Dec 8, 2014 3:51 PM
Kentucky unanimous AP No. 1; Kansas back in Top 10
The Associated Press
Kansas coach Bill Self saw in one game just how bad and how good his Jayhawks can be.
The Jayhawks (6-1) moved back into AP Top 10 on Monday, three days after an impressive 71-65 comeback victory over Florida.
"I learned how we can look obviously when we're not focused and prepared to play, and basically how slow we can look because they dominated us with their speed in the first half," Self said Monday.
"We found out a lot of things. It's a long game. Defensive rebounding can keep you in the game even when the offense is laboring. I think we showed some toughness there, no question, in the second half."
Kentucky, the team responsible for the Jayhawks' only loss, remained No. 1 in the new poll.
The Wildcats (9-0) became the unanimous No. 1 team Monday, getting the first-place votes on all 64 ballots cast. Syracuse spent two weeks as a unanimous No. 1 last season.
Wisconsin had been getting some first-place votes before its 80-70 loss last week to Duke. The Badgers slipped from second to fifth in the new rankings.
Duke (8-0) replaced Wisconsin at No. 2, jumping two spots and ahead of No. 3 Arizona (8-0), which stayed undefeated with a 66-63 overtime victory against No. 9 Gonzaga over the weekend.
Louisville was up one spot to fourth. Virginia, Villanova, Texas and Gonzaga were ahead of Kansas.
Since its 72-40 loss to the Wildcats on Nov. 18 that dropped Kansas from fifth to 11th in the poll, the Jayhawks have won their past five games. The latest was against another top SEC team.
Kansas trailed 39-24 at home against Florida, and needed a 17-0 run in the second half to take control and finally go ahead.
"I think it showed that our guys were pretty resilient, pretty tough," said Self, whose team plays at Georgetown on Wednesday night.
THREE'S NOT A CHARM: Michigan State is unranked for the first time since December 2011, a streak of 58 consecutive polls. That was the third-longest current run behind Duke (141) and Kansas (109).
This is the third consecutive week that the third-longest current streak ended. Florida and Syracuse dropped out the past two weeks.
That may be the end of the trifecta drops for now.
Next on the list is fourth-ranked Louisville, with 46 consecutive poll appearances. It would take a very unlikely plummet for the Cardinals to be unranked a week from now.
GREAT LAKES MISSING: For the first time since the final poll of the 2010-11 season, neither Michigan State nor Michigan is ranked. Both dropped out this week.
The Wolverines (6-2), who played for the national title less than two years ago, are coming off that stunning 72-70 loss Saturday to the New Jersey Institute of Technology. They dropped out from 17th after being ranked in 13 consecutive polls.
NJIT is a commuter school that not so long ago went through an 0-29 season that was part of a 51-game losing streak.
Michigan State (6-3) fell from 19th after a 79-78 overtime loss to Notre Dame (8-1), one of the poll newcomers at No. 25.
Arkansas and Illinois were the other teams to fall out of the latest poll.
WASHINGTON, WECLCOME BACK: Washington (7-0) is the highest ranked of four newcomers this week, checking in at 17th.
The Huskies were last ranked for 11 weeks during the 2010-11 season.
No. 23 Northern Iowa (8-0) and No. 24 St. John's (6-1) are also back in after lengthy absences. The Panthers were last ranked for four weeks in 2009-10, and the Red Storm (6-1) had a four-week poll stay in 2010-11.