Duke remains on top in AP Top 25 rankings
Duke held onto its comfortable lead in the AP college basketball poll while Cincinnati and California are newcomers in the first regular-season poll. The Blue Devils received 58 first-place votes.
Duke (2-0) received 58 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel Monday, keeping its large lead over Kentucky, which was No. 1 on one ballot.
Defending champion Villanova received five firstplace votes and moved up one place to third, replacing Kansas, one of three ranked teams that lost last week. Oregon and North Carolina both moved up one spot to fourth and fifth, while Indiana, which beat Kansas 103-99 in overtime, jumped from 11th to sixth. The Hoosiers were No. 1 on one ballot.
Kansas was seventh followed by Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona, which beat then-No. 12 Michigan State.
Xavier, which was ranked seventh, fell to 11th following an 84-81 victory over Lehigh. Michigan State fell to No. 13.
The only ranked team to lose to an unranked team was Connecticut, which dropped out of the poll from 18th following its loss to Wagner . Maryland, which beat American 6256 , dropped out from 25th. No. 24 Cincinnati and No. 25 California were both ranked for six weeks last season.
There will be more ranked losses on Tuesday when Duke meets Kansas and Kentucky faces Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden. NO. 2 KENTUCKEY 93,
CANISIUS 69 >> Isaiah Briscoe expected all those NBA workouts focused on improving his game to pay off with efforts like this.
Judging from how newcomer De’Aaron Fox followed his lead, Briscoe picked up some leadership pointers as well.
Briscoe and Fox both scored a career-high 21 points, Malik Monk added 16 and No. 2 Kentucky pulled away from Canisius early in the second half for a 93-69 victory Sunday night.
Briscoe topped his previous high of 20 last December at UCLA behind 9-of-13 shooting that helped Kentucky (2-0) rally from a seven-point first half deficit to build a 44-35 halftime advantage.
“I was just doing whatever I needed to do to keep my team in the game,” said Briscoe, who attended those camps before returning for his sophomore season. “We came out sluggish, we weren’t hitting shots, so I had to keep us in the game.”
Freshmen and fellow guards Fox and Monk combined to shoot 11 of 24 en route to career scoring bests in their short careers, while 6-foot-10 newcomer Bam Adebayo had 14 points and 11 rebounds a game after a foul-plagued debut on Friday.
Those contributions came only after the Wildcats endured some early struggles. A 9-2 deficit forced Kentucky coach John Calipari to call timeout and calm his team down.
“When you’re playing so many young guys, sometimes you just have to settle them down,” he said.
Briscoe spoke up as well, and the Wildcats responded with steady play that spoke volumes.
“We’ve had to face that adversity since we’ve been here,” Fox said, “but he’s done that in a few games last year. We all just listened to what he was saying.”
Kentucky shot 51 percent from the field.
Kassius Robertson had 16 points, Jermaine Crumpton 13 and Phil Valenti 12 for Canisius (0-1) in the coaching debut of Reggie Witherspoon. The Golden Griffins initially pushed the pace and had Kentucky reacting but had no long-term answer for the Wildcats’ pace and backcourt.
The big picture
Canisius: Solid shooting initially helped the Golden Griffins, who made 46 percent in the first half and played Kentucky nearly even on the boards (3936). But they committed 18 turnovers leading to 29 Kentucky points and cooled off to 37 percent shooting after the break and finished 42 percent overall.
Duke guard Grayson Allen shoots against Marist guard Khallid Hart (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Friday.