The Huskies (27-2) had their three-week stint at No. 1 end with a loss to Pittsburgh that dropped them to second. But wins over Marquette and Notre Dame last week, along with the Panthers' loss to Providence, meant a runaway return to the top for Connecticut. The Huskies received 67 first-place votes from the 72-member national media panel.
North Carolina (25-3) moved from fourth to second and was No. 1 on three ballots. Pittsburgh (26-3), which lost 81-73 to Providence last week a day after returning to No. 1, fell to third and received one first-place vote.
Oklahoma, which lost to Kansas last week without preseason All-America Blake Griffin then beat Texas Tech with him back in the lineup, fell one place to fourth.
Memphis (26-3), which has the nation's longest winning streak at 20 games, received one first-place vote and remained fifth. Louisville and Duke stayed sixth and seventh while Michigan State advanced one spot to eighth.
Kansas, the defending national champion, used the win over Oklahoma and a 90-65 victory over Missouri to jump from 15th to ninth. Wake Forest moved from No. 13 to round out the top 10.
Villanova, which lost to Georgetown on Saturday, dropped one place to 11th and was followed by LSU, Marquette, Gonzaga, Missouri, Washington, Xavier, Clemson, Purdue and UCLA.
The last five ranked teams were Arizona State, Butler, Illinois, Florida State and Syracuse, this week's only newcomer.
The Orange (21-8) dropped out last week after losing seven of 10 games to end a 12-week stretch in the rankings in which they reached as high as No. 8. They enjoyed convincing wins over St. John's and Cincinnati.
Texas (19-9) returned last week after being out of the rankings for two weeks, but the Longhorns lost 68-59 to Oklahoma State on Saturday and fell out from 25th.
LSU's jump from 18th to No. 12 matched Kansas for the biggest move of the week.
Arizona State, which lost overtime road games to Washington and Washington State by a total of five points last week, had the biggest drop, falling from No. 14 to No. 21. Clemson, which lost to Florida State and Virginia Tech, fell six places to No. 18. Marquette, which lost to Connecticut and Louisville, went from No. 8 to No. 13.
The week before the major conference tournaments get under way will feature eight matchups of ranked teams, including Connecticut at Pittsburgh on Saturday and Duke at North Carolina on Sunday.
© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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