MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Arizona remains at No. 1


Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 27, 2003 at 11:51 p.m.

Arizona's comeback victory at Kansas helped the Wildcats stay atop the AP men's college basketball poll Monday, while Alabama dropped further from the top spot it held just a month ago.

The Wildcats (15-1) rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat then-No. 6 Kansas 91-74 on Saturday. They received all but one first-place vote from the 72-member national media panel.

Arizona is No. 1 for the second straight week and for the eighth poll this season. It received 1,799 points, 102 more than Pittsburgh (15-1), which remained second after beating Georgetown 65-64 on Saturday.

Texas (13-2) and Florida (16-2), which got the other first-place vote, each moved up one place.

The ranking is the highest for the Gators since they were No. 2 on Jan. 14, 2002.

Duke (13-2) lost 80-71 to North Carolina State on Wednesday and dropped from third to fifth.

Oklahoma, Kentucky and Louisville moved up one place, and are ranked sixth through eighth. Oklahoma State and Maryland rounded out the Top 10.

Alabama (12-5) took over the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history on Dec. 23 and held it for another week. But it dropped from 15th to No. 23 this week after losses to Mississippi and Kentucky.

The Crimson Tide has lost three straight games and four of five in dropping an average of 5.4 places each of the last four weeks.

This is the third time in four seasons a team ranked No. 1 has fallen out of the Top 20.

Arizona was the preseason No. 1 and held the top spot for the first two polls of the 2000-01 season, but the Wildcats dropped to No. 21 on Jan. 8. They returned to finish fifth in the final poll.

In 1999-00, Connecticut was No. 1 in the preseason poll but the Huskies dropped to 22nd on Feb. 21.

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