Bulldogs 24th In USA Today/ESPN Rankings

Dec. 18, 2006

BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - After enjoying a week-long vacation, UCLA will return to the court in a familiar position.

The Bruins retained the top ranking in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll released Monday.

UCLA (9-0) held the No. 1 spot for the third consecutive week, receiving 29 of a possible 31 first-place votes and 772 points from a panel of coaches.

The Bruins faced their first serious challenge of the season on December 9 against Texas A&M and held on for a 65-62 victory.

UCLA spent the next week taking exams before returning to action in Saturday's 74-53 victory over Oakland.

North Carolina (8-1) climbed one spot to second in the rankings and received 732 points. The Tar Heels cruised to a 93-62 triumph over UNC Asheville on Saturday, extending their winning streak to five games.

Ohio State (9-1) moved up one spot to third, collecting the final two first-place votes and 722 points. Defending national champion Florida (9-2) also jumped one spot to fourth with 620 points.

Fresh off an impressive win over previously undefeated Pittsburgh, Wisconsin (11-1) rounded out the top five with 615 points. Behind a 32-point performance from Alando Tucker on Saturday, the Badgers posted an 89-75 victory over the Panthers, who were ranked second at the time.

Duke (9-1) remained sixth in the poll for the second straight week while Pitt (10-1) dropped five spots to seventh. Wichita State (8-0), Arizona (8-1) and Alabama (9-1) completed the top 10.

Connecticut (9-0) fell three spots to 11th, followed by Kansas (8-2), Texas A&M (9-2), Oklahoma State (11-0) and Louisiana State (6-2).

Butler (11-1) climbed two spots to 16th while Washington (8-1) fell three spots to 17th. Memphia (8-2) is 18th, followed by Air Force (11-1) and Nevada (9-1).

Marquette (10-2), Clemson (10-0), Oregon (10-0), Gonzaga (9-3) and Michigan State (10-2) complete the poll.

Gonzaga fell to 24th after losing to Georgia last Saturday, but the Bulldogs get a shot at No. 6 Duke on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

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 December 18, 2006)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. UCLA (29) (9-0)                        772     1
 2. NORTH CAROLINA (8-1)                   732     3
 3. OHIO ST (2) (9-1)                      722     4
 4. FLORIDA (9-2)                          620     5
 5. WISCONSIN (11-1)                       615     7
 6. DUKE (9-1)                             592     6
 7. PITTSBURGH (10-1)                      560     2
 8. WICHITA ST (8-0)                       518    10
 9. ARIZONA (8-1)                          501    11
10. ALABAMA (9-1)                          499     9
11. CONNECTICUT (9-0)                      493     8
12. KANSAS (8-2)                           437    12
13. TEXAS A&M (9-2)                        366    13
14. OKLAHOMA ST (11-0)                     320    17
15. LSU (6-2)                              319    15
16. BUTLER (11-1)                          300    18
17. WASHINGTON (8-1)                       288    14
18. MEMPHIS (8-2)                          223    19
19. AIR FORCE (11-1)                       207    20
20. NEVADA (9-1)                           168    21
21. MARQUETTE (10-2)                       130    22
22. CLEMSON (10-0)                         117    25
23. OREGON (10-0)                          116    24
24. GONZAGA (9-3)                          108    16
25. MICHIGAN ST (10-2)                      87    23
Dropped Out:
Others Receiving Votes: NOTRE DAME 57, MISSOURI ST 44,
SYRACUSE 41, MARYLAND 32, TEXAS 32, SOUTHN ILLINOIS 10,
ILLINOIS 9, GEORGETOWN 8, WASHINGTON ST 8, UNLV 6, DAYTON 5,
BOSTON COLLEGE 3, FLORIDA ST 2, GEORGIA 2, MISSISSIPPI ST 2,
MISSOURI 1, PURDUE 1, TENNESSEE 1, WEST VIRGINIA 1.

 

 

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