Only one change in first regular-season Top 25


Monday, November 15th 2004, 3:09 pm
By: News On 6


The first poll of the college basketball regular season sure looks a lot like the preseason Top 25.

Syracuse and Illinois switched places at Nos. 5 and 6 Monday, the only movement from the previous rankings.

Only three ranked teams played since the preseason Top 25 was released. Syracuse, Mississippi State and Memphis all swept their opening two games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Kansas stayed in the No. 1 spot and was again followed by three Atlantic Coast Conference teams _ Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and North Carolina.

Syracuse, which beat Northern Colorado and Princeton to open the season, moved up to fifth and was followed by Illinois, Oklahoma State, Connecticut, Kentucky and Arizona.

Kansas received 26 first-place votes and 1,703 points from the national media panel, while Wake Forest had 23 and 1,685.

Georgia Tech was No. 1 on 10 ballots while North Carolina had eight first-place votes, Illinois and Oklahoma State each had two and Kentucky received one.

Duke led the second 10 and was followed by Mississippi State, Michigan State, Louisville, Maryland, Texas, Pittsburgh, Alabama, North Carolina State and Notre Dame.

The last five ranked teams were Wisconsin, Washington, Florida, Memphis and Gonzaga.

Mississippi State beat Fairfield and Birmingham Southern without preseason All-America Lawrence Roberts. The 6-foot-10 senior forward missed the first game as he served a one-game suspension from the NCAA over his expenses to attend a tryout before the NBA draft. He didn't play in the second game because he was recovering from a broken nose.

Roberts said he expects to play Thursday night in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic semifinals against Syracuse.

Memphis, which beat Savannah State and George Mason, will play Saint Mary's, Calif., in the other semifinal at Madison Square Garden.

The ACC's six ranked teams are one short of the record.

The Big Ten had seven teams ranked for four weeks in January 1993, a feat matched by the Atlantic Coast Conference for two weeks in December 1997 and by the Big Ten again for one week in January 1999.

The most recent time the Big Ten did it, all seven schools were in the Top 20 _ Michigan State (8), Wisconsin (12), Purdue (14), Ohio State (15), Iowa (16), Minnesota (19) and Indiana (20).