Bulldogs No. 11 In USA Today/ESPN Preseason Poll

Oct. 30, 2008

MCLEAN, Virginia (Ticker) -- As expected, the return of Tyler Hansbrough has set some lofty aspirations for North Carolina.

The Tar Heels were selected as the unanimous No. 1 for the preseason USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll released Thursday.

Gonzaga University is 11th in the pre-season rankings, many prognosticators picking the Bulldogs to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament in March. It's the second-highest pre-season ranking for the Bulldogs who were seventh in the 2005-06 preseason rankings.

Gonzaga opens the exhibition season Saturday at 5 p.m. against Wayne State College of Nebraska in a game that is sold out.

Armed with the return of the reigning national player of the year, North Carolina captured all 31 of the first-place votes and 775 points.

Choosing to spur the popular route of most top players of leaving school early, Hansbrough is back for a Tar Heels' squad that set a school record for wins during a 36-3 campaign but was left wanting more after a disappointing effort against Kansas in the national semifinals.

Along with the return of Hansbrough, North Carolina welcomes back quicksilver point guard Ty Lawson, sharpshooter Wayne Ellington and the energetic Danny Green to make it one of the top offensive teams heading into the season. The Tar Heels will open against Pennsylvania on November 15.

Leading a group of four Big East Conference teams in the top 10 is Connecticut, which is second with 707 points.

The Huskies are aiming for an improved season after finishing last year's 24-9 campaign out of the poll following a surprising loss to San Diego in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Louisville (27-9) is third, while Pittsburgh (27-10) is sixth and Notre Dame (25-8) ninth.

A Final Four team each of the previous three seasons, UCLA (35-4) is fourth despite a major exodus that included star freshman Kevin Love, athletic guard Russell Westbrook and defensive stalwart Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

Duke (28-6) is fifth, ahead of Pittsburgh, Michigan State (27-9) and Texas (31-7).

 

 

Purdue (25-9) rounds out the top 10, just in front of Gonzaga (25-8), which will be aiming to reach the NCAA Tournament for an 11th straight year.

National runner-up Memphis (38-2) is 12th, ahead of Tennessee (31-5), Oklahoma (23-12), Arizona State (21-13) and Miami (23-11).

Another of the seven Big East squads in the poll, Marquette (25-10) is 17th, while Georgetown (28-6) is one spot behind.

Florida (24-12) is 19th and Davidson (29-7), which is led by budding national player candidate Stephen Curry, is 20th.

Southern California (21-12) and Wisconsin (31-5) are tied for 21st.

Defending national champion Kansas (37-3), Wake Forest (17-13) and Villanova (22-13) round out the poll.

Dotting the Gonzaga schedule this year are UConn in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 20, MEmphis in the SPokane Arena Feb. 7 for College Game Day on ESPN and the Ronald McDonald House Charities event and Tennessee Jan. 7 in Knoxville. Tennessee, Michigan State and Georgetown also join the Bulldogs for the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 27-30.

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 30, 2008)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. NORTH CAROLINA (31)                    775     3
 2. CONNECTICUT                          707    NR
 3. LOUISVILLE                           694     6
 4. UCLA                                 650     4
 5. DUKE                                 578    16
 6. PITTSBURGH                           576    18
 7. MICHIGAN ST                          572    13
 8. TEXAS                                538     5
 9. NOTRE DAME                           525    19
10. PURDUE                               465    20
11. GONZAGA                              437    NR
12. MEMPHIS                              425     2
13. TENNESSEE                            408     7
14. OKLAHOMA                             387    NR
15. ARIZONA ST                           304    NR
16. MIAMI FL                             233    NR
17. MARQUETTE                            219    21
18. GEORGETOWN                           175    12
19. FLORIDA                              161    NR
20. DAVIDSON                             158     9
21. (tie) USC                            153    NR
21. (tie) WISCONSIN                      153    10
23. KANSAS                               130     1
24. WAKE FOREST                          129    NR
25. VILLANOVA                            122    24
Dropped Out: No. 8 XAVIER, No. 11 STANFORD, No. 14 BUTLER,
No. 15 WASHINGTON ST, No. 17 WEST VIRGINIA, No. 22 WKU, No.
23 DRAKE, No. 25 VANDERBILT
Others Receiving Votes: UNLV 60, SAINT MARYS CA 59, OHIO ST
54, BAYLOR 47, XAVIER 27, SYRACUSE 23, LSU 19, TEXAS A&M 19,
ARIZONA 18, VIRGINIA TECH 15, BYU 13, WEST VIRGINIA 10,
SIENA 8, WASHINGTON 8, KENTUCKY 7, VANDERBILT 7, OKLAHOMA ST
4, CLEMSON 2, WASHINGTON ST 1.  


Twitter Logo
  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago
Instagram Logo
Facebook Logo
Annual Report 10_17_App_Promo_Icon ZAG_Promo_Icon Numerica Resume Book theW.tv Varsity Club University Kids Club
» «