Nevada-Las Vegas was the undisputed No. 1 choice for the 10th straight week Monday in the United Press International college basketball ratings, while Utah cracked the Top 10 for the first time in 10 years.
Utah owns the second-highest win total in the nation at 24-2 and has won 21 of its last 22 games. The lasttime the Utes made the Top 10 was at the end of the 1980-81 season, when they finished 25-5.
With their 81-74 victory Saturday night over Brigham Young, the Utes clinched sole possession of the Western Athletic Conference regular-season title for the first time since 1977.
"This team is the little engine that could," Utah Coach Rick Majerus said. "These guys have played so well together for so long. I'm just as happy as I can be for them."
By winning its final two regular-season games, the Utes can tie the school's single-season victory mark of 26 set in 1960.
The Runnin' Rebels, who have received every first-place vote from the UPI Board of Coaches since Dec. 17, were at the top of all 40 ballots cast Monday by the 42-member board and finished with 600 points.
They also were the unanimous pick of the Associated Press voters.
UNLV ran its record to 22-0 on the season last week with victories over Santa Barbara and New Mexico State, though its 86-74 triumph over the Aggies was its second-smallest margin of victory this season.
Ohio State maintained its hold on second place with 553 points after beating Indiana 97-95 in double overtime on Sunday. Treg Lee hit a baseline jumper with four seconds left in the second overtime to give the Buckeyes, 22-1, the inside track to the Big Ten title.
"It was one of the greatest basketball games I've ever been a part of," Ohio State Coach Randy Ayers said. "We just kept clawing away, especially in the second half. The intensity we showed was tremendous. I don't see this as cliching the title, but it's a huge win for this program."
In the UPI poll, No. 3 Arkansas and No. 4 Indiana retained their positions from last week, while No. 5 Syracuse and No. 6 North Carolina both moved up two places.
No. 7 Duke and No. 8 Arizona both fell two postitions after suffering losses over the weekend, while Kansas improved two places into ninth and Utah jumped three to 10th.
No. 11 Southern Mississippi slipped one place and No. 12 East Tennessee State fell three. Nebraska moved up three spots to 13th and No. 14 New Mexico State improved one despite its loss to UNLV.
No. 15 Oklahoma State vaulted four positions, No. 16 St. John's fell four spots and No. 17 UCLA dropped three. No. 18 Louisiana State jumped six places after beating Alabama 88-81 on Sunday.
Virginia slipped one place to 19th and No. 20 Princeton entered the ratings for the second time this season. No. 21 Mississippi State rejoined the list after a one-week hiatus and No. 22 Georgetown slumped five places following losses to Connecticut and Seton Hall.
Texas and Alabama were tied for 23rd and there was another tie for 25th between newcomers Seton Hall and North Carolina State.
Dropping out of the ratings this week were Michigan State, Wake Forest and New Orleans.
Kentucky, 19-5, is one of seven schools ineligible for the NCAA Tournament and the UPI ratings. In the AP rankings the Wildcats are No. 12.