Coaches poll: Duke claims top spot

5:16 PM, Dec 17, 2012   |    comments
Illinois Fighting Illini head coach John Groce send in a play against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second half at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Illini would go onto beat the Bulldogs by a final score of 85-74. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
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(KSDK Sports) -- It took a little more than a full season, but Duke is back on top of the USA TODAY Sports men's basketball coaches poll.

Indiana's overtime loss Saturday to frequent giant-killer Butler cleared the way for Duke to claim the No.1 position.

The Blue Devils were named first on 30 of 31 ballots and hold the top spot for the first time since February 2011. The Hoosiers, who had held the No.1 ranking since the preseason poll, dropped to sixth. The Bulldogs, who pulled off the overtime upset, cracked the poll themselves at No. 25.

The top 10 teams remained the same, though there was further shifting in their order. Michigan received the remaining top vote and moved up to the No. 2 position, its highest regular-season ranking since November 1992, in the 'Fab Five' era. Syracuse edged up a notch to No. 3 and Louisville climbed two spots to No. 4.

Arizona vaulted into the top five after its comeback win against then-No. 5 Florida. The Wildcats' ranking is their highest in nine years, while the Gators slid to No. 9.

No. 7 Ohio State, No. 8 Kansas and No. 10 Illinois round out the top 10. The Buckeyes host Kansas on Saturday.

The week's lone dropout was North Carolina State, squeezed out by Butler.

Missouri #12,  plays its final home game during the 2012 calendar year as the Tigers battle South Carolina State on Dec. 17.  Missouri is likely to add the services of sophomore guard Jabari Brown for the contest.  Brown was a mid-year transfer from Oregon a season ago and will be classified as a redshirt sophomore.

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