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UCONN Hoops Get Top Ranking


Connecticut grabbed the top spot in the latest ESPN/USA Today college basketball coaches' poll, which was released Sunday and features some dramatic changes.

With Duke and Stanford losing in preseason tournaments this week, the Huskies (4-0) moved up two spots with 21 first-place votes and 734 points from a nationwide panel of Division I coaches.

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Connecticut joined the Huskies women's team, which also is first in the current ESPN/USA Today poll, marking just the second time it has occurred. Connecticut also boasted the nation's top-ranked men's and women's teams the week of February 13th, 1995.

Maryland (7-0), which captured the championship at the Puerto Rico Shootout, moved into second place, just nine points behind the Huskies. The Terrapins received eight first-place votes and 725 points.

North Carolina (3-0), the champions of the Preseason NIT, got the other first-place vote and is a distant third with 669 points after jumping five spots. The Tar Heels captured the NIT with a 57-49 victory over Stanford (4-1), which tumbled from second to fifth.

Duke (5-1), which held the top ranking since the preseason, was stunned by Cincinnati late Saturday in the title game of the Great Alaska Shootout and slid to fourth. The Bearcats (4-0) climbed seven places to seventh.

Kansas (4-0) is sixth, with Kentucky (5-1), Michigan State (4-1) and Temple (4-1) rounding out the top 10.

Syracuse (5-0), which defeated Indiana to capture the Maui Invitational, climbed seven rungs to 11th. Purdue (6-1) is next, followed by Pac-10 Conference members Arizona (3-0) and Washington (3-0).

Oklahoma State (4-0), coming off a narrow victory over Texas Christian, is 15th, followed by Indiana (6-1), Arkansas (5-1), New Mexico (4-0), UCLA (2-2) and Utah (3-2). UCLA plummeted seven places after losses to Maryland and Kentucky in Puerto Rico.

Pittsburgh (6-1), Xavier (4-2), unbeaten Miami of Ohio (4-0), Clemson (5-1) and St. John's (3-2) complete the poll. Pittsburgh and Miami are newcomers as Tennessee and Massachusetts dropped out.

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