Bulldogs Tabbed 14th In Coaches Poll

Oct. 26, 2007

McLEAN, Virginia (Ticker) -- North Carolina will start the season as the top team in the country, but its hold is tenuous.

The Tar Heels top the preseason USA Today/ESPN college basketball coaches poll, released Friday, despite the fact that UCLA garnered more first-place votes.

North Carolina (31-7) received 10 first-place votes - two less than UCLA - and 739 points from a panel of 31 Division I coaches. The Tar Heels are headlined by junior center Tyler Hansbrough and stellar sophomores Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington.

Gonzaga, looking for its 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, is ranked 14th. The Bulldogs were not ranked in the final poll a year ago during a 23-11 season that included West Coast Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

Three teams dotting the Bulldogs schedule are ranked in the Top 10. Memphis is third, Tennessee seventh and Washington State 10th. Gonzaga travels to Memphis Jan. 26, plays Tennessee in the Battle in Seattle on Dec. 29 and hosts the Cougars in the McCarthey Athletic Center on Dec. 5.

North Carolina will be looking to rebound from a rough finish to last season, in which it gave up a late 11-point lead en route to a overtime loss to Georgetown in the East Regional Final of the NCAA Tournament.

The Bruins (30-6) are close behind with 734 points. UCLA made its second straight Final Four appearance last season before losing to eventual champion Florida for a second consecutive time.

Memphis (33-4) is third, garnering eight first-place votes and 731 points. The Tigers are riding the nation's longest home winning streak at 32 games.

The only other team to receive a first-place vote was Kansas (33-5), which sits fourth with 669 points. Georgetown (30-7) rounds out the top five.

Louisville (24-10) is sixth, ahead of Tennessee (24-11), Michigan State (23-12) and Indiana (21-11).

One of five Pac-10 Conference teams in the poll, Washington State is 10th coming off a unexpected 26-8 campaign. The Cougars return four starters from a squad that reached the second round of the NCAAs last year.

 

 

Duke (22-11) is 11th, in front of Marquette (24-10) and Oregon (29-8). Gonzaga (23-11) and Texas A&M (27-7) are tied for 14th.

Looking to regroup after the departure of National Player of the Year Kevin Durant, Texas (25-10) is 16th.

Arizona (20-11) is 17th, ahead of Southern California (25-12), Arkansas (21-14) and Pittsburgh (29-8).

Stanford (18-13) heads up the final five in 21st followed by Kentucky (22-12), Southern Illinois (29-7) and North Carolina State (20-16).

Villanova (22-11) rounds out the poll, which does not include either reigning champion Florida or national runner-up Ohio 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 October 26, 2007)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. NORTH CAROLINA (10) ()                 739    NR
 2. UCLA (12) ()                           734    NR
 3. MEMPHIS (8) ()                         731    NR
 4. KANSAS (1) ()                          669    NR
 5. GEORGETOWN ()                          625    NR
 6. LOUISVILLE ()                          620    NR
 7. TENNESSEE ()                           598    NR
 8. MICHIGAN ST ()                         503    NR
 9. INDIANA ()                             479    NR
10. WASHINGTON ST ()                       464    NR
11. DUKE ()                                390    NR
12. MARQUETTE ()                           381    NR
13. OREGON ()                              360    NR
14. (tie) GONZAGA ()                       252    NR
14. (tie) TEXAS A&M ()                     252    NR
16. TEXAS ()                               216    NR
17. ARIZONA ()                             205    NR
18. USC ()                                 189    NR
19. ARKANSAS ()                            173    NR
20. PITTSBURGH ()                          160    NR
21. STANFORD ()                            158    NR
22. KENTUCKY ()                            155    NR
23. SOUTHN ILLINOIS ()                     137    NR
24. NC STATE ()                            119    NR
25. VILLANOVA ()                           111    NR
Dropped Out: No. 4 VANDERBILT
Others Receiving Votes: KANSAS ST 94, SYRACUSE 69, OHIO ST
65, CLEMSON 56, CONNECTICUT 55, BUTLER 42, DAVIDSON 39,
XAVIER 38, ALABAMA 31, MISSISSIPPI ST 30, FLORIDA 26,
WISCONSIN 21, ILLINOIS 16, BYU 12, WASHINGTON 12, NEVADA 8,
BRADLEY 7, VIRGINIA 7, VA COMMONWEALTH 5, UTAH 4, BAYLOR 3,
OLD DOMINION 3, SAINT JOSEPHS 3, FRESNO ST 2, GEORGE MASON
2, UTAH ST 2, CALIFORNIA 1, MARYLAND 1, NOTRE DAME 1.

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