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Wednesday December 11th, 2019 11:10AM

Louisville is new No. 1, unranked Michigan goes to No. 4

By The Associated Press
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Louisville is the latest No. 1 following an unexpected loss by Duke. Michigan has matched a record by debuting at No. 4.

A season of parity is taking a toll in the AP Top 25.

Louisville became the fourth team in five weeks to claim the top spot, receiving 48 of 65 first-place votes from a national media panel in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll released Monday.

No. 2 Kansas, coming off the Maui Invitational title, had three first-place votes and No. 5 Virginia received five. Maryland rose to No. 3 — the Terrapins’ highest ranking since hitting No. 2 in 2015-16 — in a week when every spot in the poll changed from last week.

Michigan (7-0) knocked off Iowa State, No. 7 North Carolina and No. 9 Gonzaga to win the Battle 4 Atlantis title in the Bahamas. The Wolverines were rewarded with nine first-place votes and matched Kansas in 1989 for the biggest jump from being unranked in the history of the poll that dates to 1949.

Not a bad first season under former Michigan star Juwan Howard.

“I'm sure we're on the map now,” Howard said. “A lot of teams are looking and seeing Michigan as a name that's out there. When you beat teams like Creighton and Iowa State as well as North Carolina and Gonzaga, you're no longer under the radar.”

Louisville wasn’t exactly under the radar after opening the preseason poll at No. 5. The Cardinals (7-0) made a steady climb to No. 2 and moved to the top spot when previous No. 1 Duke lost at home to Stephen F. Austin. Duke dropped to No. 10 after its 150-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents ended in Durham.

Louisville has its first No. 1 ranking since 2013 — the year the Cardinals won the national title — after beating Akron and Western Kentucky last week. The only other time Louisville was ranked No 1. was in 2009.

“There’s no team that’s arrived. No team’s arrived,” Cardinals coach Chris Mack said. “A lot of people are saying that we haven’t played anybody. A lot of people are saying we’re not there. Maybe we aren’t deserving. I don’t care.”

The record for most teams at No. 1 is seven, set in 1983, so this season is already more than halfway there. Another jumble could come next Monday because of a slate of huge games this week, including Michigan at Louisville on Tuesday.

“So many good teams, not very many great teams,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “Everybody’s got question marks. Everybody’s got things to try to deal with and I don’t think any of us know where anybody is right now. ... Very good might be the key word. Great might be out of the equation right now.”

JAYHAWKS RISE

Kansas was No. 3 in the preseason poll and dropped to fifth after a season-opening loss to Duke. The Jayhawks (6-1) have been on a roll since them, culminating last week with their third Maui Invitational title.

Kansas used its size up front to beat up on Chaminade, Brigham Young and Dayton to add to the Maui titles it won in 1996 and 2015.

“I’m not sure the win will have a ton to do with what we do going forward,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “It’s still November and I would like to think that that automatically puts us in a very good or favorable position, but if you don’t play well against Colorado, a top-20 team, next Saturday then this probably didn’t mean as much.”

RISING

Michigan had the biggest jump after receiving 12 overall votes last week. No. 6 Ohio State and No. 14 Auburn were next, each moving up four spots.

FALLING

No. 25 Utah State had the biggest drop, falling 10 places after losing to Saint Mary’s on Friday.

No. 11 Michigan State tumbled eight spots after going 2-1 in the Maui Invitational.

No. 21 Tennessee dropped four places after losing to Florida State and beating Virginia Commonwealth at the Emerald Coast Classic.

MOVING IN

No. 17 Florida State is ranked for the first time this season after beating Tennessee and Purdue to win the Emerald Coast Classic.

No. 19 Dayton moved into the Top 25 for the first time since 2015-16 following a strong performance at the Maui Invitational. The Flyers (5-1) knocked off Georgia and Virginia Tech before taking Kansas to overtime in the title game.

No. 24 Butler moved into the AP poll for the first time since hitting as high as No. 11 in 2016-17 after winning the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. The Bulldogs (7-0) beat Missouri, then took down Stanford 68-67 on Kamar Baldwin’s 18-foot jumper.

MOVING OUT

Florida dropped out from No. 24 despite winning the Charleston Classic last Sunday and knocking off Marshall.

Xavier was out from No. 25 following the loss to the Gators in the title game.

Texas Tech took a massive fall after losing to Iowa and Creighton at the Las Vegas Invitational, dropping out of the poll from No. 12.

___

AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in East Lansing, Michigan, contributed to this report.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
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