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Florida No. 1, Wichita State No. 2, Duke Leapfrogs to No. 5

The Florida Gators have once again been voted the No. 1 team in the country in NCAA men’s basketball. The No. 2 team in the country remained the same with the Wichita State Shockers grabbing that place for the third consecutive week.

Florida ended its regular season undefeated in the Southeastern Conference, while Wichita State ended its regular season undefeated overall and won its season ending conference tournament.

Florida finished its regular season 29-2 and received 50 votes for No. 1 from the panel of 65. Florida starts ACC tournament play on Friday.

The Shockers ended the regular season with a perfect 34-0 record. Wichita State was given the other 15 No. 1 votes. Wichita State was victorious in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Not since 1991 has a team entered the NCAA tournament undefeated.

Villanova moved up to No. 3 from No. 6, while Arizona fell one spot to No. 4. Louisville leapfrogged to No. 5 from No. 11. The rest of the top ten was the Virginia Cavaliers, Duke Blue Devils, San Diego State Aztecs, Michigan Wolverines and the Kansas Jayhawks.

Villanova’s ranking at No. 3 is the highest since the Wildcats were No. 2 back in January of 2009. Villanova won the outright Big East title for the regular season, its first since 1981-82.

Kentucky lost three of its past four games and dropped out of the top 25. It is the fourth time a No. 1 preseason team has dropped out of the poll during the same season.

There is one more poll prior to the tournament and if Kentucky cannot play themselves back into the top 25 it will be first time since 1965-66 when UCLA was the preseason No. 1 and finished the season unranked, but at that time, just 10 teams were chosen in the ranking.

Villanova held the No. 1 spot for just a week before losing and then three weeks later fell out of the top 10.

Virginia Commonwealth with their record of 24-7 reentered the Top 25 this week for the first time since this season’s second poll. The Rams are now ranked No. 23, and were at No. 14 during the preseason but fell out of the Top 25 after starting 3-3. The Rams are currently riding a winning streak of 4 straight games.

Ohio State which is now 23-8 overall, was voted back in the top 25 this week at No. 24 after not being in the poll in two of the last five weeks.

In the preseason AP poll, Ohio State was No. 11 and the team went up to No. 3 after 15 straight victories to open the regular season. The Buckeyes defeated Michigan State over the weekend following two straight losses.

This is the 13th week Florida has been No. 1 in the poll over their school history, tying them with North Carolina State for No. 19 all time. The Wolfpack received those rankings from the period of 1958-59 to 1975 -75.

UCLA holds the current all time No. 1 ranking with 134 weeks from 1963 through 2007.

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