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Kansas Makes Early Season Poll Jump

Updated:
Kansas used its two victories in the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic to jump three places in The Associated Press' college basketball poll Monday.

Arizona, Duke and Michigan State, the top three teams in the preseason poll, held those places in the first regular-season poll, while Kansas moved from seventh to fourth.

The Jayhawks beat UCLA and St. John's in stretching their winning streak in November to 31 games, a run dating to a 1990 loss at Arizona State.

The Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic was also good to the teams that split their opening two games as UCLA, which finished third, moved from 17th to No. 14, while the runner-up Red Storm, the only unranked team in the field, jumped into the Top 25 at No. 24.

Kentucky, which lost to St. John's and UCLA and started a season 0-2 for the first time since 1975-76, dropped from No. 12 to 20th.

The only other ranked team to play on the sport's opening weekend was North Carolina, which dropped one place to seventh despite winning the NABC Classic with victories over Winthrop and Tulsa. The home games were North Carolina's first under Matt Doherty, who replaced Bill Guthridge and became the Tar Heels' third coach in five seasons.

Arizona received 35 first-place votes and 1,538 points from the nationwide media panel, while Duke was No. 1 on 21 ballots and had 1,522 points.

Michigan State, which opens defense of its national championship next Sunday against Oakland, had five first-place votes, while Kansas had one.

Stanford, Maryland, which had the only other first-place vote, and North Carolina all dropped one place from the preseason poll and were followed in the Top Ten by Illinois, Tennessee and Seton Hall.

Neither Arizona nor Maryland plays this week, but the other Top Ten teams will all get started. Duke plays Princeton on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Preseason NIT, while Stanford (San Francisco State), Illinois (Maine), Tennessee (Chattanooga) and Seton Hall (Rider) all open their seasons on Friday night.

Florida again led the Second Ten and was followed by Utah, Connecticut, UCLA, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

The final five ranked teams were Oklahoma, DePaul, Southern California, St. John's and Virginia.

Iowa State, which was 25th in the preseason poll, dropped out despite not playing a game. The same thing happened last year to Miami, and the Hurricanes returned to the rankings for the final two weeks of the regular season.

St. John's, which started three freshmen against Kansas, was No. 9 in last season's final poll.
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