Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 | 1:16 p.m.
UNLV climbed three spots to No. 21 in the Associated Press’s college basketball poll on Monday after wins against the UC Irvine and Hawaii. The Rebels were ranked No. 24 last week.
Indiana, Duke and Michigan remained the top three teams in the poll. Look all the way to the bottom and you won’t see Kentucky’s name for the first time since John Calipari became coach of the Wildcats.
Indiana, which has been No. 1 since the preseason poll, saw its lead over Duke shrink a little bit. The Hoosiers (8-0) received 45 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel, two fewer than last week.
Duke (8-0) for the second straight week had the other first-place votes. The Blue Devils beat Ohio State last week giving them wins over teams ranked second, third and fourth in a span of 15 days. The other such run was Arizona beating teams ranked first, fourth and fifth from the regional semifinals to the NCAA championship game in 1997, a span of 11 days.
Kentucky (4-3) lost to Notre Dame and Baylor last week, the latter a loss that snapped the Wildcats’ 55-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation. Kentucky had been ranked in the last 61 polls, 11 of those weeks at No. 1. The run started with the preseason poll of 2009-10, the start of the Calipari Era when the Wildcats started young lineups which were usually gutted the next season by the NBA draft. The Wildcats won Kentucky’s eighth national championship in April then had six players taken in the draft including Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the first two picks.
Duke has the longest current run in the poll — 101 weeks which started with the preseason poll of 2007-08. Kansas has the second-longest run at 69 weeks.
Syracuse was fourth followed by Louisville, Florida, Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga.
Colorado (6-1) was the other team to drop out of the rankings, falling from 19th after losing to Wyoming.
Notre Dame (7-1) moved back in to the poll at No. 22 after a two-week absence. Wichita State (8-0), which beat Tulsa and Air Force last week, moved in at No. 24. The Shockers were ranked for the last five weeks of last season.
Cincinnati was ranked 11th followed by Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Georgetown, Creighton, San Diego State, New Mexico, Michigan State and North Carolina.
The last five teams were UNLV, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Wichita State and North Carolina State.