NCAA Basketball Rankings: Syracuse Remains Atop Both Polls

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 11: Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange drives against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on January 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

North Carolina takes the biggest hit, falling from No. 3 to No. 8 in both college basketball polls after losing badly to Florida State.

A pair of double-digit wins over Big East opponents last week kept the Syracuse Orange atop both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and AP men's college basketball polls. Syracuse had little trouble beating Villanova and Providence -- both of whom are now 1-5 in the Big East -- as they led both games by at least 17 at halftime.

Now 19-0, the Orange have tied the school record for most wins to start a season. They can break that record on Monday when they play a Pittsburgh team that is off to a 0-5 Big East start. The Orange will get a much bigger test on Saturday when they play No. 25 Marquette.

Kentucky remained the No. 2 ranked team in both polls after road wins over Auburn and Tennessee. The win over the Volunteers on Saturday was a little closer than they'd have liked, needing to overcome a six-point halftime deficit and holding off a late charge in order to improve to 17-1.

The most notable fall of the week was previous No. 3 North Carolina, which dropped to No. 8 in both polls. The Tar Heels were destroyed by unranked Florida State on Saturday, falling 90-57. The Seminoles outscored UNC by 35 in the second half alone.

There were two new teams to both Top 25's this week. Illinois entered the AP poll at No. 22 and the Coaches poll at 25 after beating then No. 5 ranked Ohio State on Tuesday. St. Mary's entered the Coaches poll at No. 23 and the AP poll at No. 24 after then No. 23-ranked Gonzaga on Thursday.

AP Poll
1 Syracuse (60) 19-0 1,619
2 Kentucky (4) 17-1 1,558
3 Baylor (1) 17-0 1,503
4 Duke 15-2 1,380
5 Missouri 16-1 1,335
6 Ohio State 16-3 1,312
7 Kansas 14-3 1,218
8 North Carolina 15-3 1,172
9 Michigan State 15-3 1,119
10 Georgetown 14-3 884
11 Indiana 15-3 858
12 Murray State 18-0 825
13 Connecticut 14-3 807
14 UNLV 16-3 651
15 Virginia 14-2 649
16 San Diego State 15-2 621
17 Florida 14-4 596
18 Mississippi State 15-3 590
19 Creighton 16-2 471
20 Michigan 14-4 461
21 Marquette 14-4 278
22 Illinois 15-3 257
23 Louisville 14-4 208
24 Saint Mary's 17-2 167
25 Kansas State 12-4 102

Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt 101, Wisconsin 90, Seton Hall 79, Gonzaga 64, New Mexico 61, Harvard 22, Cincinnati 17, Stanford 16, West Virginia 16, Alabama 10, Wichita State 3, Iona 2, Florida State 1, Northwestern 1, Wagner 1. Dropped from rankings: Gonzaga 21, Seton Hall 24

USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll
1 Syracuse (31) 19-0 775
2 Kentucky 17-1 742
3 Baylor 17-0 714
4 Duke 15-2 654
5 Missouri 16-1 629
6 Ohio State 16-3 619
7 Kansas 14-3 591
8 North Carolina 15-3 569
9 Michigan State 15-3 509
10 Murray State 18-0 449
11 Connecticut 14-3 416
12 Georgetown 14-3 410
13 Indiana 15-3 358
14 Florida 14-4 304
15 Mississippi State 15-3 288
16 San Diego State 15-2 282
17 Virginia 14-2 269
18 Creighton 16-2 260
19 Michigan 14-4 259
20 UNLV 16-3 252
21 Louisville 14-4 130
22 Marquette 14-4 119
23 Saint Mary's 17-2 100
24 Harvard 15-2 61
25 Illinois 15-3 58

Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt 47, Kansas State 46, New Mexico 41, Wisconsin 27, Middle Tennessee 21, Gonzaga 21, Seton Hall 16, West Virginia 13, Wichita State 13, Alabama 7, Nevada 3, California 2, Brigham Young 1. Dropped from rankings: Kansas State 18, Gonzaga 23.

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