Villanova is No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the first time.
The Wildcats (20-3) jumped from third following then-No. 1 Oklahoma's loss to Kansas State and then-No. 2 North Carolina's losses to Louisville and Notre Dame.
Villanova received 32 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel. Maryland, which received 13 No. 1 votes, moved up two spots to second.
The Wildcats had been ranked No. 2 seven times -- the last time coming in the final poll of last season -- but had never made that one step up.
Villanova becomes the sixth school to hold the No. 1 spot this season, just one off the record.
Oklahoma, which had been No. 1 for the past three weeks, dropped to third and received seven first-place votes. Iowa, which got 11 first-place votes, is fourth and is followed in the top 10 by Xavier, Kansas, Virginia, Michigan State, North Carolina and West Virginia.
Kansas and Virginia each received one first-place vote.
No. 23 Southern Cal and No. 24 Texas are the week's two newcomers, replacing Indiana and South Carolina.