Gonzaga Ends Regular Season No. 2 and No. 3 In The Polls

March 15, 2004

By JIM O'CONNELL

AP Basketball Writer

Gonzaga University attained its highest rank in school history with the release of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll as the Bulldogs finished second in the regular-season behind No. 1 ranked Stanford University. Gonzaga had been No. 3 in the poll both polls and ended the regular-season with a win over Saint Mary's College in the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Bulldogs received one first place vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

In the final Associated Press poll of the season, Gonzaga finished with its highest national ranking at No. 3. The Bulldogs previous final ranking in the AP poll was No. 6 at the end of the 2002 season. Gonzaga opens NCAA Tournament play on Thursday against Valparaiso University at Key Arena in Seattle. The Bulldogs received a No. 2 seed in the St. Louis Regional.

Stanford returned to No. 1 Monday for the final AP men's college basketball poll of the season.

The Cardinal (29-1) had been on top for three weeks before giving way to Saint Joseph's for one week.

The poll and the NCAA tournament selection committee disagreed on the top teams. Stanford and No. 2 Kentucky were both No. 1 seeds for the upcoming tournament, but the other No. 1s - Saint Joseph's and Duke - were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the vote of the national media panel.

Gonzaga and Oklahoma State, both No. 2 seeds in the NCAA tournament, were third and fourth in the poll.

Utah State, which was passed over for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, finished tied for 25th with Boston College. The Aggies will be the first ranked team since UNLV in 1993 to not participate in the NCAA tournament.

Stanford received 55 first-place votes and 1,771 points, 150 more than Kentucky (26-4), which was No. 1 on nine ballots.

Gonzaga (27-2) had two first-place votes, while Oklahoma State (27-3) had four.

Saint Joseph's (27-1) dropped from first to fifth after having its shot at a perfect regular season ended with a 20-point loss to Xavier in the Atlantic 10 tournament quarterfinals. The Hawks had one first-place vote.

Duke was sixth, followed by Connecticut (27-6), which had one first-place vote, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.

Cincinnati moved up two places to No. 11 and was followed by Texas, Illinois, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Kansas, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Maryland and Syracuse.

The last six ranked teams were Providence, Arizona, Southern Illinois, Memphis and the tie between Boston College and Utah State.

The Aggies (25-3) finished tied with Pacific for the Big West regular season title then lost to Cal State-Northridge, which was under .500, in the conference tournament semifinals.

UNLV was 25th in the final poll in 1993 but the Runnin' Rebels were on probation and could not play in either the NCAA tournament or the NIT. UNLV was in the same situation the previous year, when it was seventh in the final poll.

Maryland (19-11) jumped into the rankings at No. 19 after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament by beating the top three seeds - Duke, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. The Terrapins had been ranked for two weeks earlier in the season.

Boston College (23-9) moved into the rankings for the first time this season after losing to Pittsburgh in the semifinals of the Big East tournament. That loss ended a seven-game winning streak by the Eagles.

Air Force (22-6) was ranked last week for the first time in school history, but the Falcons fell from 25th after losing to Colorado State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

Six teams held the No. 1 ranking this season with preseason choice Connecticut spending the most time there at eight. Duke and Stanford were each on top for four weeks, while Kansas, Florida and Saint Joseph's were all No. 1 for one week.

Forty-two schools were ranked during the season with Iowa, Creighton, LSU, Air Force and Boston College each making an appearance for just one week.

Fourteen schools were ranked from the preseason poll through the final Top 25 but only Connecticut and Duke spent the entire season in the Top Ten.

By The Associated Press

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' final men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 14, 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 (55)         29-1  1,771   2
 2. Kentucky (9)          26-4  1,621   8
 3. Gonzaga (2)           27-2  1,620   3
 4. Oklahoma St. (4)      27-3  1,569   7
 5. Saint Joseph's (1)    27-1  1,535   1
 6. Duke                  27-5  1,472   5
 7. Connecticut (1)       27-6  1,397   9
 8. Mississippi St.       25-3  1,292   4
 9. Pittsburgh            29-4  1,261   6
10. Wisconsin             24-6  1,147  10
11. Cincinnati            24-6  1,018  13
12. Texas                 23-7    985  11
13. Illinois              24-6    863  12
14. Georgia Tech          23-9    845  14
15. N.C. State            20-9    680  17
16. Kansas                21-8    629  18
17. Wake Forest           19-9    552  15
18. North Carolina        18-10   518  16
19. Maryland              19-11   421   -
20. Syracuse              21-7    414  19
21. Providence            20-8    324  20
22. Arizona               20-9    233  21
23. S. Illinois           25-4    183  24
24. Memphis               21-7    143  23
25. Boston College        23-9    106   -
25. Utah St.              25-3    106  22

Others receiving votes: Florida 96, Washington 87, Xavier 87, DePaul 86, Michigan St. 72, W. Michigan 51, Air Force 29, Nevada 28, Texas Tech 28, Vanderbilt 22, Utah 19, Dayton 18, ETSU 17, Louisville 17, Charlotte 16, Manhattan 6, UTEP 6, UAB 3, Pacific 2, Seton Hall 2, Va. Commonwealth 2, Vermont 1.

ESPN/USA TODAY COACHES POLL

The top 25 teams in the USA Today-ESPN men's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 14, 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 (28)          29-1   770   2
 2. Gonzaga (1)            27-2   682   3
 3. Oklahoma State         27-3   674   7
 4. Kentucky (2)           26-4   673   8
 5. Saint Joseph's         27-1   671   1
 6. Duke                   27-5   657   4
 7. Connecticut            27-6   601   9
 8. Pittsburgh             29-4   546   6
 9. Mississippi State      25-3   510   5
10. Wisconsin              24-6   507  10
11. Texas                  23-7   458  11
12. Cincinnati             24-6   454  12
13. Illinois               24-6   400  13
14. Kansas                 21-8   313  15
15. Georgia Tech           23-9   297  18
16. Wake Forest            19-9   290  14
17. N.C. State             20-9   235  20
18. Arizona                20-9   192  16
19. Providence             20-8   176  17
20. North Carolina         18-10  155  19
21. Maryland               19-11  134  NR
22. Utah State             25-3    95  21
23. Southern Illinois      25-4    87  22
24. Syracuse               21-7    83  23
25.  Michigan State        18-11   67  NR

Others receiving votes: Memphis 62; DePaul 38; Western Michigan 37; Texas Tech 26; Florida 24; Boston College 21; Air Force 20; Louisville 20; Washington 16; Charlotte 13; Vanderbilt 13; Xavier 13; Seton Hall 8; Utah 8; East Tennessee State 6; Nevada 6; Manhattan 5; Central Florida 4; Pacific 3; South Carolina 2; Alabama-Birmingham 1; Brigham Young 1; Dayton 1.

 

 

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