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      Syracuse vaults to 2nd in this week's AP basketball poll


      After easily defeating Binghamton on Saturday and watching Kentucky and Michigan State fall in front of them, the Syracuse Orange have ascended to the #2 spot in this week's AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll.


      The Orange shellacked their upstate New York rivals 93-65 to improve to 9-0 on the season. They received two first place votes and trail only #1 Arizona in the weekly rankings. They are ranked third in the USA Today coaches poll, which was also released on Monday.


      This is Arizona's first top ranking since 2003 The Wildcats were a runaway choice at #1, receiving 63 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. The Wildcats were sixth in the preseason Top 25, and their climb has been highlighted by wins over San Diego State and Duke.


      Syracuse and Ohio State moved up two places to second and third, while Wisconsin jumped four spots to fourth. Michigan State, which had been No. 1 for three weeks, dropped to fifth after losing 79-65 at home to North Carolina.


      Louisville was No. 6, followed by Oklahoma State, Duke, Connecticut and Villanova.


      North Carolina moved back into the poll at No. 18 after a one-week absence. Colorado and Missouri are in the Top 25 for the first time this season. UCLA, Michigan and Dayton fell out of the rankings.


      The Orange have the week off for final exams. They return to the court on Sunday when they travel to New York City to take on former Big East rival St. John's. That game is scheduled to tip off at noon at Madison Square Garden and will be shown on Fox Sports 1.


      The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 8, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:


      Record - Points - Previous Rank


      1. Arizona (63) 9-0 1,623 2
      2. Syracuse (2) 9-0 1,522 4

      3. Ohio St. 8-0 1,453 5

      4. Wisconsin 10-0 1,318 8

      5. Michigan St. 7-1 1,311 1

      6. Louisville 8-1 1,262 7

      7. Oklahoma St. 8-1 1,160 9

      8. Duke 7-2 1,040 10

      9. UConn 9-0 981 12

      10. Villanova 9-0 938 14

      11. Kentucky 7-2 926 3

      12. Wichita St. 9-0 884 11

      13. Kansas 6-2 862 6

      14. Baylor 8-1 843 20

      15. Oregon 8-0 831 13

      16. Memphis 6-1 768 16

      17. Iowa St. 7-0 606 17

      18. North Carolina 6-2 450 -

      19. Florida 6-2 434 15

      20. Gonzaga 8-1 365 19

      21. Colorado 9-1 330 -

      22. UMass 8-0 326 21

      23. Iowa 9-1 207 23

      24. Missouri 9-0 203 -

      25. San Diego St. 7-1 159 24


      Others receiving votes: UCLA 104, New Mexico 62, Pittsburgh 47, Boise St. 34, Michigan 26, VCU 17, Dayton 11, Cincinnati 5, Harvard 5, Indiana 3, Saint Mary's (Cal) 3, Creighton 2, George Washington 2, Oklahoma 1, Toledo 1.


      Ballots Online: http://collegebasketball.ap.org




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


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