Kentucky remains No. 1 in 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 fourth straight week. They received 63 first-place votes and a total of 1,623 points from a nationwide media panel for the third 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. Missouri moved up a slot to third and fellow Big 12 member Kansas vaulted three places to fourth, while Duke leapt five spots to fifth.

Ohio State, which lost to Michigan State at home on Saturday, tumbled three places to sixth and the Spartans moved up four places to seventh. North Carolina, which lost on a last-second shot to Duke last week, fell three places eighth. Baylor was sixth last week, but tumbled to ninth after losing to both Kansas and Missouri.

Georgetown, despite an overtime loss to Syracuse last week, moved up two spots to 10th and is followed by UNLV, Marquette, San Diego State, Florida, Wisconsin, Murray State, Michigan, Indiana, Louisville and Florida State. Florida tumbled six spots from eighth after losses to Kentucky and Tennessee, and Murray State dropped seven places from ninth after suffering its first loss of the season at home against Tennessee State.

The last five teams ranked this week are Saint Mary's, Virginia, Notre Dame, Gonzaga and Wichita State. Gonzaga returned to the poll after a one-week absence following a 73-59 win over Saint Mary's, and Wichita State, which posted an 89-68 win over previously-ranked Creighton and is ranked for the first time this season, are tied for 24th.

Notre Dame is also ranked for the first time this season. The Fighting Irish have won six straight games, a stretch that started January 21 with a victory over then-unbeaten Syracuse.

Creighton was 17th last week, but its loss to Wichita State was its third in a row. Mississippi State also dropped out, as did Harvard, which was 25th before a loss Saturday at Princeton.

This week's ranked matchups include a Big Ten tussle on Thursday between Wisconsin and Michigan State in East Lansing and another Big Ten battle Saturday as Ohio State visits Michigan. Saturday's slate also features the BracketBuster contest between Saint Mary's and Murray State.