Michigan State strengthens hold on top spot in poll

5:00 PM, Nov 25, 2013   |    comments
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New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Michigan State remained the top team in the latest Associated Press men's college basketball poll.

The Spartans ascended to the top spot last week and kept the lofty position with 56 first-place votes -- five more than last week -- and 1,616 points from a nationwide media panel.

Kansas remained second with eight No. 1 votes, one more than last week, while preseason No. 1 Kentucky inched up one spot to third. Arizona also rose one place to fourth and Oklahoma State moved up two spots to fifth. The Cowboys picked up the final first-place vote.

Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse, Louisville and Wisconsin round out this week's top 10. Louisville tumbled six places from third after losing to North Carolina in Connecticut on Sunday, while Wisconsin moved up two spots from 12th.

Last week's 10th-ranked team, VCU, dropped out of the poll following a pair of losses at the Puerto Rico Tip-off.

The second 10 consists of Gonzaga, Wichita State, Connecticut, Oregon, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa State, Baylor, UCLA and Creighton. North Carolina vaulted eight places from 24th following its win over the defending national champs.

Memphis, Michigan, Iowa, Massachusetts and Marquette are the last five teams ranked this week. Memphis, after falling to Oklahoma State last week, dropped 10 places from 11th, while Michigan dipped eight places from 14th after losing to Charlotte in the Puerto Rico championship game.

Iowa and Massachusetts are this week's newcomers. Iowa is 5-0 and ranked for the first time since the final poll of the 2005-06 season. UMass is 6-0 after capturing the Charleston Classic title this past weekend and ranked for the first time since early in the 1998-99 campaign.

In addition to VCU, New Mexico also dropped out. The Lobos were 19th last week and lost to UMass in the Charleston semifinals.

More tournament play is scheduled for this week and Maui will have three ranked teams in Syracuse, Gonzaga and Baylor. Arizona and Duke could meet in the NIT Season Tip-off at Madison Square Garden, while Memphis and Oklahoma State could square off for the second time this month at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. Creighton and Marquette are in opposite brackets of the Wooden Legacy in California, while the Battle 4 Atlantis features Kansas and Iowa.

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