Gonzaga Up To 12th In Coaches Poll

March 7, 2005

BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - Despite losing its first game of the season, Illinois held on to the top spot in the final USA Today/ESPN regular season coaches' poll released Monday.

The Fighting Illini's hopes for an undefeated season ended Sunday in a 65-64 loss at Ohio State. But Illinois (29-1) still received 21 first-place votes and 761 points for a seven-point lead over North Carolina.

The Tar Heels (26-3) clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season with a 75-73 victory over Duke (22-5), which actually jumped one spot to fifth. North Carolina received the remaining 10 first-place votes.

Two other top-10 teams fell Sunday as Kentucky fell to Florida, 53-52, and Kansas lost to Missouri, 72-68, costing the Jayhawks the outright Big 12 Conference regular-season crown. Florida jumped into the poll at No. 25.

Wake Forest (26-4), which held off North Carolina State's upset bid, 55-53, Sunday, remained third while Kentucky (23-4) slipped only one spot to fourth.

Louisville (26-4) starts the second five, followed by Boston College (24-3), Arizona (25-5), Kansas (22-5) and Michigan State (22-5). Kansas dropped two notches.

Oklahoma State (21-6), which had the nation's longest home-court winning streak snapped in a 74-73 setback to Texas on Saturday, fell three slots to 11th.

The Cowboys are followed by Gonzaga (24-4), Washington (24-5), Connecticut (21-6), Utah (25-4), Pacific (25-2), Oklahoma (23-6), Syracuse (24-6), Alabama (23-6) and Cincinnati (24-6). Gonzaga plays in the West Coast Conference Tournament title game Monday night against Saint Mary's.

Villanova (21-6), Wisconsin (20-7), Pittsburgh (20-7), Charlotte (21-6) and Florida (20-7) complete the poll.

Southern Illinois, 25th last week, dropped out after losing to Southwest Missouri State in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

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 6, 2005)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. ILLINOIS (21) (29-1)                   761     1
 2. NORTH CAROLINA (10) (26-3)             754     2
 3. WAKE FOREST (26-4)                     704     4
 4. KENTUCKY (23-4)                        656     3
 5. DUKE (22-5)                            622     6
 6. LOUISVILLE (26-4)                      602     9
 7. BOSTON COLLEGE (24-3)                  593     5
 8. ARIZONA (25-5)                         531    11
 9. KANSAS (22-5)                          503     7
10. MICHIGAN ST (22-5)                     469    12
11. OKLAHOMA ST (21-6)                     461     8
12. GONZAGA (24-4)                         436    13
13. WASHINGTON (24-5)                      414    10
14. CONNECTICUT (21-6)                     379    16
15. UTAH (25-4)                            355    15
16. PACIFIC (25-2)                         288    17
17. OKLAHOMA (23-6)                        274    20
18. SYRACUSE (24-6)                        269    13
19. ALABAMA (23-6)                         228    19
20. CINCINNATI (24-6)                      180    21
21. VILLANOVA (21-6)                       151    22
22. WISCONSIN (20-7)                       122    23
23. PITTSBURGH (20-7)                       97    24
24. CHARLOTTE (21-6)                        85    18
25. FLORIDA (20-7)                          42    NR
Dropped Out: No. 25 Southern Ill
Others Receiving Votes: NEVADA 25, SOUTHERN ILL 17, HOLY
CROSS 12, NEW MEXICO 9, TEXAS 9, WISC MILWAUKEE 8, ST MARYS
CA 6, LSU 5, OLD DOMINION 3, TEXAS TECH 3, MINNESOTA 1,
TEXAS EL PASO 1.

 

 

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