Kentucky again tops men's hoops poll

Kentucky remained the top team in the latest Associated Press men's college basketball poll.

The Wildcats, who first had a two-week stay at No. 1 starting in late November, are the top team in the nation for a third straight week. They received 63 first-place votes and a total of 1,623 points from a nationwide media panel for the second consecutive week.

Syracuse, which preceded Kentucky at the top with a six-week run, held firm at No. 2 with the other two first-place votes. Ohio State, Missouri, North Carolina and Baylor also kept their places from third through sixth.

Kansas, despite a 74-71 loss at Missouri on Saturday, moved up one spot to seventh and is followed by Florida, Murray State and Duke. Florida vaulted four spots from 12th, while Duke dipped three places from seventh after an overtime home loss on Sunday against Miami-Florida.

The second 10 consists of Michigan State, Georgetown, San Diego State, UNLV, Florida State, Saint Mary's, Creighton, Marquette, Virginia and Mississippi State. Creighton dropped four places after Saturday's last-second loss at Northern Iowa, while Florida State vaulted six spots after running its winning streak to seven with a 58-55 victory over Virginia.

Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Louisville and Harvard are the last five teams ranked this week. Louisville, a preseason No. 9 that reached as high as fourth earlier in the season, returned to the poll after a two-week absence. Harvard was ranked for a week in early December, then for two weeks starting later in the month.

Gonzaga and Vanderbilt each dropped out this week. Gonzaga lost to BYU and Vandy fell to both Arkansas and Florida on the road.

This week's busy schedule includes a top-10 battle between Florida and Kentucky on Tuesday in Lexington, while Big East heavyweights Georgetown and Syracuse meet Wednesday at the Carrier Dome.

Also Wednesday, it's the first of two meetings this season between Tobacco Road arch rivals as Duke takes the eight-mile trip to North Carolina. Another top-10 matchup Wednesday features Kansas and Baylor in Waco. Baylor's difficult week concludes Saturday with a trip to Missouri.

Saturday's slate includes this season's second meeting of Mountain West rivals San Diego State and UNLV, as the Runnin' Rebels try to avenge a 69-67 road loss on January 14. A Big Ten tussle on Saturday also pits Michigan State at Ohio State.