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Florida tops final poll of the season

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AP Photo/Curtis Compton

Breaking down this week’s Associated Press college basketball poll:

FINAL NO. 1: Florida was No. 1 in the final AP college basketball poll of the season – surely no guarantee of being on top when the NCAA tournament is over. Since the poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989-90, only four teams ranked No. 1 in the final poll went on to win the national championship: Duke in 1992, UCLA in 1995, Duke in 2001 and Kentucky in 2012.

The Gators, who were ranked No. 1 for the last four polls of the season, were one of five teams to hold the top spot this season.

Kentucky was No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first week of the regular season. Michigan State held it for the next three weeks followed by Arizona for eight weeks, Syracuse for three and Florida.

The record for teams ranked No. 1 in a season was seven in 1982-83.

ALL THE WAY: Eight teams were ranked in every poll this season with Arizona the only one who stayed in the top 10 the whole way. The Wildcats, who were No. 1 for eight weeks, were never ranked lower than sixth.

The others ranked the whole season were: Michigan State, Louisville, Duke, Kansas, Syracuse, Florida and Wichita State.

Memphis just missed joining the group. The Tigers fell out for the final poll.

ONE WEEK WONDERS: Two teams – Dayton and Illinois – were ranked for just one week this season.

TOTAL COUNT: Forty-two teams were ranked at some point this season, well off the record 53 that were in the Top 25 in 2009-10.

CONFERENCE COUNT: The Big 12 led the way this season with seven teams ranked at some point. That was one better than the Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference. The new American Athletic Conference had five teams ranked followed by the Pac-12 and Atlantic 10 with four each, the Southeastern Conference and Big East with three each, the Mountain West with two and West Coast Conference and Missouri Valley with one each.

Eleven of the 32 conferences had a team ranked during the season.

The record for teams ranked from one conference in a season is the Big East’s 10 in 2010-11.

The Big 12’s seven teams – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas – were even more impressive considering that the conference has 10 members. This is the fifth time a conference has had at least 70 percent of its membership ranked. The others were Big East, 1991, 78 percent; Big 8, 1992, 75 percent, Big East, 1993, 75 percent, and Big Ten, 1990, 70 percent.

BEATING RANKED TEAMS: Going into the NCAA tournament Iowa State has beaten eight ranked teams, the most this season.

Fellow Big 12 members Kansas and Kansas State have seven wins over ranked teams.

Connecticut, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all have six wins over ranked teams.

COMING IN: Pac-12 champion UCLA and Big 12 runner-up Baylor moved into the final poll.

The Bruins were ranked in the preseason poll (No. 22) and for the first four weeks of the regular season. They were ranked for just two of the last 12 polls before returning this week at No. 20 after beating Arizona for the Pac-12 title in their first season under coach Steve Alford.

The Bears returned to the rankings at No. 23 after being out of the poll the last seven weeks. Baylor, which was No. 25 in the preseason poll, was ranked as high as No. 7 before falling out of the poll. The Bears return after having won nine of their last 11 games.

SEE YA: Memphis dropped from the rankings this week for the first time this season. The Tigers, who were ranked 19th, lost to Connecticut in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament. Memphis was No. 13 in the preseason poll and reached as high as 11th.

SMU fell out from 25th after losing to Houston in the AAC quarterfinals. The Mustangs returned to the poll this season for the first time since 1985 and were ranked for four of the last five weeks.

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