Florida takes over No. 1 in coaches' poll

Feb. 24, 2014 at 1:58 PM
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MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Florida Monday became the fifth team this season to be ranked No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' basketball poll.

The Gators (25-2) replace Syracuse atop the poll. The Orange had been No. 1 for three weeks but lost twice last week, first to 19-loss Boston College and then at Duke.

Florida, riding a 19-game winning streak, pulled in 24 of the 32 first-place votes with the other eight going to No. 2 Wichita State, at 29-0 the last unbeaten this season.

Arizona (25-2) moves up to third while Louisville (23-4) comes in fourth. Syracuse (25-2) settles in at fifth.

Syracuse was one of three ranked teams to go 0-2 leas week. Texas, which lost to ranked teams Iowa State and Kansas, slides six places to 23rd while Gonzaga drops from the Top 25. Connecticut and UCLA also fall from the rankings.

North Carolina is voted 21st, returning to the poll for the first time since Jan. 6. Southern Methodist, at 24th, is ranked for the first time this season and Oklahoma is No. 25 after a week out of the rankings.

The Sooners have a pair of games against ranked opponents this week, beginning Monday at Kansas. The other game is Saturday versus Texas. The only other games with two ranked teams this week find Louisville playing at Memphis and Syracuse going to Virginia on Saturday.

Kansas (21-6) moves to No. 6 this week while Duke (22-6) is down one place to seventh. St. Louis (25-2) goes from 10th to eighth with Villanova (24-3) at ninth and Creighton (23-4) in 10th.

Virginia (23-5) takes over the No. 11 spot but Cincinnati (24-4) goes from ninth to 12th. San Diego State (23-3) matches Texas for the biggest drop of the week, coming in at 13th, while Wisconsin (22-5) goes from 18th to 14th and Kentucky (21-6) inches up one place to No. 15.

Michigan (19-7) is up four to 16th while Iowa State (21-5) is No. 17. Michigan State (22-6) and Iowa (197) both fall four places to Nos. 18 and 19, respectively. Ohio State (22-6) is 20th.

North Carolina (20-7) is 21st followed by, in order, Memphis (21-6), Teas (20-7), Southern Methodist (22-6) and Oklahoma (20-7).

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