|Tennessee is No. 1 in AP poll for 1st time, overtakes Memphis at top|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 25 February 2008 08:30|
The football team at Tennessee has been ranked No. 1 during four seasons, including two national titles. The women's basketball program has been a regular atop that poll since 1977, winning seven national championships under coach Pat Summitt.
Now it's the men's turn.
The Volunteers (25-2) were a runaway choice, receiving 69 first-place votes and 1,797 points from the 72-member national media panel after a 66-62 victory at Memphis. Tennessee is the 53rd school to hold the No. 1 ranking since the poll began for the 1948-49 season.
y have won 17 straight games.
``The fact that men's basketball was able to get to this point just brings us in line with the other sports here, men's and women's, like softball and track and field. This is the expectation at Tennessee and that you can point to those different sports is why Tennessee is one of the finest athletic programs in the country and this only adds to that.''
Memphis (26-1), which lost for the first time this season when Tennessee ended its 47-game home winning streak, had been ranked No. 1 for the past five weeks, the last three as a unanimous choice. The Tigers were No. 2 and received 1,682 points.
North Carolina (26-2), which was No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first 10 weeks of the regular season, stayed third after wins over North Carolina State and Wake Forest. The Tar Heels received two first-place votes, while UCLA (24-3), which jumped from sixth to fourth after wins over Oregon State and Oregon last week, was No. 1 on one ballot.
There was some history made near the bottom of the rankings as well Monday with Kent State (23-5) moving into the Top 25 for the first time. The Golden Flashes were No. 23 after their 65-57 victory at Saint Mary's, Calif., on Saturday night.
Texas moved up two spots to fifth. Kansas, which lost at Oklahoma State on Saturday, and Duke, which snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over St. John's on Saturday, both dropped two spots to sixth and seventh, respectively. Stanford, Xavier and Wisconsin rounded out the top 10.
Georgetown moved up one place to 11th and was followed by Indiana, Louisville, Butler, Connecticut, Purdue, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Michigan State and Drake. The last five ranked teams were Marquette, Washington State, Kent State, Gonzaga and Saint Mary's.
Gonzaga (21-6) was the week's other newcomer. The Bulldogs, who were 14th in the preseason poll, returned after a nine-week absence. They have won 12 of their last 15, with the losses coming to Tennessee, Memphis and Saint Mary's.
Kent State entered the poll having won nine of 10, the loss coming at Toledo. Two of the Golden Flashes' losses this season were to North Carolina and Xavier.
M (20-7) dropped out from 23rd, its first time out of the poll this season. The Aggies, ranked as high as No. 9 this season, have lost three straight - Oklahoma State, Texas and Nebraska, the first and last at home.
Kansas State (18-8) was ranked for eight weeks this season, including the last four in a row. The Wildcats fell out from 24th, having lost three of four, including losses to Nebraska and Baylor last week.