Breaking down this week’s Associated Press college basketball poll:
UNANIMOUS ONE: Syracuse is the first unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll since Duke had a six-week run with all the first-place votes in 2010-11.
The Orange are on top of the poll for the first time since they were No. 1 for six weeks in 2011-12.
This is the 15th week all-time Syracuse has been No. 1 and that ties the Orange for 17th place with DePaul and Massachusetts. UCLA is the record holder with 134 weeks at No. 1.
Syracuse is the fourth team to hold the No. 1 ranking this season. Kentucky was on top for the preseason poll and one in the regular season while Michigan State was No. 1 for three weeks and Arizona for the last eight.
WELCOME BACK: Virginia, Connecticut and Gonzaga returned to the rankings this week at 21st through 23rd. All three were ranked in the preseason Top 25.
Virginia, 24th in the preseason poll, stayed in the Top 25 for the first two weeks of the regular season and dropped out until this week. The Cavaliers have won five straight, including Sunday’s buzzer-beating win at Pittsburgh, and are alone in second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference behind Syracuse.
Connecticut was No. 18 in the preseason poll and stayed in the rankings for the next nine weeks reaching as high as No. 9. The Huskies have won six of seven since losing consecutive road games to Houston and SMU.
Gonzaga, 15th in the preseason Top 25, stayed in the poll for 10 weeks with the Bulldogs reaching as high as No. 11. They have won five straight and already have a three-game lead in the West Coast Conference.
SEE YA: Two of the three teams that fell out of the poll this week had been ranked every week of the season and both reached as high as No. 3.
Ohio State, which was 11th in the preseason poll and had a five-week run at No. 3, dropped out of the poll having lost five of seven after starting the season 15-0. The Buckeyes had been ranked in the last 80 polls, the third-longest current streak behind Duke (130) and Kansas (98). Ohio State’s run started in January 2010.
Wisconsin was 20th in the preseason poll and the Badgers spent five weeks at No. 4 and one at No. 3, compiling a 16-0 record before their current run of having lost five of six. Wisconsin had been in the last 19 polls.
Massachusetts, which had reached as high as 13th, dropped out having lost three of four.
CONFERENCE COUNT: The Big 12 stayed on top of the conference race with five ranked teams, but there was change after that.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and American Athletic Conference both gained one team this week and they are tied with four teams each in the poll. The Big Ten lost Wisconsin and Ohio State and fell to fourth with three ranked teams.
LONGHORN LEAP: Texas made the biggest jump inside the Top 25 this week moving from 25th to No. 15.
The Longhorns (17-4) are on a six-game winning streak and the last four games have been over teams that were ranked at the time: No. 8 Iowa State, No. 22 Kansas State, No. 24 Baylor, No. 6 Kansas. Add in their early season win over then-No. 14 North Carolina and the Longhorns have five wins over ranked teams.
Kansas leads this season with six wins over Top 25 teams. Iowa State is tied with Texas with five ranked wins.
All three leaders in ranked wins are from the Big 12.
DOUBLE-RANKED GAMES: There are four games between ranked teams this week and two newcomers are involved.
On Monday, No. 16 Iowa State is at No. 19 Oklahoma State. On Thursday, No. 22 Connecticut, which returned to the poll this week, visits No. 7 Cincinnati.
On Saturday, No. 23 Gonzaga, which moved back into the Top 25, is at No. 24 Memphis while No. 10 Michigan visits No. 17 Iowa.
Breaking down this week’s Associated Press college basketball poll:
Pirates’ slide continues in 2-1 loss to Cincinnati
The Pittsburgh Pirates are five games under .500 less than a month into the season but they insist there is no reason to panic.
Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two Cincinnati batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the Pirates 2-1 on Thursday.
Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS
Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.
Falcons set for spring game
Football is back … well, kind of.
Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.
HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age
The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
“There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”
Hillberry commits to Wesleyan
Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.
O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall
Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.
North, East softball earn blowout wins
The North Marion softball team was at it again Wednesday night.
Mattie Polling tripled and singled, starting pitcher Chelsi Latocha doubled and gave up just one hit as the Huskies rolled to another 3-inning mercy-rule victory over Lewis County, 18-1.
Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2
Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.
Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus
Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS
They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.
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