Bulldogs Fall To 7th In AP Top 25

Jan. 23, 2006

With no more unbeaten teams left, Connecticut took over the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press college basketball poll Monday.

Two days after Duke, Florida and Pittsburgh lost, the Huskies (16-1) moved from No. 3 to the top of the rankings for the sixth time in school history and the first since January 2004. The Blue Devils, Gators and Panthers were the last three undefeated Division I teams.

The Huskies are one of seven Big East teams in the Top 25, tying the record for most schools from one conference. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten have each done it twice, and the ACC did it most recently last season.

Duke (17-1), which had been No. 1 since the preseason poll, dropped one spot after losing 87-84 at Georgetown on Saturday. The win sent the Hoyas (12-4) into the Top 25 for the first time since Dec. 31, 2001.

Florida (17-1), second in the poll the last two weeks, dropped to No. 5 after losing 80-76 at Tennessee on Saturday. The win got the Volunteers (12-3) back in the rankings after being out for four weeks.

Pittsburgh (15-1) lost 55-50 at St. John's on Saturday and fell from ninth to No. 12.

Connecticut received 64 first-place votes and 1,790 points from the 72-member national media panel. The Huskies have spent a total of 21 weeks at No. 1. The longest run was 10 straight polls in 1998-99, when they won the first of their two national championships.

"It's always good to be No. 1 in anything but it's not great at this time of year. I want it at the beginning of April, but I'll take it now," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said Monday. "Being No. 1 isn't a goal of ours like the Big East championship or the national championship, but we feel we're one of the better programs in the country for the last 15 years and being No. 1 is another notch for us as a total program."

Duke was No. 1 on seven ballots and had 1,711 points. Memphis and Texas each moved up one place to third and fourth, respectively.

Following Florida was Villanova (13-2), which received one first-place vote, Gonzaga, Illinois, West Virginia and Washington.

West Virginia is in the top 10 for the first time since the Mountaineers were No. 8 on March 2, 1982.

Michigan State was 11th followed by Pittsburgh, Indiana, George Washington, North Carolina State, Ohio State, UCLA, Maryland, Tennessee and Boston College.

The last five ranked teams were Georgetown, Louisville, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Syracuse.

In addition to Connecticut and Georgetown, the Big East had Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Syracuse in the Top 25 to match the record.

"Just look at the nonconference wins for our league this weekend, West Virginia wins at UCLA and Georgetown knocks off Duke, I think clearly this is the best league in the country," Calhoun said. "You could lose three, maybe even four games in the conference and still win the championship, it's that competitive and deep."

Georgetown was last ranked for the first eight polls of the 2001-02 season. The previous March was the last NCAA tournament appearance for the Hoyas, who were 0-3 against ranked teams before beating the Blue Devils.

"I tell our guys our success depends on what happens on the court and what people say or think about us is irrelevant especially at this time of the year because it's so early," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said Monday. "There are so many tough teams in our league from top to bottom that there is no time to sit back and enjoy something like the win over Duke. We just have to keep improving as the season goes on."

Tennessee's victory over Florida was its second over a top 10 team this season. The Volunteers beat then-No. 6 Texas 95-78 to get into the Top 25, only to fall out the next week following a loss to Oklahoma State. They lost at LSU and Memphis before beating Florida.

"I don't think the ranking is going to mean anything to the coaches and the players as it relates to this team," first-year Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said Monday. "It's just what it could mean at the end of the year and what it could mean in recruiting and what it could mean in fan support."

Iowa (14-5), which returned to the Top 25 last week after being out for three polls, fell out from 23rd following an 85-55 loss to Michigan State.

North Carolina was ranked for the last seven weeks, reaching as high as No. 17. The Tar Heels (11-4) fell out from 24th after losing 72-68 to Virginia and beating Florida State 81-80 last week.

The Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll, with
number of first-place votes and record in parentheses, total
points and previous ranking:
(Records through January 22, 2006)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. CONNECTICUT (64) (16-1)              1,790     3
 2. DUKE (7) (17-1)                      1,711     1
 3. MEMPHIS (17-2)                       1,579     4
 4. TEXAS (16-2)                         1,541     5
 5. FLORIDA (17-1)                       1,530     2
 6. VILLANOVA (1) (13-2)                 1,429     8
 7. GONZAGA (15-3)                       1,395     6
 8. ILLINOIS (17-2)                      1,209     7
 9. WEST VIRGINIA (14-3)                 1,157    12
10. WASHINGTON (16-2)                    1,140    10
11. MICHIGAN ST (15-4)                   1,101    11
12. PITTSBURGH (15-1)                    1,005     9
13. INDIANA (12-3)                       1,001    13
14. GEO WASHINGTON (14-1)                  845    16
15. NC STATE (15-3)                        812    14
16. OHIO ST (14-2)                         738    19
17. UCLA (15-4)                            486    18
18. MARYLAND (13-4)                        449    22
19. TENNESSEE (12-3)                       420    NR
20. BOSTON COLLEGE (14-4)                  399    21
21. GEORGETOWN (12-4)                      231    NR
22. LOUISVILLE (13-5)                      219    17
23. WISCONSIN (14-4)                       186    15
24. OKLAHOMA (11-4)                        166    25
25. SYRACUSE (15-4)                        136    20
Dropped Out: No. 23 IOWA, No. 24 NORTH CAROLINA
Others Receiving Votes: NORTH CAROLINA 122, LSU 109,
NORTHERN IOWA 90, XAVIER 90, IOWA 71, UAB 47, MICHIGAN 45,
COLORADO 38, BUCKNELL 32, CREIGHTON 16, WICHITA ST 14,
SOUTHN ILLINOIS 9, VANDERBILT 9, ST JOHNS 7, AIR FORCE 4,
MARQUETTE 4, AKRON 3, ARIZONA 3, KENTUCKY 3, OHIO 3,
CINCINNATI 1, HOFSTRA 1, MIAMI FL 1, NEVADA 1, SAN DIEGO ST
1, UTAH ST 1.

 

 

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