AP poll: Top 5 hold in 1st regular-season Top 25

Nov 16, 2009 - 6:36 PM By JIM O'CONNELL AP Basketball Writer

An opening week in which only one ranked team lost meant few changes in the first poll of the regular season.

Kansas beat Hofstra 101-65 in its only game and was the runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, just as it was in the preseason Top 25. The Jayhawks received 58 first-place votes from the national media panel, three more than in the preseason poll.

Michigan State beat Florida Gulf Coast 97-58 in its opener and was again No. 1 on five ballots to hold second.

Texas, which again had one first-place vote, Kentucky, which dropped from three No. 1 votes to one, and Villanova remained third through fifth. Then came the first change from the preseason poll.

Purdue, which beat Cal State Northridge 89-63 in its only game, switched places with defending champion North Carolina, which won its games against Florida International, North Carolina Central and Valparaiso last week by an average of almost 25 points.

The Tar Heels, who lost their only first-place vote from the preseason poll, will see the quality of their competition pick up considerably with the possibility of facing five ranked opponents in the next eight games.

They will play Ohio State in the 2K Sports Classic on Thursday in New York, and could face California in the final or third-place game. Also included in the stretch is a home game against No. 2 Michigan State in a rematch of last year's national championship game, a trip to No. 4 Kentucky and game against No. 3 Texas in Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 19.

West Virginia, Duke and Tennessee held on to round out the top 10.

Maryland was the only newcomer to the poll at No. 25. The Terrapins moved into the rankings for the first time since the final poll of the 2006-07 season. They replaced Mississippi State, which fell out from 18th following its season-opening 88-74 loss to Rider.

Butler was 11th and was followed by Connecticut, California, Washington, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Dayton, Georgetown and Louisville. The last five ranked teams were Georgia Tech, Clemson, Illinois, Minnesota and Maryland.

The Big Ten still leads with six ranked teams - Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois and Minnesota. The Atlantic Coast Conference (Maryland, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson) and Big East (Villanova, West Virginia, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville) had five each.

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