Gonzaga 9th In USA TODAY/ESPN Poll

Dec. 19, 2005

BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - Each dealt a blowout defeat, Louisville and Texas tumbled down the rankings in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll released Monday.

Playing away from home for the first time this season, Louisville lost to Kentucky on Saturday, 73-61, in a game not as close as the final score might indicate and dropped six spots to 10th in the rankings.

The Cardinals (6-1) never led against the Wildcats and trailed by as many as 23 points in the second half.

The Longhorns (8-2) were blown out for the second straight Saturday and slipped eight spots to No. 15. Ranked second on December 10, the Longhorns were drubbed by Duke at the Meadowlands, 97-66, and fared no better a week later, losing to Tennessee at home, 95-78.

There was no change at the top of the rankings as Duke, Connecticut and Villanova remained in the top three spots.

The Blue Devils (10-0) have been the poll's only No. 1 team this season and received 29 first-place votes - one fewer than last week - and 773 points to hold a 36-point lead over Connecticut (8-0), which received one first-place vote.

J.J. Redick established career highs with 41 points and nine 3-pointers in Duke's rout of Texas and he followed up with a 30-point performance in a 104-77 victory over Valparaiso on Sunday. The Blue Devils are 10-0 for the fifth time in the last six seasons.

Villanova (7-0) received the remaining first-place vote, while Memphis (7-1) and Florida (10-0) each moved up one spot to round out the top five.

Illinois (11-0) is sixth, followed by Washington (9-0), Oklahoma (6-1), Gonzaga (7-2) and Louisville.

Michigan State (9-2) starts the second 10 and is followed by UCLA (8-1), George Washington (8-0), Boston College (7-2) and the Longhorns.

Maryland (7-2), Indiana (5-2), North Carolina State (8-1), North Carolina (6-1) and Kentucky (7-3) round out the top 20.

The Wildcats moved up two spots after their drubbing of the Cardinals.

Nevada (7-1), Ohio State (7-0), Wisconsin (9-1), Wake Forest (8-2) and Pittsburgh (8-0) complete the poll. The Panthers joined the rankings for the first time this season while Iowa (8-3) dropped out.

In its first season under coach Bruce Pearl, Tennessee (6-0) is off to its best start since opening the 2000-01 campaign with nine consecutive wins. The Volunteers just missed breaking into the poll at No. 26, four points behind Pitt.

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, 2005)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. DUKE (29) (10-0)                       773     1
 2. CONNECTICUT (1) (8-0)                  738     2
 3. VILLANOVA (1) (7-0)                    718     3
 4. MEMPHIS (8-1)                          655     5
 5. FLORIDA (10-0)                         632     6
 6. ILLINOIS (11-0)                        624     8
 7. WASHINGTON (9-0)                       571    10
 8. OKLAHOMA (6-1)                         549     9
 9. GONZAGA (7-2)                          489    11
10. LOUISVILLE (6-1)                       447     4
11. MICHIGAN ST (9-2)                      429    12
12. UCLA (8-1)                             421    14
13. GEO WASHINGTON (8-0)                   366    15
14. BOSTON COLLEGE (7-2)                   319    13
15. TEXAS (8-2)                            291     7
16. MARYLAND (7-2)                         267    17
17. INDIANA (5-2)                          248    18
18. NC STATE (8-1)                         238    19
19. NORTH CAROLINA (6-1)                   198    20
20. KENTUCKY (7-3)                         184    22
21. NEVADA (7-1)                           144    21
22. OHIO ST (7-0)                          136    25
23. WISCONSIN (9-1)                        105    24
24. WAKE FOREST (8-2)                       93    16
25. PITTSBURGH (8-0)                        65    NR
Dropped Out: No. 23 IOWA
Others Receiving Votes: TENNESSEE 61, SYRACUSE 52, ARIZONA
51, IOWA 41, LSU 27, XAVIER 24, BUCKNELL 23, MICHIGAN 18,
KANSAS ST 15, AIR FORCE 8, CLEMSON 6, NOTRE DAME 6, WEST
VIRGINIA 6, IONA 5, NORTHERN IOWA 5, COLORADO 4, INDIANA ST
4, TEXAS A&M 4, BUFFALO 3, MISSOURI ST 3, CINCINNATI 2,
COLORADO ST 2, HOUSTON 2, VANDERBILT 2, OKLAHOMA ST 1.

 

 

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