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Auburn No. 1 in AP poll for first time

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

War Eagle is flying high over men's college basketball for the first time in history.

A barely ranked afterthought to begin the season, Auburn climbed past Gonzaga to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll released Monday. The Tigers beat Kentucky over the weekend for their 15th consecutive win, then scooped up 45 of 61 first-place votes to become the nation's top-ranked team for the first time since the poll began with the 1948-49 season.

The Bulldogs dropped to No. 2 with 15 first-place votes. Arizona remained third and earned the other No. 1 vote.


No. 5 Kansas outlasts Texas Tech in 2OT

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Ochai Agbaji scored a career-high 37 points to help No. 5 Kansas avenge its only conference loss of the season with a 94-91 double overtime win over No. 13 Texas Tech on Monday night.

Agbaji outdueled Bryson Williams, who poured in 33 points for Tech. Agbaji, the reigning co-Big 12 Player of the Week, had seven of Kansas' eight made 3-pointers. He had 24 points in the second half and two overtimes.


Vitale to take season off to rest voice

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) Dick Vitale announced Monday that he will not be appearing on ESPN for the remainder of the college basketball season due to ongoing treatment for precancerous dysplasia on his vocal cords.

Vitale first announced in late December that he needed to take a break to rest his ailing voice.


No. 15 USC starts slow, rips Arizona St.

LOS ANGELES (AP) Drew Peterson scored 16 points and No. 15 Southern California shook off a slow start to defeat Arizona State 78-56 Monday night.

About 10 minutes after the game ended, the Galen Center was evacuated after USC's Department of Public Safety received a bomb threat.


UVa bounces back again, downs Louisville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Kihei Clark scored 15 points as Virginia turned in a wire-to-wire win over Louisville, 64-52 Monday night, rebounding from a double-digit loss to North Carolina State.

Virginia continued a season-long trend. The Cavaliers have won back-to-back games once this season, knocking off Syracuse and Clemson, and have yet to lose back-to-back games.


Love, Bacot carry UNC past Virginia Tech

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Caleb Love scored 22 points, Armando Bacot had 14 points and 19 rebounds and all five starters scored in double figures as North Carolina defeated Virginia Tech 78-68 on Monday night.

The Tar Heels bounced back at home after two blowout losses on the road. They lost to Miami 85-57 and to Wake Forest 98-76 last week.


Ruffin, Murrell lead Ole Miss by Florida

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Daeshun Ruffin scored 21 points, Matthew Murrell added 20 points and Mississippi defeated Florida 70-54 on Monday night.

Mississippi turned back a late Florida run, scoring 15 points in the final four minutes. The Rebels had taken command of the game with a 19-9 run to build a 51-41 lead midway through the second half.


Wake rips BC for fourth straight ACC win

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Alondes Williams scored 20 points, Jake LaRavia had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Wake Forest beat Boston College 87-57 on Monday night.

Wake Forest (17-4, 7-3 ACC) has won four straight ACC regular-season games for the first time since the 2009-10 season.


Wheeler powers St. John's by Seton Hall

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) Aaron Wheeler tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds and St. John's spoiled Seton Hall's return to historic Walsh Gymnasium, defeating the Pirates 84-63 on Monday night.

The game was scheduled for Walsh Gym after being postponed last month. The rescheduled date meant the teams were playing each other in back-to-back games. Seton Hall defeated St. John's 66-60 two days prior at Madison Square Garden.


Zags ban Stockton tickets over mask rule

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Gonzaga has suspended John Stockton's basketball season tickets after the Hall of Fame point guard refused to comply with the university's mask mandate.

Stockton, one of Gonzaga's most prominent alums, confirmed the move in a Saturday interview with The Spokesman-Review.

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