Kentucky, Michigan State Stay 1-2 In AP Poll
JIM O’CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer
Breaking down The Associated Press college basketball poll after the first weekend of the regular season.
ONE-TWO MATCHUPS: When top-ranked Kentucky and Michigan State meet Tuesday night in Chicago it will be the 39th time the top two teams in The Associated Press poll have met and the first since No. 2 Tennessee beat Memphis 66-62 on Feb. 24, 2008.
This will be the earliest 1-2 matchup with the previous being No. 1 Indiana’s 84-64 victory over UCLA at St. Louis on Nov. 29, 1975.
No. 1 seeds hold a 21-17 advantage in the meetings of top teams with the No. 2 teams having won three of the last four.
The Southeastern Conference has been in eight of these games and Kentucky has been in all of them except for the most recent when Tennessee beat Memphis. The Wildcats have a 5-2 record in these games with the most recent being No. 2 Kentucky’s 81-74 victory over Massachusetts in the 1996 Final Four semifinals.
The Big Ten has been in nine of these games and it had both teams in the most recent, No. 2 Ohio State’s 49-48 win over Wisconsin on Feb. 25, 2007. In the eight other games Big Ten teams have a 3-5 mark. Ohio State has been in the most with a 1-2 record. Indiana has a 2-0 mark in 1-2 matchups.
IMPRESSIVE BILL: Tuesday night’s doubleheader has the 1-2 matchup of Kentucky and Michigan State and the meeting of Nos. 4 and 5 with Duke facing Kansas.
After considerable research it appears the only other time four teams ranked in the Top 5 were in the same building for a doubleheader was the national semifinals in 2008, the only Final Four that has had all four No. 1 seeds.
That day in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Kansas beat North Carolina 84-66 and Memphis defeated UCLA 78-63. Kansas won the title two days later in overtime.
JUST MISS: There may not have been any newcomers to the Top 25 but there was a change at No. 26.
Creighton, which beat Alcorn State 107-61 in its opener, vaulted Tennessee, which hasn’t played yet, for the first spot outside the rankings.
EARLY MARGINS: The first weekend of the regular season saw ranked teams go 26-0 — Kentucky and Notre Dame played two games while Memphis didn’t play — and their average margin of victory was 23.2 points.
Five teams won by single digits with Connecticut’s 78-77 win over Maryland the closest. The other single-digit wins were by Florida, Marquette, Oregon and UCLA.
The biggest blowout was Oklahoma State’s 117-62 victory over Oklahoma State.
GREAT START: The American Athletic Conference had three teams — Louisville, Memphis and Connecticut — in the preseason Top 25 and the new league got off to a perfect start. Over the first three days of the regular season teams from the American went 9-0. The only conferences to make it out of the first weekend undefeated were the Big Ten and West Coast.
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