After six weeks ranked No. 2, Texas is now where it has never been before: No. 1 in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll.
Kansas comfortably held the top spot in the preseason poll and for the first eight weeks of the season until Monday, a day after the Jayhawks lost to Tennessee.
Now it’s Texas’ turn at No. 1.
‘‘My first thought last night was I didn’t know who was No. 1 the second week of January last year, but I do know who won the national championship,’’ Texas coach Rick Barnes said. ‘‘It is pretty cool for our guys, though. It shows our program has grown to this point and it is a compliment to our program.’’
In addition to the six weeks at No. 2 this season, Texas was second for five weeks in the 2005-06 season. The Longhorns’ first time at No. 1 was a no-doubter.
Texas (15-0) received 56 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Kentucky (16-0), which moved up one spot to second and is the only other undefeated Division I team, was No. 1 on nine ballots.
Kansas (14-1) fell to third after the 76-68 loss at Tennessee, which followed a midweek scare from Cornell. The nine weeks the Jayhawks spent at No. 1 gave them a total of 51 weeks in the top spot, fifth on the all-time list behind UCLA (134), Duke (111), North Carolina (105) and Kentucky (88). Kansas passed Cincinnati (45) and Indiana (43) with this season’s run.
There was a lot of movement in the poll following a week in which 15 ranked teams lost at least once, including five members of the top 10.
Villanova was ranked No. 4, followed by Syracuse, Purdue, Michigan State, Duke, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Georgetown moved up one spot to 11th with North Carolina 12th and Kansas State and Wisconsin tied for 13th. Connecticut was No. 15 followed by Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, BYU, Temple and Georgia Tech.
The last five ranked teams were Mississippi, Baylor, Miami, Clemson and Florida State.
Baylor, Miami and Clemson moved in this week replacing New Mexico, Texas Tech and Washington.
Texas’ first game as No. 1 will be at Iowa State on Wednesday.
‘‘When you’re ranked and go on the road, people get excited regardless,’’ Barnes said. ‘‘The energy and emotion are there for the team and crowd. It’s something you embrace, to be ready to play every single night. The teams ranked year in year out know they’ll get people’s best shot.’’
Texas had a chance for another No. 1 last week but the football team lost to Alabama in the BCS championship game. The Longhorns basketball team is a blend of veterans and talented freshmen.
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