Bearcats Still Atop AP Poll

Maureen Stapleton holds her Oscar for best performance by a supporting actress in "Reds" at the 54th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 30, 1982.
AP

Texas started the season talking about the Final Four. After winning the Puerto Rico Shootout with two victories over ranked teams, that doesn't seem so far-fetched.

The Longhorns (4-0) jumped from No. 20 to No. 9 in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll, their first visit to the Top Ten since 1982.

"I don't know if any of us know how good we are," said second-year Texas coach Rick Barnes, whose first Longhorns team started 0-4 before winning the Big 12 Conference regular season title.

Texas beat No. 8 Michigan State and No. 22 DePaul in Puerto Rico. Seven-foot center Chris Mihm was chosen the tournament's most valuable player.

"I knew we had a different team than last year," Barnes said. "Chris Mihm and (forward) Gabe Muoneke are two of the top players in college basketball."

"But to get to the Final Four, the first thing you have to do is get to the NCAA tournament and that's a long way away."

In 1982, the Longhorns won their first 14 games and went to No. 5, their highest ranking ever. Then they lost 11 of 13 games, finishing 16-11 in coach Abe Lemons' final season.

"We won't start 14-0," Barnes said. "Our schedule won't allow it."

The Longhorns face No. 4 Arizona (4-0) Saturday before traveling to No. 20 Utah. The Longhorns also play at defending national champion No. 5 Connecticut in early January.

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  • "You'd like to keep things rolling along," Barnes said. "If we were getting into early January at No. 9, I'd be feeling pretty good."

    Last week's preseason tournaments caused a lot of shuffling in the rankings as all but three teams in the preseason Top Ten have have lost at least one game.

    Cincinnati remained No. 1, the Bearcats (4-0) receiving 55 first-place votes and 1,671 points from the national media panel. They were the only team from last wek's Top 10 to be in the same spot this week.

    North Carolina (3-0), which won the Maui Invitational, moved from fourth to second, getting seven No. 1 votes and 1,567 points. Stanford (5-0), which beat then-No. 2 Auburn in the Wooden Classic on Saturday, had four first-place votes and 1,541 points, 30 more than Preseason NIT champion Arizona, which got two first-place votes.

    Connecticut, the preseason No. 1, moved from seventh to fifth and was followed by Kansas, which jumped four places, Auburn, which dropped five, and Michigan State, which fell from third to eighth.

    Temple, which lost to Indiana in the Tipoff Classic, dropped from fifth to No. 10.

    Florida , sixth before losing to Purdue at Maui, led the Second Ten and was followed by UCLA, Kentucky, Syracuse, Ohio State, Illinois, Duke, Tennessee, Purdue and Utah.

    The last five teams in the poll were Oklahoma State, DePaul, Indiana, Marylnd and Gonzaga.

    Indiana used the win over Temple to move into the Top 25 for the first time this season. The Hoosiers (2-0) were ranked all last season, reaching as high as No. 8 in late December and finishing No. 19 in the final poll.

    Iowa (2-2), which upset Connecticut to open the season, dropped out of the rankings from 23rd after losing to Creighton.

    This is the 36th week in its history that Cincinnati has been ranked No. 1, moving past Kansas and into sixth place on the all-time list. UCLA leads with 128 weeks and is followed by Kentucky (87), North Carolina (79), Duke (70) and Indiana (43).

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