Bulldogs Jump Into ESPN/USA Today Poll At No. 16

Nov. 30, 2009

Gonzaga University is 16th in this week's ESPN/USA Today Top 25 men's basketball coaches' poll, the 5-1 Bulldogs entering the rankings on the strength of last week's EA Sports Maui Invitational championship.

The Bulldogs put their national ranking on the line Wednesday when undefeated (6-0) Washington State University visits the sold out McCarthey Athletic Center for a 6 p.m. contest.

Last season Gonzaga finished 13th in the final ESPN/USA Today rankings, but the Bulldogs were unranked this season until Monday.

They don't meet on the court until February, but Kansas and Texas find themselves practically side by side as the top two teams in this week's rankings.

The Longhorns moved up from third to second in the rankings released Monday following their fifth win to start the season, 77-59 over Rice.

The Jayhawks (5-0) remain entrenched at No. 1, receiving 30 of the poll's 31 first-place votes, the other going to No. 5 Duke (6-0). Kansas outpointed Texas 774-730.

Kansas and Texas also were 1-2 in The Associated Press Top 25.

This week's top five does not include Michigan State, which fell from second to ninth, the result of the Spartans' 77-74 loss to unbeaten Florida on Friday. It left Villanova (6-0) and Kentucky (6-0) moving up a spot to third and fourth, respectively, and Duke jumped two spots to fifth.

The rest of the top 10: Purdue (5-0) holding at No. 6, followed by Big East members Syracuse (6-0) and West Virginia (5-0) in another show of the conference's depth of strong teams. Michigan State (5-1) and Washington (5-0) round out the top 10.

North Carolina (6-1) leads off the second 10 ahead of another meeting opposite Michigan State; the Tuesday game is the headliner of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The NCAA championship game rematch lost a bit of luster with the Spartans' loss to Florida and the Tar Heels losing big to Syracuse last week.

After UNC, Tennessee is ranked 12th and followed by Connecticut (4-1), five-spot climber Georgetown (4-0), Ohio State (5-1), poll newcomers Gonzaga (5-1) and Florida (6-0), Louisville (4-1) and Clemson (6-1).

 

 

Rounding out the Top 25 are UNLV (5-0), Texas A&M (5-1), Georgia Tech (4-1), Cincinnati (4-1) and California (4-2).

Three Big Ten teams - Michigan (15th last week), Minnesota (T-16th) and Illinois (No. 21) - fell out of the rankings, as did Maryland and Vanderbilt.

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. Team records are through the date the poll was released:

Team	               Record	Pts.	Prev.
1	Kansas  (30)	5-0	774 	 1
2	Texas 	         5-0	730	 3
3	Villanova 	6-0	685	 4
4	Kentucky         	6-0	646	 5
5	Duke Blue (1)	6-0	642 	 7
6	Purdue 	         5-0	632	 6
7	Syracuse          6-0	587	 9
8	West Virginia 	5-0	586	 8
9	Michigan State 	5-1	532	 2
10	Washington 	5-0	458	14
11	North Carolina 	6-1	452	12
12	Tennessee 	5-1	403	11
13	Connecticut 	4-1	356	13
14	Georgetown 	4-0	316	19
15	Ohio State 	5-1	309	18
16	Gonzaga           5-1	270	NR
17	Florida           6-0	244	NR
18	Louisville 	4-1	156	16
19	Clemson           6-1	142	19
20	Butler 	         4-2	132	10
21	UNLV 	         5-0	101	NR
22	Texas A&M 	5-1	 93	NR
23	Georgia Tech	4-1	 92	25
24	Cincinnati 	4-1	 82	NR
25	California 	4-2	 75	23
Others receiving votes: Oklahoma 71; Florida State 62; Portland 62; Vanderbilt 51; Miami 47; Michigan 45; Marquette 44; BYU 36; Minnesota 24; St. John's 20; Arizona 19; Mississippi 18; Washington State12; Kansas State 11; Wisconsin 11; Memphis 8; Pittsburgh 8; Texas Tech 7; Missouri 5; Illinois State 4; Dayton 3; Maryland 2; New Mexico 2; Saint Mary's 2; Notre Dame 2; Cornell 1; Richmond 1; Illinois 1; Utah State 1.

Dropped From Rankings: Michigan 15, Minnesota 16, Illinois 21, Maryland 22, Vanderbilt 24.

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