Monday , Mar , 13 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Duke tops final hoops poll

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Duke, which won the ACC Tournament and earned
a top seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, finished the men’s basketball
season as the top-ranked team in the final Associated Press poll.

Duke (30-3) moved up two places from third after Connecticut and Villanova
both lost in the Big East Tournament. The Blue Devils, who were ranked No. 1
for all but five weeks this year, earned 59 first-place votes and a total of
1,783 points from a national media panel.

Connecticut (27-3), which was the only other team to earn a No. 1 ranking this
year, fell to second after losing to Syracuse in the Big East quarterfinals.
The Huskies still received 11 first-place votes and 1,709 total points.

Villanova (25-4) dropped from second to third after its Big East semifinal
loss to Pittsburgh. The Wildcats garnered one No. 1 vote and 1,626 points.

Memphis (30-3), which won the Conference USA regular-season and tournament
crowns, moved up a spot to fourth.

Each of the top four teams in the poll earned No. 1 seeds in the NCAA
Tournament.

Gonzaga, which received one first-place vote, finished fifth — dropping one
spot. Ohio State was sixth, while Boston College and UCLA tied for seventh.
Texas and North Carolina rounded out the top 10.

The second 10 consisted of Florida, Kansas, Illinois, George Washington, Iowa,
Pittsburgh, Washington, Tennessee, LSU and Nevada. Florida, Kansas and Iowa
each moved up five spots after capturing their respective conference
tournament titles this past weekend. George Washington tumbled eight spots
after losing its first game in the Atlantic-10 Tournament.

Another surprise conference tournament winner, Syracuse, moved into the poll
at No. 21 after being unranked the past six weeks. The Orange, who had lost
three straight entering the Big East Tournament, won four games in New York
City behind the heroics of senior guard Gerry McNamara to capture their second
straight conference tourney crown.

West Virginia, Georgetown, Oklahoma and UAB completed this year’s final poll.

Six Big East teams finished the season ranked, while the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12
and SEC each had three teams in the final poll.