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UCF cracks AP poll for 1st time at No. 24

UCF’s banner year has hit another milestone.

UCF cracked the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history Monday, checking in at No. 24.

New coach Donnie Jones has the Knights at 10-0 and off to their best start since moving up to Division I in 1984. This season they have beaten No. 20 Florida, Miami and South Florida.

UCF’s football team also earned its first ranking in the AP poll this season and won Conference USA. The national recognition is a big boost for a program seeking an invitation to a BCS conference in all sports, especially as the Big East explores expansion.

The Knights are led by sophomore guard Marcus Jordan, son of Michael Jordan.

n Duke is again No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll, although for the first time in three weeks it’s not unanimous. Central Florida joins the Top 25 for the first time in school history.

The Blue Devils were off last week and received all but one of the first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel.

No. 2 Ohio State has the other first-place vote and is followed by Kansas, Connecticut and Syracuse. Completing the top 10 are Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Villanova, Missouri and Georgetown.

WOMEN’S TOP 25 POLL -- One more milestone for the Connecticut women.

A day after they won their 88th straight game, they were ranked No. 1 by The Associated Press for the 50th consecutive week. It is the 151st time the UConn women have led the rankings. The Huskies received all 40 first-place votes in Monday’s poll.

UConn will play No. 22 Florida State on Tuesday night, trying to surpass the total set by the UCLA men’s basketball team in the early 1970s.

Baylor is No. 2, with Duke, Xavier and Tennessee completing the first five. Stanford fell five spots to eighth after losing to DePaul and Tennessee.

Men’s Top 25 Roundup

(1) DUKE 98, ELON 72 -- Kyle Singler scored 24 points to help the host Blue Devils (11-0) beat the Phoenix (4-7), moving coach Mike Krzyzewski into a tie for second place on the all-time wins list.

(4) UCONN 76, COPPIN ST. 64 -- Kemba Walker scored 20 points, and the host Huskies (9-0) ended a 12-day break for final exams by beating the Eagles (4-4).

(5) SYRACUSE 97, MORGAN ST. 55 -- Rick Jackson had 18 points and nine rebounds, reserve James Southerland added a career-high 18 points and the host Orange (12-0) beat the Bears (4-5).

Women’s Top 25 Roundup

(14) IOWA 75, DRAKE 71 -- Kachine Alexander scored a season-high 26 points and the host Hawkeyes (11-1) snuck past the Bulldogs (5-5) to give coach Lisa Bulder her 200th win with Iowa.

(17) NOTRE DAME 94, VALPARAISO 43 -- Natalie Novosel scored 18 points while Natalie Achonwa and Brittany Mallory added 12 apiece to help the visiting Irish (9-3) easily beat the Crusaders (2-9).

(21) IOWA ST. 93, CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 47 -- Kelsey Bolte scored 16 points, and the host Cyclones (8-2) held the winless Matadors (0-12) to five field goals in the first half en route to a victory.