Shuffle At Top Leaves Gonzaga Fifth

Feb. 20, 2006

BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - After a four-week hiatus, Duke is back on top.

The Blue Devils posted a pair of easy wins and took advantage of a loss by Connecticut to regain the top spot in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll released Monday.

Duke (25-1) picked up 770 points and 26 first-place votes to regain the No. 1 ranking for the first time since they were the top-ranked team in the January 15 poll. The Blue Devils have been clicking on all cylinders of late, averaging 93 points in their last five games and scoring no less than 87 during that span.

On Sunday, senior guard J.J. Redick scored 30 points in a 92-71 rout of Miami to become the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,557 points. Redick surpassed Johnny Dawkins, currently a Duke assistant, for the honor and is only 30 points behind Dickie Hemric of Wake Forest for the top spot in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

While Duke was buzzing along, Connecticut (23-2) ran into a hot-shooting Villanova team last Monday and lost, 69-64. The Huskies dropped to fourth with 700 points and two first-place votes while the Wildcats (21-2) jumped two spots to No. 2 with 730 points.

Memphis (24-2) earned 706 points and the remaining three first-place votes and remained at No. 3 for the fifth straight week. Gonzaga (22-3), led by the nation's leading scorer Adam Morrison, rounds out the top five.

George Washington continued its season-long ascent up the rankings, jumping another two spots to sixth. The Colonials (22-1) were No. 24 in the preseason poll and have won a NCAA-best 14 straight games.

Texas (22-4) is seventh with Illinois (22-4), Florida (22-4) and Pittsburgh (20-4) rounding out the top 10.

Tennessee (19-4) is 11th, followed by Ohio State (19-4), Boston College (21-5), North Carolina State (21-5) and West Virginia (18-7). Michigan State (19-7), UCLA (20-6), Kansas (19-6), Washington (20-5) and Oklahoma (17-6) round out the top 20.

North Carolina (15-6), Iowa (19-6), Georgetown (17-7), LSU (18-7) and George Mason (21-5) complete the poll.

George Mason is the only new team in the poll this week. The Patriots have won eight straight, including a key 70-67 victory at Wichita State on Saturday.

A week after joining the poll for the first time in school history, Bucknell (21-4) dropped from the rankings after a 65-61 double-overtime loss at Northern Iowa on Saturday. It was the Bisons' first loss since January 2 at Duke.

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 19, 2006)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. DUKE (26) (25-1)                       770     2
 2. VILLANOVA (21-2)                       730     4
 3. MEMPHIS (3) (24-2)                     706     3
 4. CONNECTICUT (2) (23-2)                 700     1
 5. GONZAGA (22-3)                         645     5
 6. GEO WASHINGTON (22-1)                  594     8
 7. TEXAS (22-4)                           568     6
 8. ILLINOIS (22-4)                        497    13
 9. FLORIDA (22-4)                         483     7
10. PITTSBURGH (20-4)                      473     9
11. TENNESSEE (19-4)                       457    10
12. OHIO ST (19-4)                         431    12
13. BOSTON COLLEGE (21-5)                  428    15
14. NC STATE (21-5)                        366    18
15. WEST VIRGINIA (18-7)                   298    11
16. MICHIGAN ST (19-7)                     280    16
17. UCLA (20-6)                            263    14
18. KANSAS (19-6)                          233    22
19. WASHINGTON (20-5)                      197    21
20. OKLAHOMA (17-6)                        178    19
21. NORTH CAROLINA (17-6)                  167    23
22. IOWA (20-7)                            147    20
23. GEORGETOWN (17-7)                      141    17
24. LSU (18-7)                              99    25
25. GEORGE MASON (21-5)                     48    NR
Dropped Out: No. 24 BUCKNELL
Others Receiving Votes: WISCONSIN 32, UAB 23, BUCKNELL 21,
NORTHERN IOWA 21, NEVADA 17, COLORADO 10, MARQUETTE 9,
CALIFORNIA 8, IONA 6, ALABAMA 5, MURRAY ST 5, SAN DIEGO ST
5, MICHIGAN 4, WESTRN KENTUCKY 4, AIR FORCE 3, UNC
WILMINGTON 3.

 

 

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