Bulldogs Stay No. 4 In AP Top 25

March 1, 2004

  • West Coast Conference Media Conference Call Audio

    By JIM O'CONNELL
    AP Basketball Writer

    Look who's back in the Top 25: defending national champion Syracuse.

    An upset of then-No. 3 Pittsburgh ended the Panthers' 40-game home winning streak and boosted Syracuse to 24th in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll Monday.

    The Orangemen (19-6) were out of the poll for three weeks, but they returned a day after beating Pittsburgh 49-46. That result dropped Pitt to No. 6.

    Stanford and Saint Joseph's, Division I's only unbeaten teams, held the top two spots for the third straight week. Duke took advantage of Pitt's loss to jump from fifth to third, followed by Gonzaga and Mississippi State. Gonzaga finished the regular season 25-2 and capped a 14-0 West Coast Conference season with last week's home sweep of San Diego and Santa Clara.

    The Cardinal (25-0), who beat Oregon State and Oregon last week, received 67 first-place votes and 1,795 points from the national media panel to stay at No. 1.

    Saint Joseph's (26-0) defeated Massachusetts and Rhode Island and was No. 1 on five ballots - three fewer than a week ago - and had 1,722 points.

    Connecticut was seventh, one spot ahead of Oklahoma State, which dropped two places after losing in double overtime at Missouri. Kentucky and Texas remained ninth and 10th.

    Wake Forest was No. 11 for a second straight week, followed by Providence, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Southern Illinois, North Carolina State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia Tech and Memphis.

    The last five ranked teams were Kansas, Arizona, Utah State, Syracuse and Louisville.

    Even though star freshman Carmelo Anthony left for the NBA, Syracuse was ranked No. 7 in the preseason poll, coming off its first NCAA basketball championship.

    The Orangemen lost their opener to Charlotte and dropped to 16th, but they stayed in the Top 25 until losing four of five in Big East play. Those losses to Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Providence were all on the road.

    Since that skid, though, Syracuse has won five of six games.

    Texas Tech (19-9) fell out from No. 25 after a seven-week run that saw coach Bob Knight's team get as high as No. 13 during a 12-game winning streak. Since then, however, the Red Raiders have lost seven of 10, including defeats to Nebraska and Texas last week.

    At No. 12, Providence (20-5) enters Tuesday night's home showdown with Pittsburgh with its highest ranking in 26 years. The Friars, who have won six straight and have already won their most Big East games ever, were No. 11 on Feb. 21, 1978.

    Syracuse was one of three teams in the preseason Top 10 to fall out of the poll. Preseason No. 3 Michigan State hasn't been ranked since Dec. 15; preseason No. 4 Missouri hasn't been ranked since Jan. 5.

    By The Associated Press

    The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 29, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:

                            Record  Pts   Pvs
     1. Stanford (67)         25-0  1,795   1
     2. Saint Joseph's (5)    26-0  1,722   2
     3. Duke                  24-3  1,603   5
     4. Gonzaga               25-2  1,596   4
     5. Mississippi St.       23-2  1,466   7
     6. Pittsburgh            25-3  1,370   3
     7. Connecticut           23-5  1,333   8
     8. Oklahoma St.          22-3  1,318   6
     9. Kentucky              21-4  1,296   9
    10. Texas                 21-4  1,193  10
    11. Wake Forest           19-6  1,073  11
    12. Providence            20-5    933  13
    13. Cincinnati            20-5    821  15
    14. North Carolina        17-8    770  12
    15. S. Illinois           24-2    736  16
    16. N.C. State            18-7    611  14
    17. Wisconsin             19-6    556  22
    18. Illinois              20-5    520  23
    19. Georgia Tech          20-8    429  18
    20. Memphis               20-5    382  19
    21. Kansas                18-7    371  20
    22. Arizona               18-8    355  17
    23. Utah St.              24-2    244  24
    24. Syracuse              19-6    238   -
    25. Louisville            18-7    237  21
    

    Others receiving votes: Michigan St. 150, Seton Hall 51, Air Force 49, Charlotte 26, Florida 25, W. Michigan 22, UTEP 17, Kent St. 16, South Carolina 15, Dayton 14, Boston U. 8, Nevada 8, Boston College 6, Texas Tech 4, Washington 4, ETSU 3, Manhattan 3, Vanderbilt 3, Alabama 2, DePaul 2, LSU 1, Missouri 1, UAB 1, Va. Commonwealth 1.

     

     

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