Bulldogs Crack AP Top 10

March 14, 2005

NEW YORK (Ticker) - After an emotional weekend for coach Bruce Weber, Illinois was a unanimous pick as the top-ranked team in the final Associated Press men's college basketball poll before the NCAA Tournament.

The Fighting Illini (32-1), the top seed in the Chicago Region and No. 1 team in the country for the 15th straight week, collected all 72 first-place votes and 1,800 points.

After losing to Ohio State in the regular-season finale, Illinois rebounded to win the Big Ten Conference tournament Sunday. Weber coached the Illini on Saturday and Sunday despite the death of his mother, Dawn, who passed away Friday due to complications from a ruptured aorta.

Illinois had been a unanimous No. 1 for five straight weeks before losing to the Buckeyes. Despite that defeat, Illinois held on to the No. 1 ranking.

North Carolina (27-4) and Duke (25-5), who also received top seeds, were second and third. The Tar Heels remained second despite losing to Georgia Tech in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament while Duke jumped two spots after winning its sixth ACC tournament title in seven years.

Washington (27-5) earned the final No. 1 seed after beating Arizona in the Pac-10 tournament championship game, but is just eighth in the poll.

Conference USA champion Louisville (29-4) climbed two spots to fourth but is only a fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Completing the top 10 are Wake Forest (26-5), Oklahoma State (24-6), Kentucky (25-5), Washington, Arizona (27-6) and Gonzaga (25-4).

Big East tournament champion Syracuse (27-6) is 11th, followed by Kansas (23-6), defending national champion Connecticut (22-7), Boston College (24-4), Michigan State (22-6), Florida (23-7), Oklahoma State (24-7), Utah (27-5), Villanova (22-7) and Wisconsin (22-8).

Florida made the week's biggest gain. The Gators were unranked last week, but earned a No. 4 seed in the Syracuse Region after beating Kentucky to win their first Southeastern Conference tournament title.

Completing the poll are Alabama (24-7), Pacific (26-3), Cincinnati (24-7), Texas Tech (20-10) and Georgia Tech (19-11), which was also unranked last week.

The Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll, with
number of first-place votes and record in parentheses, total
points and previous ranking:
(Records through March 14, 2005)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. ILLINOIS (72) (32-1)                 1,800     1
 2. NORTH CAROLINA (27-4)                1,676     2
 3. DUKE (25-5)                          1,671     5
 4. LOUISVILLE (29-4)                    1,495     6
 5. WAKE FOREST (26-5)                   1,457     3
 6. OKLAHOMA ST (24-6)                   1,393    10
 7. KENTUCKY (25-5)                      1,342     4
 8. WASHINGTON (27-5)                    1,318    14
 9. ARIZONA (27-6)                       1,133     8
10. GONZAGA (25-4)                       1,122    11
11. SYRACUSE (27-6)                      1,072    16
12. KANSAS (23-6)                        1,049     9
13. CONNECTICUT (22-7)                     949    12
14. BOSTON COLLEGE (24-4)                  878     7
15. MICHIGAN ST (22-6)                     690    13
16. FLORIDA (23-7)                         651    NR
17. OKLAHOMA (24-7)                        605    17
18. UTAH (27-5)                            599    15
19. VILLANOVA (22-7)                       494    19
20. WISCONSIN (22-8)                       384    23
21. ALABAMA (24-7)                         376    20
22. PACIFIC (26-3)                         349    18
23. CINCINNATI (24-7)                      163    21
24. TEXAS TECH (20-10)                     143    NR
25. GEORGIA TECH (19-11)                   132    NR
Dropped Out: No. 22 Pittsburgh, No. 24 Nevada, No. 25
Charlotte
Others Receiving Votes: PITTSBURGH 124, LSU 79, WEST
VIRGINIA 51, NEVADA 48, CHARLOTTE 44, SOUTHERN ILL 28, NEW
MEXICO 22, WISC MILWAUKEE 16, OLD DOMINION 8, CREIGHTON 7,
VERMONT 6, STANFORD 4, TEXAS 3, TEXAS EL PASO 3, UTAH ST 3,
BUCKNELL 2, OHIO 2, WINTHROP 2, GEO WASHINGTON 1, IOWA 1,
MINNESOTA 1, NO CAROLINA ST 1, PENNSYLVANIA 1, ST MARYS CA
1, UCLA 1.

 

 

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