Gators, Shockers remain 1-2


Florida, which finished an unbeaten season in the Southeastern Conference, and Wichita State, which completed an undefeated regular season and won its conference tournament, are the top two teams in The Associated Press poll for the third straight week.

The Gators (29-2), who received 50 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel Monday, open play in the SEC tournament Friday. The Shockers (34-0) got the 15 other No. 1 votes. They won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament Sunday and will be the first team to enter the NCAA tournament without a loss since UNLV in 1991.

Villanova moved from sixth to third, while Arizona dropped one spot to fourth. Louisville jumped from 11th to fifth, followed by Virginia and Duke. San Diego State and Michigan tied for eighth, and Kansas was 10th.

The No. 3 ranking for Villanova, which won the outright Big East regular-season title for the first time since 1981-82, is the Wildcats' highest since they were No. 2 in January 2009.

Kentucky, which has lost three of four, dropped out from 25th, the fourth preseason No. 1 to fall out of the poll in the same season. If the Wildcats can't get back into next week's final pre-tournament poll, they will be the first team since UCLA in 1965-66 to be preseason No. 1 and finish unranked (AP only ranked 10 teams back then), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The Wildcats held the top spot for one week before losing to Michigan State in an early-season No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. The Wildcats were out of the top 10 three weeks later.

The other preseason No. 1s to fall out of the rankings were Loyola of Chicago in 1963-64, UCLA in 1965-66 and Indiana in 1979-80. Loyola and UCLA were in polls that had only 10 teams, and Indiana was part of a top 20. All three returned to the rankings at some point in those seasons.

VCU (24-7) returned to the Top 25 for the first time since the second poll of the season. The Rams, ranked 23rd, were No. 14 in the preseason poll but dropped out after starting the season 3-3. They come back in on a four-game winning streak.

Ohio State (23-8) is back in at No. 24 after being out of the poll for two of the past five weeks. The Buckeyes were No. 11 in the preseason poll and got as high as No. 3 after they opened the season with 15 straight wins. They beat Michigan State on Sunday after consecutive losses.

This is Florida's 13th week overall as No. 1 in the AP poll, tying the Gators at with North Carolina State at No. 19 on the all-time list. The Wolfpack had all those top rankings from 1958-59 to 1974-75.

UCLA has the all-time lead with 134 weeks at No. 1 from 1963-64 to 2006-07.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.