New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Not surprisingly, Kentucky will head to the NCAA Tournament as the top-ranked team in the final Associated Press men's college basketball poll.
The Wildcats are 34-0 and went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country, becoming the first team since Duke in 1991-92 to maintain the top ranking from the preseason to the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky, which captured its 28th SEC Tournament title on Sunday and earned the top overall seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, received all 65 first- place votes and a total of 1,625 points from a nationwide media panel. The Wildcats were a unanimous choice for the final seven polls.
Villanova, after winning the Big East title for the first time in 20 years, moved up two spots to second and was followed by Big Ten champ Wisconsin, Duke and Pac-12 winner Arizona. Wisconsin moved up three spots from sixth, while Duke dropped two spots from second after losing in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.
Duke, Wisconsin and Villanova were all awarded top seeds for the NCAA Tournament.
Virginia, Gonzaga, ACC tourney champ Notre Dame, Big 12 tournament winner Iowa State and Kansas completed the top 10. Iowa State moved up four spots from 13th after beating Kansas in the Big 12 final.
The second 10 featured Northern Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma, Wichita State, North Carolina, Baylor, Louisville, AAC champ SMU, Utah and West Virginia. Maryland dropped four spots from eighth after losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten semifinals, while North Carolina moved up four spots from 19th after beating Louisville and Virginia to reach the ACC championship game.
Arkansas, Georgetown, Big Ten runner-up Michigan State, Butler and Atlantic-10 champ VCU were the last five teams ranked. Michigan State and VCU were the lone newcomers, replacing Davidson and Boise State. Davidson lost to VCU in the A-10 semifinals, while Boise State was also beaten in the Mountain West semis.