March 12, 2001
Duke was No. 1 in the final Associated Press college basketball poll Monday, the third straight season the Blue Devils finished on top of the rankings entering the NCAA tournament.
The only other school to finish No. 1 in three straight final polls was UCLA, which did it from 1971-73.
Victories over Maryland and North Carolina capped a third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title run for Duke (29-4), which is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season.
The Blue Devils, who moved from third to first, received 45 first-place votes and 1,701 points from the national media panel. Stanford (28-2), which had been a unanimous No. 1 the last two weeks, dropped to second after losing to Arizona last week.
The Cardinal, the only team in Division I with less than four losses, were No. 1 on 23 ballots and had 1,674 points.
Michigan State (24-4) and Illinois (24-7), the other No. 1 seeds for the NCAA tournament, were third and fourth in the poll. The Spartans dropped one place after losing to Penn State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament, while Illinois (24-7) held fourth after losing to Indiana one round later.
Duke, Michigan State and Stanford were 1-2-3 in last season's final poll. Arizona, which was fourth to end last season, was fifth this year. The Wildcats (23-7) received one first-place vote and improved three spots from last week.
North Carolina remained sixth, followed in the Top Ten by Boston College, Florida, Kentucky and Iowa State.
Maryland led the Second Ten for the second straight week and was followed by Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, UCLA, Virginia, Syracuse, Texas, Notre Dame and Indiana.
The last five ranked teams were Georgetown, St. Joseph's, Wake Forest, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Indiana (21-12) and Iowa (22-11), the finalists in the Big Ten tournament, were the new teams in the final poll. Indiana, which lost the title game, was ranked for the first time this season, while Iowa, which had been struggling since guard Luke Recker fractured his kneecap in late January, returned to the poll after being out the last three weeks.
Ohio State (20-10), which was 24th last week in its first poll appearance of the season, were beaten by Iowa in the Big Ten quarterfinals and dropped out.
Fresno State (25-6), which was 25th last week, fell out after losing to Hawaii in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament.
Forty-three teams were ranked during the season, the most since 45 in 1997-98, and five off the record of 48 set in 1992-93.
Five teams were ranked No. 1 this season, one off the record set in 1993-94. Stanford was on top for seven weeks, while Duke was there for five, Arizona three and Michigan State and North Carolina two each.
Twelve teams were ranked from the preseason through the final poll, including Duke, Michigan State and Stanford, all of whom never fell out of the Top Five. Five of the 12 came from the ACC, with Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest joining Duke.
Eight teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 - Tennessee, Seton Hall, Utah, Connecticut, Arkansas, Cincinnati, DePaul and Southern California - were not in the final poll.
Indiana became the seventh team this season to make a one-week appearance in the poll, joining Georgia, Missouri, Providence, Temple, Ohio State and Dayton.
By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
The Men's Top Twenty Five By The Associated Press
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' men's final college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 11, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:
Record Pts Pvs 1. Duke (45) 29-4 1,701 3 2. Stanford (23) 28-2 1,674 1 3. Michigan St. 24-4 1,537 2 4. Illinois 24-7 1,450 4 5. Arizona (1) 23-7 1,439 8 6. North Carolina 25-6 1,357 6 7. Boston College 26-4 1,264 10 8. Florida 23-6 1,236 5 9. Kentucky 22-9 1,133 15 10. Iowa St. 25-5 1,113 7 11. Maryland 21-10 1,065 11 12. Kansas 24-6 903 9 13. Oklahoma 26-6 885 16 14. Mississippi 25-7 853 14 15. UCLA 21-8 753 13 16. Virginia 20-8 706 12 17. Syracuse 24-8 605 17 18. Texas 25-8 547 20 19. Notre Dame 19-9 305 19 20. Indiana 21-12 282 - 21. Georgetown 23-7 263 18 22. St. Joseph's 25-6 206 21 23. Wake Forest 19-10 178 22 24. Iowa 22-11 163 - 25. Wisconsin 18-10 145 23
Others receiving votes: Ohio St. 116, Cincinnati 62, Arkansas 61, Gonzaga 59, Fresno St. 51, Tennessee 44, Georgia St. 43, Providence 43, Alabama 37, USC 21, Creighton 18, Charlotte 16, Hofstra 15, Georgia Tech 12, Temple 11, Penn St. 8, W. Kentucky 8, BYU 6, Oklahoma St. 6, Utah St. 6, Butler 3, S. Utah 3, Seton Hall 3, Xavier 3, California 2, Hawaii 1, Holy Cross 1, Kent St. 1, Richmond 1, Southern Miss. 1.