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Maryland remains at No. 7, Virginia rises in latest college basketball AP Poll

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Maryland remains at No. 7, Virginia rises in latest college basketball AP Poll

Kentucky has climbed to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll.

The Wildcats rose one spot after winning a 1-vs-2 matchup with Michigan State to open the season in the Champions Classic, followed by an easy win against Eastern Kentucky.

Kentucky (2-0) earned 64 of 65 first-place votes in Monday's poll, marking the first time the Wildcats have reached No. 1 since early in the 2016-17 season.

This marks the seventh of coach John Calipari's 11 seasons that the Wildcats have spent at least one week atop the AP poll. That includes 10 weeks during the 2011-12 season on the way to the national championship and a start-to-finish stay in 2014-15 as the Wildcats carried an unbeaten record to the Final Four, where they lost to Wisconsin.

Duke climbed two spots to No. 2 after beating Kansas in the Classic's other top-4 matchup.

The Spartans fell to No. 3, followed by Louisville -- which claimed the remaining first-place vote.

Kansas, North Carolina, Maryland, Gonzaga, reigning national champion Virginia and Villanova rounded out the top 10.

Florida took the week's biggest tumble, falling nine spots to No. 15 after a loss to Florida State. Baylor fell eight spots to No. 24 after losing to Washington, which entered the poll at No. 20.

No. 25 Colorado was the other new addition, earning the Pac-12 program's first appearance since being ranked for six weeks during the 2013-14 season.

Purdue and VCU fell out of the poll.

2019 AP Top 25 Poll Week 2

Team (First-place votes), Record (Movement)

#1 Kentucky (64), 2-0 (+1)
#2 Duke, 2-0 (+2)
#3 Michigan State, 1-1 (-2)
#4 Louisville (1), 2-0 (+1)
#5 Kansas, 1-1 (-2)
#6 North Carolina,  2-0 (+3)
#7 Maryland, 2-0
#8 Gonzaga, 2-0
#9 Virginia, 2-0 (+2)
#10 Villanova, 1-0
#11 Texas Tech, 2-0 (+2)
#12 Seton Hall, 2-0
#13 Memphis, 2-0 (+1)
#14 Oregon, 2-0 (+1)
#15 Florida, 1-1 (-9)
#16 Ohio State, 2-0 (+2)
#17 Utah State, 2-0
#18 Saint Mary's (CA), 1-0 (+2)
#19 Arizona, 2-0 (+2)
#20 Washington, 1-0 (unranked)
#21 Xavier, 2-0 (-2)
#22 Auburn, 2-0 (+2)
#23 LSU, 1-0 (-1)
#24 Baylor, 1-1 (-8)
#25 Colorado, 1-0 (unranked)

Dropped out of poll: Purdue (#23), VCU (#25)

Others receiving votes: VCU 137, Florida State 112, Texas 95, Marquette 67, Tennessee 49, Providence 23, Purdue 21, Houston 18, Utah 14, Missouri 13, Arkansas 11, Mississippi State 9, Georgetown 4, Liberty 3, San Diego State 2, Creighton 1, Vermont 1, Dayton 1.

Locally, only two teams from the Mid-Atlantic/ Washington D.C. region were ranked this week. Maryland remained at No. 7 in the poll and Virginia jumped up two spots to No. 9. Ranked last week, VCU fell out of the poll despite going 2-0 to start the year.

The Terps collected two wins against Holy Cross and Rhode Island in their first action. Neither of the wins were too impressive and were come-from-behind victories. The Cavaliers dominated Syracuse and James Madison, holding those opponents to a combined 68 points. While VCU remained undefeated, impressive starts by Washington and Colorado boosted those two teams into the poll over the Rams.

Georgetown and Liberty also received votes, both sitting with 2-0 records.

NBC Sports Washington's Tyler Byrum contributed to this report. 

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James Madison won't play football this fall, will focus on potential spring season

James Madison won't play football this fall, will focus on potential spring season

FCS power James Madison is no longer pursuing a season this fall and instead will shift its focus to potentially playing in the spring semester, the university announced Friday.

James Madison, which has appeared in three of the last four national championship games - winning the title in 2016 - said in a statement, "With nationwide developments over the course of the week and the impending postponement of the NCAA FCS championship (playoffs), James Madison has suspended its fall football season. Department focus has shifted, in collaboration with the Colonial Athletic Association and the NCAA, to exploration of a spring competitive football season."

CAA Football suspended its season on July 17 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, but it allowed for members such as James Madison to seek a season independent of the conference. Dukes athletic director Jeff Bourne his program would pursue that opportunity as long as health conditions were deemed safe and the NCAA staged its annual playoffs in the fall semester.

With at least eight of the 13 FCS conferences having already canceled on a fall season, the number of potential schools participating in the regular season - well below 50 percent - will not meet what the NCAA is requiring for playoffs.

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FCS playoffs are sidelined this fall, even if some teams play

FCS playoffs are sidelined this fall, even if some teams play

The annual FCS playoffs will not be held this fall even if some schools play a regular season.

The lower half of Division I college football has fallen short of the NCAA's recent mandate that playoffs would require 50 percent of eligible teams participate in a regular season,

The number fell below the threshold on Friday after both the Pioneer Football League and Big Sky Conference announced they won't have fall competition due to concerns over the COVID-19 global pandemic.

RELATED: JAMES MADISON WON'T PLAY FOOTBALL THIS FALL, WILL FOCUS ON SPRING SEASON

Eight of the 13 FCS conferences aren't playing in the fall, with the CAA, Ivy, MEAC, Northeast, Patriot and SWAC having made announcements last month. The number of schools not playing is nearing 75 out of 127 programs, factoring in a few CAA schools considering independent schedules and Big South members Hampton and Monmouth opting out of playing even if their conference has a regular season. One of the CAA schools, 2019 national runner-up James Madison, reversed course and ended pursuit of a fall season on Friday.

In addition to the Big South, the Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Southern and Southland conferences are still determining their direction. The Missouri Valley is home to North Dakota State, a winner of three straight and eight of the last nine FCS championships.

The NCAA Board of Directors gave the Division I Council until Aug. 21 to determine the status of playoffs. which have been held annually since 1978. The NCAA expanded them to 24 teams in 2013.

If FCS members wind up shifting their season to the spring semester, it's possible a regular season would lead to playoffs.

Big Sky commissioner Tom Wistrcill said, "We will now shift our attention to doing everything within our power to provide our football student-athletes and coaches with a conference schedule and a championship (playoff) opportunity in the spring. We already have begun actively engaging our fellow FCS conferences and the NCAA to join us then for what will be a unique opportunity to return to competition and compete for an FCS championship."

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