Local Sports

The Kansas Jayhawks will finish atop the final Top 25 from The Associated Press.

 

The regular-season Big 12 champions, who were 28-3 when the season abruptly ended after the first day of the conference tournament last week, received 63 of 65 first-place votes from a national media panel in balloting released Wednesday. That easily outdistanced No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 3 Dayton, each of which received a first-place vote.

 

Illinois finished ranked 21st after not getting to compete in the Big Ten Tournament and then likely the NCAA tournament. 

 

Gonzaga (31-2) finished second after beating Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference finals, one of a handful of league tournaments that were completed. But the Bulldogs will be left to wonder whether another dominant team from coach Mark Few would have finally delivered the school a national championship.

 

Dayton (29-2) was third behind behind breakout stars Jalen Crutcher and Obi Toppin.

 

Florida State (26-5) was fourth in the final poll, easily the best finish ever for the Seminoles, while Baylor (26-4) rounded out the top five after spending a longer stretch at No. 1 than any other team during a topsy-turvy season.

 

No. 11 Duke finished outside the top 10 for only the second time since 2007, while Maryland, Oregon, Louisville and Seton Hall came next.

 

The rest of the Top 25 included reigning national champion Virginia at No. 16, followed by Wisconsin, BYU, Ohio State and Auburn. The final five in the poll were Illinois, Houston, Butler, West Virginia and Iowa.

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