexico (20-4) falls six to 18th. Wisconsin (17-7) and Marquette (17-5) are new entries this week at Nos. 19 and 20.

Other newcomers are No. 21 Notre Dame (19-5), 24th-ranked Colorado State (20-5) and No. 25 Memphis (20-3). San Diego State (18-5) is 22nd and Creighton (20-5) falls to 23rd.

The teams that drop out of the Top 25 this week are Cincinnati, Minnesota, Oregon, Missouri, Wichita State and Mississippi.

Marquette marks its return to the Top 25, with two games versus ranked opponents, including Monday's contest at Georgetown and Saturday's against Pittsburgh. Kansas State plays at Kansas Monday and San Diego and Colorado State tangle Wednesday. The week's key games wrap up Sunday with Ohio State at Wisconsin.

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