Bulldogs Fall To 8th In Associated Press Poll

Dec. 15, 2008

By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

There weren't many changes in The Associated Press' college basketball poll on Monday as most schools took a break last week for final exams. Things could look a lot different in next week's Top 25.

North Carolina, Connecticut and Pittsburgh held on to the top three spots in the rankings and the only newcomer to the poll was Clemson, which replaced defending national champion Kansas at No. 25.

More changes may be in store next week because Saturday features five games between ranked teams, including two between teams in the top 10.

North Carolina (9-0), which beat Oral Roberts 100-84 in its only game last week, remained the unanimous No. 1 as it has been since the preseason poll. The Tar Heels received all 72 first-place votes from the national media panel.

Oklahoma, Texas and Duke all moved up one spot to fourth through sixth, respectively, while Xavier made the jump from 10th to seventh, the Musketeers' highest ranking since they were No. 7 on Dec. 9, 1997.

Gonzaga, which lost 69-64 to Arizona on Sunday, dropped from fourth to eighth and was followed in the top 10 by Louisville and Wake Forest.

Connecticut (8-0) will play Gonzaga (7-1) in the Battle in Seattle at KeyArena in one of the top 10 matchups Saturday, while Duke (8-1) and Xavier (9-0) meet the same day at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

The other games involving ranked teams Saturday have Syracuse at Memphis, Davidson at Purdue and Michigan State at Texas. The week's other double-ranked game has Marquette playing Tennessee in Nashville on Tuesday.

Syracuse was 11th followed by Notre Dame, Purdue, UCLA, Georgetown, Tennessee, Ohio State, Villanova, Michigan State and Arizona State.

The last five ranked teams were Baylor, Davidson, Memphis, Marquette and Clemson.

The No. 23 ranking for Memphis (5-2), which lost 79-70 in overtime at Georgetown on Saturday, is its lowest since the Tigers returned to the poll in the preseason voting in 2005-06.


 

 

Clemson is off to a 10-0 start for the fourth straight season and this is the third straight season it has been ranked after a seven-year stretch without cracking the Top 25.

The Tigers, who were ranked 22nd in last season's final poll, opened this season by beating Hofstra, TCU and Temple to win the Charleston Classic and their most recent win was a 90-63 victory over South Carolina State on Saturday.

Clemson opens its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule on Sunday at Miami.

Kansas (7-2) dropped out of the rankings for the second time this season following a 61-60 loss to Massachusetts in Kansas City, Mo. The Jayhawks were out for one week following a loss to Syracuse in the championship game of the CBE Classic, and returned at No. 25 last week.

The Big East has a record eight teams in the Top 25 for a third straight week. The addition of Clemson moved the ACC into second place with four teams while the Big 12 and Big Ten have three each.

The ACC (North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest) and Big East (Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Louisville) both have three teams ranked in the top 10.

The Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll, with
number of first-place votes and record in parentheses, total
points and previous ranking:
(Records through December 14, 2008)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. NORTH CAROLINA (72) (9-0)            1,800     1
 2. CONNECTICUT (8-0)                    1,715     2
 3. PITTSBURGH (10-0)                    1,646     3
 4. OKLAHOMA (10-0)                      1,585     5
 5. TEXAS (8-1)                          1,473     6
 6. DUKE (8-1)                           1,347     7
 7. XAVIER (9-0)                         1,233    10
 8. GONZAGA (7-1)                        1,225     4
 9. LOUISVILLE (6-1)                     1,176     9
10. WAKE FOREST (9-0)                    1,101    11
11. SYRACUSE (9-0)                       1,005    13
12. NOTRE DAME (7-2)                       992    12
13. PURDUE (8-2)                           765    14
14. UCLA (6-2)                             756    16
15. GEORGETOWN (7-1)                       750    19
16. TENNESSEE (6-2)                        683     8
17. OHIO ST (6-0)                          576    21
18. VILLANOVA (10-1)                       571    15
19. MICHIGAN ST (6-2)                      506    18
20. ARIZONA ST (8-1)                       431    20
21. BAYLOR (8-1)                           420    22
22. DAVIDSON (8-1)                         398    23
23. MEMPHIS (5-2)                          350    17
24. MARQUETTE (8-1)                        240    24
25. CLEMSON (10-0)                         196    NR
Dropped Out: No. 25 KANSAS
Others Receiving Votes: MICHIGAN 132, MIAMI FL 64, MISSOURI
44, BYU 37, BUTLER 23, DAYTON 23, FLORIDA ST 21, LSU 21,
ILLINOIS 15, KANSAS 15, WISCONSIN 15, ARIZONA 10, MARYLAND
10, FLORIDA 8, NORTHWESTERN 7, TEXAS A&M 6, SAINT MARYS CA
3, MINNESOTA 2, TEMPLE 2, NAVY 1, WEST VIRGINIA 1.

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