Syracuse holds onto top ranking

For the first time in several weeks, the No. 1 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll did not change hands -- undefeated Syracuse remained at the top and the first eight teams held their spots.

The rankings, released Monday, reflected a rather quiet week on the college basketball scene concerning highly ranked teams. The only top 10 tinkering affected Big East teams Connecticut (9-1), which moved from 10th to ninth, and Marquette (10-0), which jumped from 11th to 10th.

Syracuse (11-0) received 30 of 31 first-place votes, the other going to No. 2 Ohio State (10-1). Kentucky (9-1) is third, Louisville (10-0) fourth (giving the top 10 four Big East clubs), Duke (9-1) fifth, North Carolina (9-2) sixth, Baylor (9-0) seventh and Missouri (11-0) eighth.

In The Associated Press media poll, its 64 first-place votes were spread out among the Orange (53), No. 2 Ohio State (five), No. 3 Kentucky (four) and No. 4 Louisville (two).

Before Syracuse was voted No. 1 in the coaches' poll two weeks ago, Kentucky held the top spot for two weeks after taking it from North Carolina.

Kansas (7-2) led off the second 10 in the coaches' poll and was followed by Florida (8-2), Pittsburgh (10-1), Wisconsin (10-2), Xavier (8-1), Georgetown (9-1), Mississippi State (11-1), and the Big Ten collection of Indiana (10-0), Michigan (9-2) and Michigan State (9-2).

Xavier slid six spots out of the top 10, a result of its 64-42 loss to Oral Roberts on Saturday. The Musketeers didn't have point guard Tu Holloway, shooting guard Mark Lyons or freshman forward Dez Wells, who account for 40 percent of their points; the trio was suspended for a brawl eight days earlier against crosstown rival Cincinnati.

Creighton (8-1) moved up three spots to No. 21 and was followed by Murray State (12-0) and UNLV (11-2) -- both newcomers this week in the rankings. Illinois (10-1) fell five spots to 24th, and Harvard (9-1) re-entered the poll at No. 25.