Having disposed of the latest pretender to the throne, UNLV again was a unanimous choice today as the top team in The Associated Press' college basketball poll and the Utah Runnin' Utes climbed three spots to No. 14.

The Runnin' Rebels, who whipped Arkansas, last week's runner-up, 112-105 on Sunday to improve their record to 20-0, were picked No. 1 by all 63 votes in the nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters. It's the 12th straight week that UNLV has been No. 1 and the fourth time in the last five weeks that the selection was unanimous.The Utes, 22-2 overall and 11-1 in the WAC, used home wins over Hawaii and San Diego State to propel them back into the top-15.

UNLV, which beat Fresno State 113-64 earlier in the week, is the only unbeaten major college team in the nation.

Ohio State (19-1), which blasted Northwestern in its only game last week, climbed over Arkansas into the No. 2 spot. Arkansas (23-2) dropped back to third place, followed by Indiana (22-2) and Duke (21-4), which climbed from sixth to fifth after whipping two top-25 teams, Virginia and Louisiana State, as well as Maryland.Arizona (19-4), which lost to Southern California before Sunday's 105-94 victory at UCLA, dropped from fifth to sixth. Syracuse, North Carolina, Southern Mississippi and East Tennessee State rounded out the top 10.

Kansas, which knocked off a pair of ranked opponents last week, made the biggest move, climbing from 18th to 11th. The Jayhawks were followed by New Mexico State, St. John's, Utah, UCLA, Kentucky, Nebraska, Georgetown, Virginia and LSU.

Oklahoma State was 21st, followed by Pitt and three newcomers - Mississippi State, Texas and Princeton.

Virginia (11th last week), Kentucky (10th) and St. John's (eighth) had the biggest drops from the previous poll.

Mississippi State (15-6) entered the rankings for the first time in more than a decade. The Bulldogs, who lost at Vanderbilt before beating Kentucky 83-82 on Saturday, did not crack the AP poll at all in the 1980s.

Texas was 22nd in the preseason poll and remained in the rankings for the first four weeks of the season before dropping out. Princeton also returns for the first time since the fourth week of the season, when the Tigers also were ranked No. 25.

New Orleans (21st last week), Oklahoma (23rd) and Michigan State (25th) all fell from the rankings. The Privateers, who had been ranked for three straight weeks, dropped both their games last week.

Oklahoma was 15th in the preseason poll and had been ranked in each of the first 11 weeks, getting as high as No. 11, but lost to Kansas State and Seton Hall. Michigan State, fourth in the preseason poll, dropped out of the rankings for the third time after losses to Iowa and Wisconsin.

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(Additional information)

AP's Top 25

Team Record PtsPvs

1. UNLV 20-0 1,575 1

2. Ohio St. 19-1 1,472 3

3. Arkansas 23-2 1,443 2

4. Indiana 22-2 1,412 4

5. Duke 21-4 1,301 6

6. Arizona 19-4 1,213 5

7. Syracuse 20-3 1,202 7

8. North Carolina 17-4 1,143 9

9. Southern Miss. 17-2 1,01812

10. E. Tennessee St.21-2 95313

11. Kansas 17-4 83118

12. New Mexico St. 17-2 76416

13. St. John's 16-5 747 8

14. Utah 22-2 74617

15. UCLA 17-6 72614

16. Kentucky 17-5 69810

17. Nebraska 19-4 61115

18. Georgetown 15-6 49720

19. Virginia 17-7 37011

20. LSU 15-7 29019

21. Oklahoma St. 16-5 27422

22. Pittsburgh 17-7 24024

23. Mississippi St. 15-6 179NR

24. Texas 16-5 176NR

25. Princeton 16-2 117NR

Other receiving votes: Alabama 80, Illinois 80, New Orleans 46, N. Carolina St. 40, Seton Hall 39, Cincinnati 24, Temple 20, New Mexico 19, Wyoming 16, N. Illinois 14, Washington St. 13, Houston 9, Oklahoma 9, Providence 9, Wake Forest 9, Georgia Tech 7, DePaul 6, Michigan St. 6, Oregon St. 6, Iowa 5, Connecticut 4, La Salle 4, South Carolina 3, Fordham 2, South Alabama 2, Arkansas St. 1, BYU 1, Creighton 1, James Madison 1, Miami, Ohio 1.