Like old times, Kentucky on top of men's AP poll again
Kentucky, its star-filled roster decimated by the NBA draft, didn't wait long to get back to the top of The Associated Press poll.
The Wildcats, who again have a lineup full of freshmen who were high school All-Americans, went from second to No. 1 on Monday. The move was made possible by their convincing win over then-No. 5 Duke in the Champions Classic and North Carolina's loss to Northern Iowa that ended the Tar Heels' two-week run on top.
This is Kentucky's 114th week at No. 1 since the poll began in 1949. The Wildcats, who were No. 1 every week last season, trail only UCLA at 134 weeks and Duke at 127. The Tar Heels had tied Kentucky on the all-time list with this season's two weeks at No. 1.
Those are the only four schools to have been ranked No. 1 for at least 100 weeks.
HELLO MIAMI: The No. 15 Hurricanes had an impressive jump into this week's poll. Their title at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off included wins over Utah and Butler and made them the only school this season to beat more than one ranked opponent.
Miami became the 17th team since the poll expanded to 25 in 1989-90 to jump in from unranked to No. 15 or better. The last school to do it was Villanova, which jumped in at No. 14 early in the 2012-13 season.
The biggest jump was Kansas' move from unranked to No. 5 in November 1989. The Jayhawks knocked off No. 1 UNLV, No. 2 LSU and No. 25 St. John's in winning the Preseason NIT.
The Hurricanes were ranked for five weeks last season, reaching as high as No. 15.
OTHER NEWCOMERS: No. 23 Xavier and No. 25 Texas A&M are both back in the rankings for the first time since 2011-12. The Musketeers were ranked for the first seven polls, reaching as high as No. 8, while the Aggies were in the first six polls, reaching as high as 19th.
Cincinnati was last ranked for the final 10 polls of 2013-14, and the Bearcats were as high as No. 7. SMU was ranked for nine weeks last season, including the last seven. The Mustangs were ranked as high as 18th.
BEATING NO. 1: Northern Iowa's 71-67 victory over North Carolina was the Panthers' second win over a No. 1 team.
In the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Northern Iowa shocked the sport with a 69-67 victory over then-No. 1 Kansas in the second round.
It's hard to forget who hit the deciding 3-pointer for the Panthers: Ali Farokhmanesh.
CONFERENCE CALL: With Miami moving into the poll, the Atlantic Coast Conference leads the way with five teams in the Top 25. The Big Ten - which has No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 Michigan State - and the Big 12 have four each. The Southeastern Conference, the Pac-12 and the American Athletic Conference have three each. The American Athletic Conference had two of the week's four newcomers in Cincinnati and SMU.
SO LONG: Of the four teams that dropped out of the rankings, Utah had the longest streak at 18 consecutive weeks. Baylor was next at 15 weeks, while Butler was at 10 and Michigan two.
DOUBLE-RANKED GAMES: Thanksgiving week usually means a number of matchups between ranked teams in holiday tournaments.
The Maui Invitational could have a semifinal of No. 13 Indiana facing No. 19 Vanderbilt. The winner could get No. 5 Kansas in Wednesday's title game.
The Battle 4 Atlantis could have a semifinal of No. 25 Texas A&M and No. 18 Connecticut, with the winner possibly facing No. 10 Gonzaga in the championship game on Friday.
The Advocare Invitational in Orlando, Florida, could have a No. 23 Xavier-No. 20 Wichita State matchup in the semifinals, with No. 17 Notre Dame a possible opponent for the winner in Saturday's championship game.
The DIRECTV Wooden Legacy at Fullerton, California, could have a championship game between No. 3 Michigan State and No. 11 Arizona on Sunday.
This story has been corrected to ''Sunday'' in last paragraph.