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Monday, February 29, 2016

Back on top: Kansas hits home stretch as No. 1

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) floats in for a bucket past Texas Tech forward Zach Smith (11) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) floats in for a bucket past Texas Tech forward Zach Smith (11) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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A day away from March, with one week left in the regular season, Kansas University’s men’s basketball team took over the No. 1 spot in the latest Associated Press Top 25, released on Monday.

Kansas secured 63 of the 65 first-place votes, with the other two going to No. 2 Michigan State (24-5 overall, 11-5 Big 10).

The Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3 Big 12) have won nine straight games, in the process clinching at least a share of the program’s 12th consecutive conference championship. KU can win the league outright with a victory in one of its final two games — Monday night at Texas or Saturday versus Iowa State, at Allen Fieldhouse — or a West Virginia loss this week.

Previous No. 1 Villanova (25-4, 14-2 Big East) dropped to No. 3 after losing at Xavier this past week.

No. 4 Virginia (22-6, 11-5 ACC) and No. 5 Xavier (25-4, 13-4 Big East) join KU, Michigan State and Villanova in the top five this week.

Kansas held the No. 1 spot in the poll the first two weeks of January, before hitting a funk and losing three out of five games, with each setback coming on the road. The Jayhawks have spent all but one week this season in the top five, slipping to seven following their third conference loss, at Iowa State on Jan. 25.

This marks the 140th consecutive week in the AP Top 25 for KU, the nation’s longest active streak.

It is the 23rd time in Bill Self’s 13 seasons at Kansas that the Jayhawks have earned the country’s top ranking.

The Big 12 continued to garner the respect of the AP voters, with six teams in the top 25: No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 10 West Virginia, No. 19 Baylor, No. 21 Iowa State and No. 23 Texas.

AP TOP 25 (Feb. 29, 2016)

No. 1: Kansas

No. 2: Michigan State

No. 3: Villanova

No. 4: Virginia

No. 5: Xavier

No. 6: Oklahoma

No. 7: Miami (FL)

No. 8: North Carolina

No. 9: Oregon

No. 10: West Virginia

No. 11: Louisville

No. 12: Indiana

No. 13: Utah

No. 14: Maryland

No. 15: Purdue

No. 16: Iowa

No. 17: Duke

No. 18: Arizona

No. 19: Baylor

No. 20: Texas A&M;

No. 21: Iowa State

No. 22: Kentucky

No. 23: Texas

No. 24: SMU

No. 25: Cal

Comments

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 3 months ago

Let's all hope we can say the same at the end of the day. If we can, we have a better than decent chance of holding the top sport going into the NCAA Tournament. Even is we lose tonight, good chance we'll hold the Number 1 overall tournament seed.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 3 months ago

Not if we lose..and MSU wins out. Both teams want the Midwest. We may need to sweep this week and win at least one in the BIG 12 Tourney.

Pius Waldman 6 years, 3 months ago

Wow: I believe we have gained a fan from Vegas. This week-end he has already picked 14 winners and he only needs one more victory to win about 350,000 for a $5 bet. Guess he'll be a big Jayhawk fan.

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