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Surprise! UNC Is #1 In Latest Poll

North Carolina, which handed Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke a 97-73 blowout loss Thursday, took back the No. 1 ranking from the Blue Devils in the latest Associated Press college basketball poll released Monday.

North Carolina (24-1) re-gained the top-ranking that it held before losing to Maryland on Jan. 14. The Tar Heels, who capped the week by defeating North Carolina State by 16 points Sunday, received 68 of 70 first-place votes from a panel of broadcasters and writers and topped the poll with 1,748 points.

Duke dropped to second with 1,624 points, while third-ranked Arizona, which opened the season in the top spot, picked up the remaining two first-place votes and 1,608 points. The Wildcats traveled to the Pacific Northwest this week and left with a pair of convincing wins over Washington and Washington State.

Kansas (26-3) slipped one spot to fourth, despite easy wins over Iowa State and Missouri. Utah (20-1) remained fifth.

Stanford (19-3) and George Washington (20-3) were the biggest movers in the poll. Stanford, which beat California on Wednesday but was routed by Connecticut, 76-56, Saturday, fell from ninth to 14th, while the Colonials used wins over La Salle and St. Joseph's to jump five spots to 17th.

Texas Christian (20-4) and Rhode Island (17-5) return to the poll this week, taking the place of Xavier (15-6) and Iowa (16-7). TCU entered at 22nd and Rhode Island filled the final spot at 25th.

Connecticut (21-3) and Kentucky (21-3) both jumped up one place, to sixth and seventh, respectively. UConn defeated Villanova by 15 points to start the week and tagged then-No. 9 Stanford with a 76-56 loss on Saturday. The Wildcats were winners over Louisiana State and Villanova.

Purdue (20-4) climbed two rungs from 10th to eighth while UCLA (18-4), which lost to Oregon on Thursday, fell three spots to ninth. Princeton (18-1) moved up one place to 10th.

New Mexico (18-3) is 11th, followed by Arkansas (20-3), Michigan State (17-4), Stanford, South Carolina (17-4), and West Virginia(19-4).

Mississippi (15-5) dipped one position to 18th while Cincinnati (17-5)stepped up a spot to 19th and Massachusetts (17-6) vaulted from 23rd to 20th.

Michigan (17-7), TCU, Syracuse (17-5), Maryland (14-7), and Rhode Island fill out the final five places.

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