Men’s basketball ascends to No. 1 in AP Top 25

Cavaliers achieve feat for first time since 1982

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Virginia men's basketball fans now get a chance to relish the No. 1 spot for the first time in more than 35 years.

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

After much uncertainty following the crazy past week in college basketball, the previous No. 2 Virginia men’s basketball team earned the top spot in the AP Top 25 poll.

Following a stunning loss by last week’s No. 1 Villanova at the hands of St. John’s, the Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 ACC) were primed to take the top spot if they could dispatch Virginia Tech Saturday. In an equally shocking result, the Hokies took down Virginia 61-60 in overtime, casting doubt over Virginia’s shot at a top ranking. However, after the NCAA Tournament selection committee ranked Virginia as the projected No. 1 seed on Sunday afternoon, 30 AP voters gave the team a top vote — enough to put the Cavaliers at No. 1 in their poll.

This week’s poll is not without contention, with No. 2 Michigan State closely trailing with 21 first-place votes following a home upset of No. 3 Purdue Saturday. Villanova retained nine No. 1 votes despite sliding to No. 3 in the poll, while No. 4 Xavier snagged five votes for the top spot.

After stomaching a heartbreaking loss against the archrival Hokies, Virginia fans get a chance to relish the top spot for the first time in more than 35 years — when a team led by Ralph Sampson, a then-senior center and eventual Hall of Famer, seized the top spot on Dec. 21, 1982. Two days after the ranking was released, the Cavaliers were defeated in an infamous upset at the hands of then-unranked Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Cavaliers will look to avoid another short-lived stay among the top of the poll as they prepare to face a dangerous Miami team on the road Tuesday — their only game of the week. 

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