College Basketball: Top 25 Commentary: UNC #1

    
March 9th, 2009

The Story: After being ranked No. 1 for the first eight weeks of the season, the Tar Heels find themselves back on top of the polls.  North Carolina defeated Duke yesterday, 79-71, to complete the season sweep against their rivals. Pittsburgh and Memphis are the only other teams to receiving first place votes in the Coaches’ poll. Pittsburgh, No. 2, also completed a season sweep this past weekend over Big East foe Connecticut. Memphis, No. 3/4, is riding a 22-game win streak. Last week’s No 1, Connecticut, falls to No. 4/3. Louisville, Big East’s regular season champion, received one first place vote in the AP poll and sits at No. 5 heading into the conference tournament. Big Ten champions Michigan State move up to No. 6/7. Big 12 champion Kansas fell two spots to No. 11 after losing earlier in the week to Texas Tech. Syracuse jumped up an impressive seven spots in the AP (No. 18) poll after closing out the regular season with two conference wins. Illinois is the only team to fall from the AP rankings this week. The Fighting Illini are still ranked in the Coaches’ poll at No. 25. They are replaced in the AP poll by No. 25 BYU.   

 

AP Top 25
1. North Carolina (35) 27-3 1,734
2. Pittsburgh (33) 28-3 1,731
3. Connecticut 27-3 1,592
4. Memphis (2) 28-3 1,544
5. Louisville (1) 25-5 1,513
6. Oklahoma 27-4 1,399
7. Michigan State 25-5 1,349
8. Wake Forest 24-5 1,246
9. Duke 25-6 1,237
10. Villanova 25-6 1,108
11. Kansas 25-6 1,038
12. Gonzaga 25-5 978
13. Washington 24-7 910
14. Missouri 25-6 779
15. UCLA 24-7 752
16. Butler 26-4 536
17. Clemson 23-7 528
18. Syracuse 23-8 518
19. Xavier 24-6 465
20. LSU 25-6 461
21. Marquette 23-8 453
22. Florida State 23-8 333
23. Arizona State 22-8 199
24. Purdue 22-9 169
25. Brigham Young 24-6 158


Others Receiving Votes
Illinois 131, Texas A&M 63, Saint Mary's 56, Utah 21, West Virginia 17, Auburn 9, Dayton 7, Utah State 6, Virginia Commonwealth 6, Weber State 5, Creighton 4, Northern Iowa 3, Siena 3, Oklahoma State 3, Penn State 2, New Mexico 2, California 2, Texas 2, American University 1, Ohio State 1, Tennessee 1.

ESPN/USA Today Poll
1. North Carolina (23) 27-3 767
2. Pittsburgh (5) 28-3 740
3. Memphis (3) 28-3 702
4. Connecticut 27-3 679
5. Louisville 25-5 659
6. Michigan State 25-5 608
7. Oklahoma 27-4 592
8. Duke 25-6 545
9. Wake Forest 24-5 532
10. Washington 24-7 466
11. Kansas 25-6 444
12. Gonzaga 25-5 426
13. Villanova 25-6 410
14. UCLA 24-7 369
15. Missouri 25-6 327
16. LSU 25-6 274
17. Butler 26-4 251
18. Clemson 23-7 223
19. Xavier 24-6 196
20. Syracuse 23-8 182
21. Marquette 23-8 157
22. Florida State 23-8 135
23. Arizona State 22-8 133
24. Purdue 22-9 68
25. Illinois 23-8 57


Others Receiving Votes
Saint Mary's 43, Brigham Young 30, Utah State 23, Dayton 11, California 9, Utah 7, Boston College 3, Texas 3, Texas A&M 2, Siena 1, Weber State 1.

 

Ryter’s Block: It’s interesting to think that Oklahoma, 2nd in the Big 12, is ranked ahead of Big 12 Champion Kansas. Louisville, the Big East champs, is ranked behind both Connecticut and Pittsburgh. Although the Jayhawks and Cardinals earned regular season titles and a No. 1 seed in conference play, the rankings are still spot on. The Tar Heels find themselves back on top of both polls. Many people thought it was inevitable that UNC would be No. 1 when the regular season ended; however it wasn’t easy. The Tar Heels overcame two early conference losses to win the ACC regular season crown. Washington and Villanova’s rankings are flip flopped in both polls. Washington is No. 10 in the Coaches’ poll and No. 13 in the AP, whereas ‘Nova is No. 13 in the Coaches’ poll and No. 10 in the AP. Can’t they agree on one? I like Washington at No. 13, ‘Nova at No. 10. These rankings won’t even matter next week. We already have several teams who have punched their ticket…who will earn theirs next?

 

Games to watch this week…

 

MARCH 9th-14th: EVERYTHING! 

MARCH 15th:    SELECTION SUNDAY