Duke's Jahlil Okafor goes in for a layup during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 in Louisville, Ky. Duke won 63-52. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Timothy D. Easley
January 19, 2015

With a national-best six ranked teams, the Big 12's conference race is having an every-week impact on the Top 25.

Look no further than No. 11 Kansas for proof. The Jayhawks' reward for splitting two games against ranked league opponents last week is two more games this week.

''It's good and it's tough for everybody,'' coach Bill Self said. ''I don't know if this is going to play out to be true or not, but four or five losses will be an unbelievable record for the team that wins it, I believe.''

The league had six games matching two ranked teams last week and has three more this week to headline the national schedule.

Kansas beat No. 19 Oklahoma 85-78 on Monday night and travels to No. 17 Texas on Saturday, while the Sooners travel to No. 21 Baylor that same day.

The Big Ten has the other two such matchups this week. Iowa, which debuted in this week's poll at No. 25, travels to sixth-ranked Wisconsin on Tuesday night, while No. 13 Maryland travels to No. 23 Indiana two days later.

STILL 1-2: For the second straight week, Kentucky and Virginia topped the poll.

Kentucky was No. 1 in 63 of 65 votes cast Monday, while Virginia stayed at No. 2. The Wildcats (17-0) have been No. 1 in every poll and were the unanimous choice for five straight weeks before two voters switched to the Cavaliers (17-0) last week.

Both teams play unranked league opponents this week. Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt on Tuesday then travels to South Carolina on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference.

In the Atlantic Coast Conference, Virginia hosts Georgia Tech on Thursday then travels to instate rival Virginia Tech on Sunday.

STATE PRIDE: For the first time, the Hawkeye State has a trio of ranked teams.

The state has No. 9 Iowa State (13-3) and No. 20 Northern Iowa (16-2) to go with No. 25 Iowa. Drake is the only other Division I program in the state.

''I think it's great,'' Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson said, ''mostly because we're one of the three.''

COACH K WATCH: Coach K's pursuit of his 1,000th career win could end this week.

Duke was on schedule to go for coach Mike Krzyzewski's milestone win at Louisville over the weekend, but losses to North Carolina State and a stunning home loss to Miami that ended a 41-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium put that on hold.

But the Blue Devils - who slid a spot to No. 5 on Monday - beat the Cardinals then beat Pittsburgh on Monday night for Krzyzewski's 999th victory. He'll go for No. 1,000 on Sunday against St. John's in Madison Square Garden.


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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