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      Syracuse drops to 19th in final regular season college hoops poll

      After a late-season slide that saw the Syracuse Orange lose four of their last five games, the team has experienced a similar slide down the Associated Press college basketball rankings.



      The Orange are ranked 19th in this week's poll, two days after they ended the regular season with a 61-39 loss to Georgetown. SU has tumbled from a high of 3rd earlier in the year, and finished the regular season tied for 5th place in their final Big East campaign.



      In related news, the Gonzaga Bulldogs beat Loyola Marymount 66-48 in its first - and so far only - game as the nation's top-ranked team. They will look to win the West Coast Conference title Monday night.



      Gonzaga received 54 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Duke, which received the other 11 first-place votes, moved up one spot to second after beating Virginia Tech and North Carolina last week. Indiana dropped one place to third after losing to Ohio State then rallying for the dramatic win at Michigan that gave the Hoosiers the outright Big Ten title.



      Louisville jumped from eighth to No. 4 and was followed by Georgetown, Michigan, Kansas, Michigan State, Miami and Ohio State.



      The week's lone newcomer is Missouri Valley Conference champion Creighton, which returns after being out of the poll the last four weeks. The Bluejays replace Oregon, which dropped out from 19th after losing two games last week.


      The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 10, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:


      1. Gonzaga (54) 30-2 1,611 1

      2. Duke (11) 27-4 1,559 3

      3. Indiana 26-5 1,491 2

      4. Louisville 26-5 1,421 8

      5. Georgetown 24-5 1,344 5

      6. Michigan 25-6 1,230 7

      7. Kansas 26-5 1,224 4

      8. Michigan St. 24-7 1,184 10

      9. Miami 24-6 1,082 6

      10. Ohio St. 23-7 1,073 14

      11. Kansas St. 25-6 932 9

      12. Marquette 23-7 921 15

      13. Florida 24-6 838 11

      14. Oklahoma St. 23-7 805 13

      15. New Mexico 26-5 771 12

      16. Saint Louis 24-6 557 16

      17. Pittsburgh 24-7 551 20

      18. Arizona 24-6 523 18
      19. Syracuse 23-8 362 17

      20. Memphis 27-4 316 25

      21. UCLA 23-8 245 23

      22. Wisconsin 21-10 191 22

      23. Creighton 27-7 190 -

      24. Notre Dame 23-8 171 24

      25. VCU 24-7 157 21


      Others receiving votes: Saint Mary's (Cal) 117, Butler 105, North Carolina 49, Colorado St. 48, Temple 20, Belmont 13, UNLV 7, Wichita St. 6, Kentucky 5, Oregon 4, Valparaiso 1, Villanova 1.


      (Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

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