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Utes move up to No. 3 in AP basketball poll

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Duke and North Carolina stayed Nos. 1 and 2 today in the AP college basketball poll, while Utah and Stanford - the only unbeaten teams in the country - moved up one spot each to third and fourth.

The Blue Devils (18-1) were on top of the poll for the second straight week and fourth this season after receiving 47 first-place votes and 1,724 points from the national media panel.The Tar Heels (20-1) were No. 1 on 18 ballots and had 1,686 points, 159 more than Utah (17-0), which had two first-place votes. Stanford (18-0) also got two first-place votes and had 1,511 points as the Cardinal moved to their highest ranking ever for the second straight week.

Kansas (22-3), which lost at Missouri last week, dropped from third to fifth. That is the lowest ranking for the Jayhawks, who got one first-place vote, since the next-to-last poll of the 1995-96 season.

Arizona and Kentucky held sixth and seventh, while UCLA and Connecticut swapped eighth and ninth. Purdue rounded out the Top Ten.

Princeton was 11th for the second straight week and was followed by Mississippi, South Carolina, New Mexico, Arkansas, Iowa, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Michigan and Syracuse.

The last five teams were Rhode Island, Michigan State, Maryland, Xavier and Indiana.

Michigan State, Maryland and Indiana were the newcomers to the rankings this week, replacing Florida State, Hawaii and Clemson.

Michigan State (13-4), which beat Iowa and Penn State last week, was last ranked in the 1994-95 season. The Spartans were in the poll the entire season, reaching as high as No. 7.

Maryland (12-6), which beat Clemson on Saturday, returned to the rankings after being out for three weeks.

Indiana (14-5) was 17th in the preseason poll and stayed ranked for the first two of the regular season before dropping out. The Hoosiers have won five straight games, a streak that includes wins over Michigan and Purdue.

The addition of Michigan State and Indiana gave the Big Ten five teams in the Top 25, the most of any conference. Also ranked from the Big Ten were Purdue, Iowa and Michigan.