Checking in from LaGrange, Ga., on the eve of CU's men's basketball showdown against Auburn.

Here is how I voted for the second AP men's basketball poll of the very young season. Wisconsin and Georgetown are out after suffering losses on opening weekend, with LSU and Purdue moving in. My votes, with each team's actual rankings in parenthesis.

1. North Carolina (1): Tar Heels cruised to wins against Temple and Fairfield.

2. Kentucky (2): Freshman sensation Skal Labissiere made 13-of-17 shots and 9-of-10 free throws in wins against those noted powers from Albany and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

3. Maryland (3): Routed Mount St. Mary's by 24 points in opener.

4. Kansas (4): Seeing me at the airport on the way to Kansas (as I headed to Sioux Falls, S.D.) did not give the Northern Colorado Bears the luck of the Irish in a 37-point road loss against the Jayhawks.

5. Virginia (6): Opened with a win against Morgan State, but Cavaliers were taken out by George Washington on Monday night as I typed this.

6. Duke (5): Blue Devils began the season with routs of Siena and Bryant.

7. Oklahoma (8): Sooners were idle on the first official weekend and open the season Tuesday at Memphis.

8. Iowa State (7): Four players scored at least 12 points as the Cyclones welcomed the Steve Prohm coaching era with a six-point win against CU.


9. Wichita State (9): Shockers topped Charleston Southern in season opener.

10. Villanova (11): The Wildcats recorded assists on 20 of 32 baskets in an opening win against Fairleigh Dickinson.

11. Michigan State (13): Tuesday night battle against Kansas among the marquee matchups of the season's early weeks.

12. Arizona (12): Wildcats routed Pacific in opener but could be tested Thursday night at home against Boise State.

13. Gonzaga (10): Gonzaga traveled all the way to Japan to open against Pitt but played only one half before game was cancelled due to condensation on the floor.

14. Cal (15): Topped Rice by 32 points in opener.

15. Notre Dame (18): Light early schedule for Irish began with a rout of St. Francis (Pa.) in opener.

16. Indiana (14): Hoosiers routed Eastern Illinois and made headlines locally by nabbing Colorado's top recruit, Overland's De'Ron Davis.

17. Baylor (20): Rico Gathers made 8-of-9 shots and scored 18 points as the Bears rolled past Stephen F. Austin.

18. Utah (16): Big man Jakob Poeltl collected 26 points and 11 rebounds in an opening win against Southern Utah.

19. Vanderbilt (17): Commodores escaped Austin Peay by a mere 39 points in opener.

20. Michigan (24): Wolverines moved up one spot but face a stern test later this week against Xavier.

21. UConn (19): Huskies routed Maine with Michigan on the radar on Nov. 25.

22. Texas A&M (NR): Second among others receiving votes, Aggies almost shot better from 3-point range (13-for-24) than the free throw line (15-for-27) in their opener.

23. LSU (23): Freshman Ben Simmons showed why he was named an AP preseason All-American with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists in collegiate debut.

24: Purdue (21): After gaining NCAA clearance late in preseason, freshman Caleb Swanigan recorded 25 points and 24 rebounds in Boilermakers' first two games.

25. Butler (22): Bulldogs opened the season by scoring a school-record 144 points against The Citadel.

Pat Rooney: or