Undefeated Syracuse University retained the top spot in the Associated Press College Basketball poll this week, as the University of North Carolina dropped five spots to No. 8 following its worst loss in more than eight seasons.
The Orange (19-0) received 60 of the 65 first-place votes. The University of Kentucky (17-1), ranked No. 2, received four first-place votes and No. 3 Baylor (17-0) received one. Duke (15-2) and Missouri (16-1) complete the top five.
The Tar Heels, who topped the rankings in the preseason, fell 90-57 to unranked Atlantic Coast Conference-rival Florida State on Jan. 14 in the team’s most lopsided loss since coach Roy Williams took over the program in 2003.
Murray State University (18-0), the only other undefeated team in the country, jumped three spots to No. 12. The Racers beat Memphis, then No. 21, on Dec. 11 in their only game against a ranked opponent this year.
Syracuse, the third team to hold the No. 1 ranking this season, has been atop the polls since Dec. 12. UNC held the spot for the first three weeks of the season, followed by Kentucky.
The Orange will not play a team currently in the Top 25 until Feb. 8, when it begins a three-game stretch against No. 10 Georgetown (14-3), No. 13 University of Connecticut (14-3) and No. 23 Louisville (14-4), all Big East rivals.
Baylor plays No. 7 Kansas (14-3) and Missouri this week in the only two match-ups between Top 10 teams.
No. 22 Illinois (15-3), which beat No. 6 Ohio State 79-74 on Jan. 10, and No. 24 St. Mary’s College (17-2), which hasn’t lost since a Dec. 22 defeat to Baylor, entered the Top 25 after being unranked in the previous poll. Gonzaga and Seton Hall were dropped after losses last week.
The Big Ten and Big East lead all conferences with five teams each.
-- Editor: Michael Sillup