Bulldogs Fourth In ESPN/USA Today Poll

March 6, 2006

BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - The Big East Conference provides the 1-2 punch in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll released Monday.

Connecticut (27-2) took advantage of two losses by Duke and rose to No. 1, receiving 30 of the 31 first-place votes and 773 points.

Villanova (24-3) slipped two spots last week to No. 4 after losing at Connecticut, 89-75, on February 26. But two wins this past week coupled with the losses by Duke and a loss by Memphis elevated the Wildcats back up to No. 2 with 733 points.

Connecticut and Villanova tied for the regular-season Big East title with 14-2 records and may meet in the conference tournament championship game on Saturday. If that happens, the winner of the title game likely will take a No. 1 ranking into the NCAA Tournament.

Duke (27-3) regained the top spot in the coaches' poll two weeks ago but slipped to No. 3 after suffering back-to-back Atlantic Coast Conference losses to Florida State and North Carolina.

The Blue Devils received 676 points, just 11 ahead of Gonzaga (26-3), which advanced to the West Coast Conference tournament title game.

North Carolina (21-6) made a huge impression with its 83-76 win at Duke on Saturday. The Tar Heels received the remaining first-place vote and elevated five places to No. 10.

Memphis (27-3) had a 15-game winning streak snapped last Thursday at UAB and slipped two spots to No. 5. The Tigers bounced back from that loss and clinched the regular-season Conference USA title with a win over Houston on Saturday.

George Washington (26-1) extended its NCAA-best winning streak to 18 games, but remains sixth.

Ohio State (23-4) clinched the regular-season Big Ten Conference crown with a win Sunday against Purdue and moved up one spot to No. 7.

Texas (25-5) slipped one spot to No. 8 and Illinois (25-5) rose to ninth.

Boston College (24-6) is 11th, followed by UCLA (24-6), Washington (24-5), Florida (24-6), Tennessee (21-6), Pittsburgh (21-6), Louisiana State (22-7), Kansas (22-7), Oklahoma (20-7) and Iowa (22-8).

West Virginia (20-9), North Carolina State (21-8) and Georgetown (19-8) each lost once and dropped three spots, standing at 21, 22 and 23, respectively.

Nevada (24-5) and UAB (22-5) each cracked the poll, taking the last two places.

Big Ten schools Michigan State (20-10) and Wisconsin (19-10) dropped out.

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 5, 2006)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. CONNECTICUT (30) (27-2)                773     2
 2. VILLANOVA (24-3)                       733     4
 3. DUKE (27-3)                            676     1
 4. GONZAGA (26-3)                         665     5
 5. MEMPHIS (27-3)                         661     3
 6. GEO WASHINGTON (26-1)                  613     6
 7. OHIO ST (23-4)                         599     8
 8. TEXAS (25-5)                           549     7
 9. ILLINOIS (25-5)                        537    10
10. NORTH CAROLINA (1) (21-6)              458    15
11. BOSTON COLLEGE (24-6)                  447    12
12. UCLA (24-6)                            440    13
13. WASHINGTON (24-5)                      358    16
14. FLORIDA (24-6)                         351    14
15. TENNESSEE (21-6)                       339    11
16. PITTSBURGH (21-6)                      332     9
17. LSU (22-7)                             266    21
18. KANSAS (22-7)                          252    22
19. OKLAHOMA (20-7)                        194    17
20. IOWA (22-8)                            177    24
21. WEST VIRGINIA (20-9)                   174    18
22. NC STATE (21-8)                        100    19
23. GEORGETOWN (19-8)                       79    20
24. NEVADA (24-5)                           74    NR
25. UAB (22-5)                              57    NR
Dropped Out: No. 23 MICHIGAN ST, No. 25 WISCONSIN
Others Receiving Votes: BUCKNELL 40, MICHIGAN ST 36,
MARQUETTE 21, ARKANSAS 10, SAN DIEGO ST 9, AIR FORCE 8,
SOUTHN ILLINOIS 7, WISCONSIN 7, GEORGE MASON 6, UNC
WILMINGTON 6, WICHITA ST 6, HOFSTRA 4, ALABAMA 2, COLORADO
2, MURRAY ST 2, TEXAS A&M 2, FLORIDA ST 1, INDIANA 1, WESTRN
KENTUCKY 1.

 

 

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