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Spartans Hold On To No. 1 Spot

Michigan State was No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for a second straight week Monday and the defending national champion will be on top as conference play gets under way.

There was very little change in the Top 25 after the final week of nonconference games produced few upsets.

Not only did the Spartans (11-0) hold the same spot from last week, the top 11 teams stayed in the same order and the only new member of the poll is No. 24 Texas.

Michigan State, which beat Bowling Green and Wright State last week, received 47 first-place votes and 1,607 points from the national media panel. Stanford (11-0), which beat Fordham and Santa Clara last week, was No. 1 on the other 18 ballots and had 1,577 points.

Duke was third again, followed in the Top Ten by Wake Forest, Florida , Tennessee, Kansas, Virginia, Illinois and Connecticut.

Seton Hall was 11th for the second straight week and was followed in the Second Ten by Wisconsin, North Carolina, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Arizona, Georgetown and USC.

The last five ranked teams were Notre Dame, Mississippi, Iowa State, Texas and Cincinnati.

Texas (10-2) moved into the rankings on a five-game winning streak that included a victory over Illinois. The Longhorns, who were ranked all last season and got as high as No. 9, have lost to Duke in the Preseason NIT semifinals and at South Florida.

Iowa (11-2) dropped out of the poll after a three-week run. The Hawkeyes finished third in last week's Rainbow Classic, sandwiching wins over Detroit and Saint Louis around an 80-68 semifinal loss to Tennessee.

Five teams - Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgetown, Mississippi and Iowa State - made modest two-spot jumps this week, while Cincinnati's fall from 19th to 25th was the biggest drop. The Bearcats (9-3) beat North Carolina-Wilmington 65-55 last week before losing 69-66 to Toledo.

The first week of conference play will bring six games between ranked teams starting with Tuesday night's matchup of unbeatens - Virginia at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons also have a road game against a ranked opponent this week as they play at North Carolina on Saturday.

Also on Tuesday night, Notre Dame is at Syracuse, while Saturday's other ranked matchups are Seton Hall at Georgetown; Oklahoma at Iowa State; and Stanford at Arizona.

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