New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Syracuse is the new top-ranked team in men's college basketball, taking over the No. 1 spot in the latest Associated Press poll after Arizona's loss to California on Saturday.
Arizona and Syracuse had been 1-2 in the poll for eight straight weeks and both nearly suffered losses on Saturday, as the Orange squeezed by Duke in an overtime thriller at the Carrier Dome.
The Orange are a unanimous top choice, earning all 65 first-place votes and a total of 1,625 points from a nationwide media panel. Syracuse, which earned a 91-89 win against Duke for the best start in school history at 21-0, was last No. 1 for six weeks during the 2011-12 season.
Arizona, after the 60-58 setback in Berkeley, dropped only to No 2. Florida, unbeaten Wichita State and San Diego State remained third through fifth.
Villanova, Cincinnati, Kansas, Michigan State and Michigan round out the top 10. Cincinnati has won 14 straight games and this week vaulted six places from 13th.
Duke, despite the overtime loss at Syracuse, moved up six places from 17th to start the second 10, which also consists of Creighton, Saint Louis, Louisville, Texas, Iowa State, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and newcomer Virginia.
Creighton rose eight places from 20th, while Texas leaped 10 spots from 25th thanks in part to a win over Kansas on Saturday. Oklahoma State, after a home loss to Baylor, tumbled 11 spots from eighth.
The last five teams ranked this week are Oklahoma, Connecticut, Gonzaga, Memphis and Pittsburgh.
In addition to Virginia, Connecticut and Gonzaga are also returning to the poll this week.
Virginia, coming off a last-second win at Pittsburgh on Sunday, was ranked in the preseason and for the first two weeks of the regular season. Connecticut, also ranked in the preseason, reached as high as No. 9 before eventually dropping out, while Gonzaga was also a preseason pick and went as high No. 11 before also tumbling out.
Wisconsin, Ohio State and Massachusetts dropped out this week. Wisconsin, which was 14th last week, and Ohio State were ranked all season and both reached No. 3 at different points.
This week's ranked matchups include a Thursday night battle between Connecticut and Cincinnati in Ohio. On Saturday, Michigan visits Iowa and Memphis hosts Gonzaga.