Gonzaga Drops To 17th In USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Balloting

Dec. 29, 2008

MCLEAN, Virginia (Ticker) -- John Beilein's second season in Ann Arbor is off to a smashing start.

Beilein's Michigan squad entered the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, which was released Monday, for the first time in nearly three years.

The 24th-ranked Wolverines (9-2) boast an impressive four-game winning streak, which includes a victory over then-No. 4 Duke on December 6. That win helped vault Michigan to its first national ranking since February 6, 2006.

It has been quite a turnaround for Beilein, the former West Virginia coach who went 10-22 in his first season at Michigan.

The 10th win did not come until the next-to-last game.

The Wolverines can match that win total with a victory over North Carolina Central on Monday.

While Michigan is new to the rankings, a familiar team has dropped out. Memphis remained 24th in the rankings despite losing to Syracuse on December 20.

But despite last Monday's blowout of Drexel, the Tigers (6-3) fell from the rankings for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

The top six teams remain unchanged, with No. 1 North Carolina (12-0) receiving all 31 first-place votes. Connecticut (11-0) retained the No. 2 spot following an impressive 88-83 win over Gonzaga in Seattle last Saturday.

Pittsburgh (12-0) is third, followed by Oklahoma (12-0), Duke (10-1) and Wake Forest (11-0). Texas (10-2) and Georgetown (9-1) move up one spot each to seventh and eighth, respectively. UCLA (10-2) and Notre Dame (9-2) rounded out the top 10.

Purdue (11-2) and Syracuse (11-2) are tied for 11th, while Villanova (11-1), Arizona State (10-1), Michigan State (9-2) and Clemson (12-0) are the next five.

Gonzaga (8-3) fell 10 spots to 17th following Tuesday's stunning home loss to Portland State. The Bulldogs will be in action Wednesday at the University of Utah.

Louisville (8-2) and Tennessee (8-2) are tied for 18th, with Baylor (10-1), Minnesota (12-0), Xavier (9-2), Ohio State (9-1), Michigan and Marquette rounding out the poll.

 

 

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 28, 2008)
    TEAM                                   PTS   PVS
    ----                                   ---   ---
 1. NORTH CAROLINA (31) (12-0)             775     1
 2. CONNECTICUT (11-0)                     737     2
 3. PITTSBURGH (12-0)                      715     3
 4. OKLAHOMA (12-0)                        683     4
 5. DUKE (10-1)                            651     5
 6. WAKE FOREST (11-0)                     598     6
 7. TEXAS (10-2)                           531     8
 8. GEORGETOWN (9-1)                       510     9
 9. UCLA (10-2)                            496    10
10. NOTRE DAME (9-2)                       453    11
11. (tie) PURDUE (11-2)                    398    15
11. (tie) SYRACUSE (12-1)                  398    14
13. VILLANOVA (11-1)                       351    16
14. ARIZONA ST (10-1)                      346    17
15. MICHIGAN ST (9-2)                      308    18
16. CLEMSON (12-0)                         293    20
17. GONZAGA (8-3)                          285     7
18. (tie) LOUISVILLE (8-2)                 223    19
18. (tie) TENNESSEE (8-2)                  223    21
20. BAYLOR (10-1)                          194    22
21. MINNESOTA (12-0)                       181    23
22. XAVIER (9-2)                           169    12
23. OHIO ST (9-1)                          158    13
24. MICHIGAN (9-2)                          66    NR
25. MARQUETTE (11-2)                        55    25
Dropped Out: No. 24 MEMPHIS
Others Receiving Votes: BYU 43, WEST VIRGINIA 41, BUTLER 37,
MEMPHIS 33, DAYTON 32, SAINT MARYS CA 26, DAVIDSON 12,
ARIZONA 10, MISSOURI 9, ILLINOIS 8, ILLINOIS ST 6, STANFORD
6, FLORIDA 5, LSU 4, TEXAS A&M 3, FLORIDA ST 2, UTAH ST 1.

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