Monday , Mar , 01 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Syracuse returns to poll; Stanford and St. Joe’s still 1-2

=== Syracuse returns to poll; Stanford and St. Joe’s still 1-2 ===

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Defending national champion Syracuse returned
to the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll following an upset of
Pittsburgh on Sunday.

The Orangemen (19-6) had been out of the poll for the previous three weeks,
but a three-game winning streak and victories in five of their last six games
moved them to No. 24 this week.

Stanford and Saint Joseph’s remained the top two teams in the poll for the
third consecutive week. The Cardinal (25-0) and Hawks (26-0) are the only
unbeaten teams in Division I basketball.

Saint Joseph’s posted a narrow 57-55 win at Rhode Island on Saturday, which
probably cost the Hawks a few first-place votes.

Stanford received 67 first-place votes for a total of 1,795 points from the
national media panel. Saint Joseph’s, meanwhile, garnered three No. 1 votes —
five fewer than last week — and a total of 1,722 points.

Duke (24-3) moved up two spots from fifth to third and is followed by Gonzaga
(25-2) and Mississippi State (23-2).

Pittsburgh, which had a 40-game home winning streak stopped with the 49-46
overtime setback against Syracuse, fell from third to sixth. Fellow Big East
member Connecticut is seventh, while Oklahoma State dropped from sixth to
eighth after a double-overtime loss to Missouri.

Kentucky and Texas completed the top-10.

The second-10 consists of Wake Forest, Providence, Cincinnati, North Carolina,
Southern Illinois, North Carolina State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia Tech and
Memphis.

Kansas, Arizona, Utah State, Syracuse and Louisville round out the poll.

Louisville was ranked 10th just two weeks ago and might have fallen out of the
rankings this week if not for a 66-60 victory over Memphis on Saturday that
ended a four-game losing streak.

Texas Tech, which lost at Nebraska and Texas last week, fell out of the
rankings. The Red Raiders have lost seven of their last 10 after a 12-game
winning streak to put their NCAA Tournament hopes on the bubble.

Heading into the final week of the regular season, a game featuring top-25
teams against each other has Pittsburgh at Providence on Tuesday. The Panthers
and Friars are tied with Connecticut for first place in the Big East.

On Wednesday, Georgia Tech visits Duke in the ACC and two more ACC showdowns
on Saturday pit NC State against Wake Forest and Duke versus North Carolina.

Conference USA has Cincinnati hosting Memphis on Saturday, while UConn and
Syracuse square off in the Carrier Dome on Sunday.