Oklahoma back on top of AP poll for first time in 26 years


By Jim O’Connell - AP College Basketball Writer



Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, right, shoots in front of West Virginia forward Devin Williams left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Oklahoma won 70-68. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Oklahoma guard Christian James, right, celebrates with teammate Buddy Hield (24) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


Duke head men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts to a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Notre Dame beat Duke 95-91. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)


Oklahoma is No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since the final two weeks of the 1989-90 season. The Sooners took the top spot in style, getting all 65 first-place votes from the national media panel. They are the first unanimous No. 1 since Kentucky did it for 12 polls last season.

This is the sixth time Oklahoma has been No. 1, moving the Sooners into a tie for 29th place on the all-time list with Memphis, Missouri and Seton Hall. No. 1 on the No. 1 list is UCLA, which was on top for 134 weeks.

The last time the Sooners were No. 1, the top players were Skeeter Henry, Smokey McCoverey and William Davis. Coached by Billy Tubbs, the Sooners lost to North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 27-5 record.

Oklahoma is the fifth team to hold the No. 1 spot this season joining North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan State and Kansas.

With two members of the Big 12 holding the No. 1 spot this season, it marks the first time two teams from the same conference were on top in the same season since Kentucky and Florida of the Southeastern Conference did it in 2013-14.

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STILL STREAKING

Duke dropped to No. 20 in this week’s poll and another loss could see the Blue Devils drop out of the Top 25.

They have the longest current streak of consecutive poll appearances at 166, a run that started with the preseason poll of 2007-08. Duke is 55 weeks shy of catching UCLA, which holds the record of 221 consecutive poll appearances from 1966-80.

The only other school with a current streak of more than 100 weeks is Kansas, which is at 134.

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NEW GUYS

No. 21 Southern California and No. 25 Indiana are this week’s newcomers to the Top 25.

Southern California (15-3) is ranked for the first time since a two-week run early in 2008-09. The Trojans, under first-year coach Andy Enfield, have won 10 of their last 11, the only loss coming at Washington. The most impressive of their wins was a 103-101 victory in four overtimes over Arizona. Their other losses were to Xavier and Monmouth.

Indiana (15-3) was No. 15 in the preseason Top 25 and then was ranked the first two weeks of the regular season before dropping out. The Hoosiers have won 10 straight after losing three of five. The losses were to Wake Forest and UNLV in the Maui Invitational and at Duke.

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SO LONG

Pittsburgh fell out of the poll from No. 20 after a 59-41 loss at then-No. 21 Louisville and a win over Boston College. The Panthers (15-2) had been ranked for the past two weeks.

Gonzaga lost 69-68 to BYU and beat San Diego last week, dropping out from No. 25. The Zags (14-4) were No. 9 in the preseason Top 25 and stayed in the poll for the next four weeks. They were out for four weeks before returning last week.

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BEATING No. 1

West Virginia’s 74-63 victory over Kansas last week was the Mountaineers’ fourth win over a No. 1 team, a distinction shared with 11 other schools. Of the 12 schools with four wins, all have had at least one since 2000 except Missouri, which last beat a No. 1 team in 1997.

North Carolina leads the list with 13 wins over No. 1 teams, the last in 2014.

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BEATING THE RANKED

Iowa’s sweep of Michigan State gave the Hawkeyes four wins over ranked teams this season. In addition to the two wins over the Spartans, who were ranked first and fourth at the time of the losses, Iowa also beat then-No. 20 Wichita State and then-No. 14 Purdue.

Six schools have three wins over ranked teams. Half of them — Alabama, Clemson and UCLA — are not ranked themselves.

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MOVING AROUND

Baylor’s jump from No. 22 to 14th after beating TCU and Texas Tech was the biggest jump of the week in the poll. Iowa’s move from 16th to No. 9 was second.

On the other side, Duke dropped 11 places to No. 20 after losses to Clemson and Notre Dame. Kentucky, which beat Mississippi State and lost to Auburn, fell nine places to 23rd.

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CONFERENCE CALL

Indiana’s return to the poll moved the Big Ten into a tie with the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference with five ranked teams each. The ACC had been in the lead but Pittsburgh dropped out.

The Big East is next with four while the Southeastern Conference has three, the Pac-12 two and the American Athletic Conference one.

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DOUBLE-RANKED

The new No. 1 team will be part of two double-ranked games this week. Oklahoma is at No. 19 Iowa State on Monday and the Sooners travel to No. 14 Baylor on Saturday.

No. 16 Providence gets the double-ranked double dip as well. The Friars host No. 18 Butler on Tuesday and visit No. 4 Villanova on Saturday.

The other games involving two ranked teams are No. 7 Maryland at No. 11 Michigan State on Saturday, and No. 22 Purdue at No. 9 Iowa on Sunday.

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, right, shoots in front of West Virginia forward Devin Williams left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Oklahoma won 70-68. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_108180856-21106d360287441099b29bf014e5715d.jpgOklahoma guard Buddy Hield, right, shoots in front of West Virginia forward Devin Williams left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Oklahoma won 70-68. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma guard Christian James, right, celebrates with teammate Buddy Hield (24) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_108180856-0d3e12c6ebab4f80b0aae53cd444f87c.jpgOklahoma guard Christian James, right, celebrates with teammate Buddy Hield (24) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Duke head men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts to a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Notre Dame beat Duke 95-91. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_108180856-c000032cc3944ad1b599d87669a15877.jpgDuke head men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts to a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Notre Dame beat Duke 95-91. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

By Jim O’Connell

AP College Basketball Writer

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