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Virginia stays No. 1, Duke jumps to 5th

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Virginia strengthened its hold on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 as it coasts to an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title, while Duke made a big jump after a pair of impressive wins without its top freshman.

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. And Duke jumped seven spots to No. 5 after beating Virginia Tech and Clemson despite playing without Marvin Bagley, the ACC's scoring and rebounding leader who is recovering from a knee sprain.

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Slumping Oklahoma to visit No. 8 Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The last time Kansas played Oklahoma, a firestorm was created both in the lane and at the free throw line.

Udoka Azubuike, the Jayhawks' sophomore center, was left to fend for himself underneath in the closing minutes. Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger instructed his team to foul the poor free throw shooter if he touched the ball. Kansas coach Bill Self left in his big man to let Azubuike solve the problem.

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Auburn C McLemore has left ankle surgery

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) Coach Bruce Pearl doesn't believe losing another post player will be a breaking point for an Auburn team on track for a rare Southeastern Conference men's basketball title and NCAA Tournament berth.

The 12th-ranked Tigers must get it done without center Anfernee McLemore, out for the season following surgery to repair a fractured and dislocated left ankle.

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Spartans can seal share of Big Ten title

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) No. 2 Michigan State can seal a share of the Big Ten title by beating Illinois at the Breslin Center, where three seniors will be honored at their last home game.

"That doesn't happen that often," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said Monday. "No. 1, to do it at home is special. No. 2, to be able to do it on Senior Night is really special."

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Denver hires new director of athletics

DENVER (AP) The University of Denver has hired Karlton Creech as its new vice chancellor for athletics and recreation. He'll succeed Peg Bradley-Doppes, who is retiring after 13 years.

Creech will take over May 1, overseeing 17 Division I teams and a recreation program that engages more than 60 percent of the student body, including intramural and club sports and the Coors Fitness Center.

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Ole Miss' Kennedy opts to part ways now

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Mississippi basketball coach Andy Kennedy says his resignation is now effective immediately, six days after saying he would depart at the end of the season.

"It has become readily apparent to me that my continued presence as the head coach is proving detrimental to these players finishing the season in a fashion that is representative of The Standard for this program that has been clearly established and maintained for over a decade," Kennedy said Sunday in a university release. "Therefore, I believe that it is in everyone's best interest that I exit my role as head coach effective immediately.

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Without Bagley, Duke gets past Clemson

No. 6 Purdue edges PSU to snap skid at 3

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) After a rough 10-day stretch, sixth-ranked Purdue rediscovered the joy of a well-played game.

Carsen Edwards and Dakota Mathias led the way in a second-half spurt, and Purdue held on to edge Penn State 76-73 on Sunday night.

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