RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Virginia strengthened its hold on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 while Duke jumped back into the top five after a pair of impressive wins.
The Cavaliers earned 42 of 65 first-place votes in the poll released Monday. That’s 12 more than last week, when they reached No. 1 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era.
The top four remained unchanged, with No. 2 Michigan State earning 19 first-place votes after rallying from 27 down to beat Northwestern. Third-ranked Villanova got the other four first-place votes after winning at No. 4 Xavier.
Duke’s Gary Trent Jr. shoots a three-point basket while defended by Clemson’s Scott Spencer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Fifth-ranked Duke jumped seven spots after beating Virginia Tech and Clemson despite playing without injured top freshman Marvin Bagley III.
Middle Tennessee checked in at 24th, marking its first AP Top 25 appearance in program history.
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Michigan State Michigan State guard Cassius Winston, left, celebrates with guard/forward Miles Bridges after scoring a basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in Rosemont, Ill. Michigan State won 65-60. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Villanova forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, center, dunks against Xavier’s J.P. Macura (55) and Sean O’Mara (54) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday Feb. 17, 2018, in Cincinnati. Villanova won 95-79. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
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