Zags Up To #5 In ESPN/USA Today coaches poll
Dec. 1, 2008
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - Undefeated Gonzaga hurdled half of the top 10 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll Monday to settle in at No. 5 a day after its convincing victory over Tennessee in the Old Spice Classic championship game. The Bulldogs beat Oklahoma State University 83-71 on Thursday, the University of Maryland 81-59 on Friday and No. 12 University of Tennessee 83-74 to claim the title on Sunday and improve to 5-0 on the season.
Gonzaga won its first regular-season tournament since capturing the BB&T Classic hosted by the University of Maryland in December, 2003. The Bulldogs also defeated a non-conference ranked opponent for the first time since Jan.31, 2007, when they beat No. 23 Stanford 90-86 in double overtime.
The Bulldogs' leap led a reshuffing of the top 10 following their triumph in the Orlando tournament. Louisville tumbled from third to 11th on the heels of its upset loss to Western Kentucky on Sunday.
Michigan State also fell from the top 10, dropping six spots from sixth to 12th after losing to Maryland in the Old Spice Classic. These top 10 departures opened the door for Oklahoma (No. 6) and UCLA (No. 9) to join the top 10.
North Carolina remained the unanimous No. 1 team in the country with 31 first-place votes. The Tar Heels are followed by No. 2 UConn, No. 3 Pittsburgh, No. 4 Duke and the Zags.
The rest of the top 10 includes the Sooners, followed by Notre Dame, Texas, UCLA and Purdue.
The only newly ranked team this week is the Syracuse Orange, who entered the poll at No. 20. Marquette fell out of the poll from the 15th spot after losing to Dayton.
North Carolina also was a unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll.
This week the Bulldogs travel to Indianapolis, Ind. to match up with the University of Indiana as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge held at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday.
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