Louisville vaults to top of men’s hoops poll

Updated: January 14, 2013

Louisville is the new No. 1 in men’s college basketball.

After both remaining unbeatens — Duke and Michigan — lost this past weekend,
Louisville moved up from third to the top of the latest Associated Press poll.

The Cardinals received 36 first-place votes and a total of 1,591 points from a
nationwide media panel to earn the top spot for the first time since the final
poll of the 2008-09 season. Louisville has won 10 straight games since a loss
to Duke in the final of the tournament in the Bahamas back in November.

Indiana, the preseason No. 1 and top-ranked team through mid-December, rose
three spots from fifth to second. The Hoosiers, coming off Saturday’s 88-81
win over fellow top-10 opponent Minnesota, picked up 13 first-place votes.

Duke, which fell at North Carolina State on Saturday, dropped only to third
and still garnered 14 top tallies, while Kansas and Michigan round out the top
five, each with a first-place vote.

Syracuse, Arizona, Gonzaga, Minnesota and Florida complete this week’s top 10.
Arizona tumbled three spots from fourth after suffering its first loss of the
season last Thursday at Oregon.

The second 10 consists of Ohio State, Creighton, Butler, North Carolina State,
San Diego State, Kansas State, Missouri, Michigan State, New Mexico and Notre
Dame. Ohio State jumped four spots from 15th after knocking Michigan from the
ranks of the unbeaten on Sunday, while NC State’s 84-76 win over Duke lifted
the Wolfpack six places from 20th. Missouri, meanwhile, tumbled seven spots
from 10th after a loss at Ole Miss.

Oregon, VCU, Illinois, UCLA and Marquette are the last five teams ranked this
week. Illinois had the biggest fall within the poll, dropping 11 spots from
12th after losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

This week’s poll features four newcomers, as Oregon, VCU, UCLA and Marquette
replace Cincinnati, Georgetown, UNLV and Wichita State — all of whom suffered
losses last week.

Oregon had been close to earning a spot in the poll earlier this season and
earned its place this week after the 70-66 win over Arizona. VCU, a surprise
Final Four team two years ago, has won 11 straight games since losses to Duke
and Missouri in the Bahamas.

UCLA was 13th to start the season and rose to 11th before losses to Georgetown
and Cal Poly during Thanksgiving week. The Bruins have won nine straight since
a loss to San Diego State to start December.

Marquette is ranked for the first time this season after opening the Big East
season with victories over UConn, Georgetown and Pittsburgh.

This week’s schedule features a number of ranked matchups, including
Thursday’s Big Ten tussle between Michigan and Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Five ranked contests are on Saturday’s slate, including a Big East showdown
between Syracuse and Louisville in the Derby City. Also Saturday, Missouri
visits Florida, UCLA hosts Oregon, Ohio State travels to Michigan State and a
mid-major battle pits Gonzaga at Butler.