Bulldogs Drop Out of USA Today/ESPN Poll

Dec. 25, 2006

McLEAN, Virginia (Ticker) -- Al Horford and Florida are back on the rise following a big win.

The defending national champion Gators moved up one spot to third in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll released Monday.

Florida (11-2) got a big boost from Horford, who returned from a serious ankle sprain to score 11 points and grab 11 rebounds in an 86-60 rout of freshman sensation Greg Oden and then-No. 3 Ohio State.

The preseason No. 1, the Gators moved up in the poll for the third straight week after falling to seventh on December 3 following an upset loss to intrastate rival Florida State. They have 693 points.

Off to its best start since 1993-94, UCLA (11-0) claimed all 31 first-place votes and 775 points to remain on top of the poll for a fourth straight week.

The Bruins recorded a dominant 92-55 victory over Michigan on Saturday, with Josh Shipp scoring 18 points and Arron Afflalo adding 17. They will open Pac-10 Conference play against Washington State on Thursday.

North Carolina (10-1) is 35 points off the pace in second place.

Also moving up one slot was Wisconsin (12-1), which posted an 83-47 victory over Pacific on Saturday for its eighth straight victory. The Badgers are fourth.

Duke (11-1) rounds out the top five, followed by the Buckeyes (10-2) and Arizona (9-1).

After beating both North Carolina State and Coppin State last week, Alabama (11-1) climbed up two spots to eighth, right in front of Connecticut (10-0) and Kansas (10-2).

Pittsburgh (11-2) dropped four spots to 11th following an overtime loss to Oklahoma State on Thursday, followed by Texas A&M (10-2), Washington (10-1), the Cowboys (12-1) and Butler (12-1).

Wichita State (9-2) absorbed the biggest drop, falling eight spots to 16th following back-to-back losses to New Mexico and Southern California at the Las Vegas Classic.

Air Force (11-1), which had its contest vs. Northern Colorado postponed on Saturday due to the blizzard that dumped up to three feet of snow in the state, moved up two spots to 17th.

Nevada (10-1) is 18th, followed by Louisiana State (7-3) and Oregon (11-0).

Clemson (12-0), Marquette (12-2), Memphis (9-3), Notre Dame (10-1) and Michigan State (12-2) complete the poll.

The Fighting Irish are new to the poll. Gonzaga dropped out following last week's loss to then sixth-ranked Duke in a game played at Madison Square Garden. The Bulldogs return to action against No. 18 Nevada this Saturday in the Battle in Seattle at KeyArena.

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 24, 2006)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. UCLA (31) (11-0)                       775     1
 2. NORTH CAROLINA (10-1)                  740     2
 3. FLORIDA (11-2)                         693     4
 4. WISCONSIN (12-1)                       648     5
 5. DUKE (11-1)                            624     6
 6. OHIO ST (10-2)                         594     3
 7. ARIZONA (9-1)                          577     9
 8. ALABAMA (11-1)                         545    10
 9. CONNECTICUT (10-0)                     503    11
10. KANSAS (10-2)                          491    12
11. PITTSBURGH (11-2)                      461     7
12. TEXAS A&M (10-2)                       401    13
13. WASHINGTON (10-1)                      396    17
14. OKLAHOMA ST (12-1)                     347    14
15. BUTLER (12-1)                          337    16
16. WICHITA ST (9-2)                       234     8
17. AIR FORCE (11-1)                       219    19
18. NEVADA (10-1)                          205    20
19. LSU (7-3)                              203    15
20. OREGON (11-0)                          176    23
21. CLEMSON (12-0)                         172    22
22. MARQUETTE (12-2)                       168    21
23. MEMPHIS (9-3)                          131    18
24. NOTRE DAME (10-1)                      105    NR
25. MICHIGAN ST (12-2)                      91    25
Dropped Out: No. 24 GONZAGA
Others Receiving Votes: TENNESSEE 47, MARYLAND 32, GONZAGA
26, WASHINGTON ST 23, SYRACUSE 20, TEXAS 19, ILLINOIS 14,
MISSOURI ST 14, UNLV 13, FLORIDA ST 10, SOUTHN ILLINOIS 10,
GEORGIA 5, WEST VIRGINIA 4, GEORGETOWN 2.

 

 

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