March 11, 2002
Duke the Final No. 1 for a Record Fourth Straight Year
Duke moved back into the No. 1 spot in the AP college basketball poll Monday, a record fourth straight year the Blue Devils were on top of the final rankings of the season.
Duke (29-3), which won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Sunday with a 91-61 victory over North Carolina State, had been tied with UCLA for the most consecutive years as the final No. 1. The Bruins' run was 1971-73.
This is the sixth final No. 1 ranking for Duke, leaving it one behind UCLA and Kentucky for the most ever.
The No. 1 ranking is Duke's 14th in 18 polls this season and the Blue Devils were a unanimous choice for nine of those weeks, never dropping below third.
The Blue Devils received 58 first-place votes and 1,759 points from the national media panel to easily outdistance runner-up Kansas (29-3), which had been No. 1 the last three weeks.
The Jayhawks were No. 1 on 10 ballots and had 1,667 points, 37 more than Oklahoma (27-4), which knocked them from the No. 1 spot by beating them 64-55 in the Big 12 championship game on Sunday.
The Sooners, who didn't receive a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, received two first-place votes in moving up one spot to their highest ranking of the season.
Maryland, which received the only other first-place vote, dropped two places to fourth after losing to North Carolina State in the ACC semifinals.
Cincinnati, the only team to reach 30 wins this season and, like Maryland, a first-time No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, remained fifth in the poll.
Gonzaga, Arizona, Alabama, Pittsburgh and Connecticut rounded out the Top Ten.
Oregon was 11th, followed by Marquette, Illinois, Ohio State, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Southern California, Western Kentucky and Oklahoma State.
The last five ranked teams were Miami, Georgia, Stanford, Xavier and Hawaii.
Mississippi State (26-7), which beat Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game, and Hawaii (27-5), which beat Tulsa for the Western Athletic Conference title, were the only newcomers in the final poll, replacing Indiana and California.
Mississippi State was ranked earlier in the season for one week at No. 22, but fell out in the next voting after losing road games to Arkansas and Mississippi.
Hawaii, which is in the rankings for the first time since a three-week stint in the 1997-98 season, has won 12 of its last 14 games.
Indiana (20-11) dropped out from 23rd after losing to Iowa in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, while California (22-8) fell from 25th after losing to Arizona in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament.
Duke and Kansas were the only No. 1 teams in a season in which 46 teams made the Top 25.
Eight teams were ranked in every poll - Duke, Maryland, Kansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, Stanford and Oklahoma State - with Duke, Maryland and Kansas the only ones in the Top Ten the whole season.
Seven schools - UCLA, Missouri, Iowa, Saint Joseph's, Virginia, Boston College and Syracuse - were ranked in the Top Ten at some point this season but weren't in the final poll.
In addition to Hawaii, which came in for the final poll, North Carolina and North Carolina State were the only other one-week wonders, falling out of the Top 25 the week after they entered.
Four conferences each had six teams ranked at some point during the season - ACC, Pac-10, Big 12 and Big East - while the Big 10 and SEC each had five.
By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
The Men's Top Twenty Five
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' final men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 10, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:
Others receiving votes: Indiana 128, N.C. State 108, California 92, Kent St. 74, Texas Tech 49, Pepperdine 44, Wake Forest 24, Texas 12, UCLA 12, Michigan St. 7, Cent. Connecticut St. 5, Penn 5, Wisconsin 4, Notre Dame 3, Butler 1, Creighton 1, S. Illinois 1, Tulsa 1.
Teams in bold are in the Midwest Region with Stanford