Tennessee stays at No. 1 in AP ballot, forward of Duke

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WJ Wire

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The NCAA Division I Basketball Committee slated Duke because the No. 1 general seed in its preliminary event rankings over the weekend. Voters within the AP High 25 caught with Tennessee as their prime staff.

The Vols obtained 40 of 64 first-place votes from a media panel within the ballot launched Monday, remaining forward of Duke for fourth straight week. The No. 2 Blue Devils had 24 first-place votes.

No. Three Gonzaga and No. four Virginia, the opposite prime seeds within the NCAA’s preliminary rankings on Saturday, rounded out the highest 5 with Kentucky.

Tennessee (22-1, 10-Zero SEC) moved to the No. 1 spot within the AP ballot after Duke (21-2, 9-1 ACC) misplaced to Syracuse on Jan. 14.

The Vols continued successful, stretching their school-record streak to 18 video games with wins over Missouri and Florida final week.

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Committee chair Bernard Muir mentioned the choice for the highest general seed was shut, however Blue Devils edged the Vols primarily based on energy of schedule.

Tennessee was No. 1 within the South Area.

“I would like these guys to get pleasure from what they’re doing and I’m most likely not the simplest man to let that occur as a result of I’m all the time pondering of the way we are able to get higher, and I need to do it proper now,” Vols coach Rick Barnes mentioned. “I recognize how arduous they’re competed and the truth that they need to get higher.”

Duke gained each of its video games final week, rolling over Boston Faculty by 25 earlier than successful a rematch with Virginia 81-71 on Saturday. The Blue Devils wanted extra time to beat the Cavaliers the primary assembly and shot them out of the fitness center within the second, making 13 of 21 from the 3-point arc.

“We have been simply in our zone and it’s nice to see when our staff is like that,” mentioned Duke’s R.J. Barrett, who had 26 factors and was 6 for 10 on 3s.

Virginia dropped one spot from No. Three after shedding to the Blue Devils.

BIG 12 RACE

Kansas State moved again into the ballot this week at No. 18.

Maybe extra importantly, the Wildcats are answerable for the Huge 12 race after knocking off rival Kansas and Baylor final week.

The Wildcats (18-5) are 8-2 within the Huge 12, placing them 1 half of video games forward of the 14th-ranked Jayhawks, No. 15 Texas Tech and No. 23 Iowa State. Kansas State performs Texas and Iowa State this week.

Kansas might want to make a late-season run for the second straight yr if it will stretch its document run of convention titles to 15. The Jayhawks play TCU and West Virginia.

ZIGGING ZAGS

Gonzaga moved up a spot within the AP ballot this week, was chosen as the highest general seed within the West by the NCAA’s choice committee and crushed WCC rival Saint Mary’s 94-46 on Saturday.

It wasn’t all excellent news for the Zags final week.

Gonzaga ahead Killian Tillie didn’t play towards the Gaels and is out indefinitely after struggling a torn ligament in his proper foot towards San Francisco on Thursday. He missed the primary two months of the season attributable to a foot harm and has performed simply 9 video games.

MOVING UP

No. 17 Florida State had the largest leap on this week’s ballot, climbing 5 spots after beating Syracuse and Louisville, which remained at No. 16 regardless of the loss.

No. 9 Houston and No. 12 Purdue every moved up three spots.

MOVING DOWN

No. 22 Virginia Tech had a precipitous drop this week, falling 11 spots after losses to Louisville and Clemson.

DROPPING OUT

Per week after shifting into the ballot at No. 25, Cincinnati dropped out beating Memphis and shedding to Houston final week.

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Extra AP school basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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