Gonzaga Checks In At No. 20 In USA Today/ESPN Poll

Feb. 16, 2009

MCLEAN, Virginia (Ticker) -- Connecticut is still atop the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, which was released on Monday. But the Huskies may not be there for long.

UConn (24-1) was a near-unanimous selection for the second week in a row, garnering 30 of a possible 31 first-place votes and 774 points.

The Huskies posted their 13th straight win and matched the best start in school history with Saturday's 62-54 victory over Seton Hall despite not having junior guard Jerome Dyson.

Dyson, UConn's second-leading scorer and best perimeter defender, tore the meniscus in his right knee last week and is likely done for the season.

Without Dyson, the Huskies may have a hard time beating No. 4 Pittsburgh (23-2), which visits Hartford's XL Center on Monday night.

The top four teams remain unchanged, with No. 2 Oklahoma (25-1), third-ranked North Carolina (23-2) and Pittsburgh standing pat.

Michigan State (20-4), Memphis (22-3), Louisville (19-5), Wake Forest (19-4), Duke (20-5) and Missouri (22-4) rounded out the top 10.

Louisville did not fall from the rankings despite last Thursday's 90-57 loss to Notre Dame - the worst setback in Rick Pitino's eight seasons at the school. The Cardinals bounced back with a 99-54 dismantling of DePaul on Sunday.

Marquette (21-4) and Arizona State (20-5) are tied for 11th, followed by Clemson (20-4), Villanova (20-5) and UCLA (19-6).

UCLA had the biggest drop, falling nine spots from No. 6 after losing to Pac-10 rivals Arizona State and Arizona this past weekend.

Illinois (21-5), Xavier (21-4), Kansas (20-5), Washington (19-6) and Gonzaga (19-5) round out top 20. Gonzaga won a pair of road games last week to move up two spots and crack the Top 20. The Bulldogs are 10-0 in West Coast Conference play.

Purdue (19-6), Butler (22-3), Utah State (24-2), newcomer Louisiana State (21-4) and Syracuse (19-7) are the final five.

Florida State dropped out of the rankings following a 86-63 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday.

 

 

The USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Top 25 college basketball
coaches' poll, with number of first-place votes and record
in parentheses, total points and previous ranking:
(Records through February 15, 2009)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. CONNECTICUT (30) (24-1)                774     1
 2. OKLAHOMA (1) (25-1)                    739     2
 3. NORTH CAROLINA (23-2)                  711     3
 4. PITTSBURGH (23-2)                      689     4
 5. MICHIGAN ST (20-4)                     634     9
 6. MEMPHIS (22-3)                         618    10
 7. LOUISVILLE (19-5)                      508     7
 8. WAKE FOREST (19-4)                     489     8
 9. DUKE (20-5)                            468     5
10. MISSOURI (22-4)                        429    19
11. (tie) MARQUETTE (21-4)                 409    12
11. (tie) ARIZONA ST (20-5)                409    18
13. CLEMSON (20-4)                         393    11
14. VILLANOVA (20-5)                       377    13
15. UCLA (19-6)                            324     6
16. ILLINOIS (21-5)                        294    20
17. XAVIER (21-4)                          278    14
18. KANSAS (20-5)                          268    16
19. WASHINGTON (19-6)                      224    24
20. GONZAGA (19-5)                         191    21
21. PURDUE (19-6)                          176    23
22. BUTLER (22-3)                          162    15
23. UTAH ST (24-2)                         121    17
24. LSU (21-4)                             114    NR
25. SYRACUSE (19-7)                         74    22
Dropped Out: No. 25 FLORIDA ST
Others Receiving Votes: DAYTON 69, TEXAS 22, FLORIDA ST 20,
CALIFORNIA 16, SOUTH CAROLINA 14, ARIZONA 13, BYU 13, OHIO
ST 12, UTAH 11, DAVIDSON 5, SAINT MARYS CA 3, MIAMI FL 2,
PENN ST 1, TENNESSEE 1.

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