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Oklahoma State and Xavier move into Top 25, Tech hangs in there

UCLA and Pittsburgh held onto Nos. 1 and 2 in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll released Monday. The following three spots, however, were reshuffled by upsets.
    Ohio State, Florida and Kansas tumbled from their respective 3-4-5 slots following losses last week, while Oklahoma State and Xavier made their season debuts in the Top 25. North Carolina took over No. 3, Alabama moved into fourth and the Buckeyes slid to fifth.
    Nine ranked teams lost a total of 10 games this week. In the previous week, 10 members of the Top 25 lost at least one game.
    The Bruins (6-0) stayed on top for a second straight week, receiving 55 first-place votes and 1,781 points from the 72-member national media panel. UCLA celebrated its first No. 1 ranking since 1995 with victories over Long Beach State and UC Riverside.
    Pittsburgh (8-0), which beat Robert Morris and won at Auburn, was No. 1 on 15 ballots and had 1,713 points.
    North Carolina (6-1) jumped from seventh to third after beating then-No. 3 Ohio State 98-89 on Wednesday. The Tar Heels received the other two first-place votes.
    Alabama jumped from sixth to fourth, while Ohio State, which welcomed back heralded freshmen center Greg Oden on Saturday after recovering from wrist surgery, dropped two places.
    Texas A&M moved up three places to sixth.
    Florida, which lost 70-66 to Florida State on Sunday, dropped from fourth into a tie for seventh with Duke.
    LSU and Wichita State, which won 64-61 at Syracuse on Saturday, rounded out the Top Ten. It is the first time in the Top Ten for Wichita State since Jan. 5, 1982, when the Shockers were No. 9.
    Kansas, which knocked Florida out of the No. 1 spot two weeks ago, fell from fifth to 12th following a 64-57 loss at DePaul.
    Oklahoma State (9-0) moved in at No. 22, its first ranking since the final poll of 2004-05. The Cowboys’ biggest wins were on the road against Auburn and Missouri State.
    Xavier (6-1) came in at No. 24, the first time the Musketeers appeared in the poll since the close of the 2002-03 season. Their lone loss was to Alabama in the championship game of Paradise Jam and that followed their biggest win, over Villanova in the semifinals.
    The Musketeers had the top seven players back from a team that won the Atlantic 10 championship in going 21-11 last season, losing to Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
    ‘‘Our team has two qualities early on that I like,’’ third-year coach Sean Miller said Monday. ‘‘No. 1 is experience with the upperclassmen who have been through an awful lot and they are complemented by some younger players who are doing well early and are making a difference off the bench so we are able to play 10 guys and that has helped us.’’
    After a home game with Detroit on Tuesday, Xavier has road games against Creighton, on Saturday, and crosstown rival Cincinnati on Dec. 16. The Musketeers will also play Arizona State, Bucknell and Illinois in December.
    ‘‘Our nonconference schedule was put together because we knew we had an experienced team,’’ said Miller, who is entering his third season at Xavier. ‘‘There are some tough opponents for us as we are headed down the stretch into conference play and it starts with Detroit and at Creighton, which is an adventure nobody wants.’’
    Wisconsin moved up one spot to 11th and was followed by Kansas, Washington, Arizona, Butler, Memphis, Marquette, Gonzaga, Connecticut and Nevada.
    Syracuse, Oklahoma State, Maryland, Xavier and Georgia Tech were the last five ranked teams.
    Georgetown (4-3) dropped out from 18th following losses to Oregon and Duke last week. The Hoyas, who also lost to Old Dominion, were ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll.
    Virginia (5-1) lost to Purdue last week before beating North Carolina State in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener, but the Cavaliers fell out of the rankings after one week as No. 25.

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