Gonzaga Climbs Three Spots To 14th In USA Today/ESPN Poll

March 2, 2009

MCLEAN, Virginia (Ticker) -- It's deja vu for Connecticut and Pittsburgh.

UConn on Monday assumed the No. 1 ranking from Pittsburgh in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll.

In a bit of irony, the Huskies (27-2) will be the top-ranked team in the nation on Saturday when they visit the fourth-ranked Panthers (26-3), who knocked them out of the No. 1 spot two weeks ago.

The highly-anticipated showdown could decide the Big East regular-season champion.

The Huskies received 27 first-place votes and 769 points.

Third-ranked Memphis, last season's national runner-up, received the other four first-place votes.

Following UConn is North Carolina (25-3), which moved up three spots following then-No. 1 Pittsburgh's loss to Providence on Tuesday.

Memphis' rise through the rankings has been stunning considering the Tigers lost three starters from last season's squad. The Tigers (26-3) boast the nation's longest winning streak at 20 games.

Oklahoma (26-3) fell two spots to No. 5 due to a pair of losses without National Player of the Year candidate Blake Griffin, who returned from a concussion on Saturday.

The next five are Louisville (23-5), Duke (24-5), Michigan State (23-5), Kansas (24-5) and Wake Forest (22-5).

Louisiana State (25-4) jumped seven spots to No. 11 after beating Florida in an Southeastern Conference showdown. Missouri (24-5) is 12th, followed by Washington (22-7), Gonzaga (23-5) and Marquette (23-6).

Villanova (23-6), UCLA (22-7), Xavier (23-5), Clemson (22-6) and Purdue (22-7) round out the top 20.

The final five are Arizona State (21-7), Butler (25-4), Illinois (23-7), Florida State (22-7) and Syracuse (21-8).

Texas dropped out of the rankings after losing to Oklahoma State.

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 March 1, 2009)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. CONNECTICUT (27) (27-2)                769     2
 2. NORTH CAROLINA (25-3)                  711     5
 3. MEMPHIS (4) (26-3)                     698     4
 4. PITTSBURGH (26-3)                      667     1
 5. OKLAHOMA (26-3)                        653     3
 6. LOUISVILLE (23-5)                      630     6
 7. DUKE (24-5)                            597     7
 8. MICHIGAN ST (23-5)                     557     9
 9. KANSAS (24-5)                          509    15
10. WAKE FOREST (22-5)                     480    14
11. LSU (25-4)                             420    18
12. MISSOURI (24-5)                        377     8
13. WASHINGTON (22-7)                      346    21
14. GONZAGA (23-5)                         339    17
15. MARQUETTE (23-6)                       327    10
16. VILLANOVA (23-6)                       324    12
17. UCLA (22-7)                            295    19
18. XAVIER (23-5)                          260    22
19. CLEMSON (22-6)                         219    13
20. PURDUE (22-7)                          211    16
21. ARIZONA ST (21-7)                      189    11
22. BUTLER (25-4)                          168    23
23. ILLINOIS (23-7)                        107    20
24. FLORIDA ST (22-7)                       67    25
25. SYRACUSE (21-8)                         37    NR
Dropped Out: No. 24 TEXAS
Others Receiving Votes: SAINT MARYS CA 26, UTAH ST 17, TEXAS
15, CREIGHTON 13, BYU 12, UTAH 10, DAYTON 9, CALIFORNIA 6,
BOSTON COLLEGE 4, PROVIDENCE 4, WEST VIRGINIA 2.

 

 

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