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Pitt Men's Basketball Ascends to No. 1 Ranking for Second Time in School History




Feb. 23, 2009

  

PITTSBURGH—For the second time in school history and third week this season, the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball program was ranked No. 1 in the weekly Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ polls, both announced on Monday.

 

Pitt ascended to the consensus No. 1 ranking after entering the week ranked No. 4 in both polls. On Monday, Pitt defeated No. 1 ranked Connecticut, 76-68, in Hartford, Conn. On Saturday, No. 3 North Carolina lost an 88-85 overtime decision to Maryland and No. 2 Oklahoma dropped a 73-68 loss at Texas.

 

In the Associated Press poll, Pitt garnered 69 of the 72 first place votes. From its No. 4 ranking, Pitt made the largest jump to No. 1 since UCLA moved from No. 5 to No. 1 in December, 2006.


 

 

 

The USA Today/ESPN poll saw Pitt earn 30 of the 31 first place votes. The No. 4-to-No. 1 jump was only the sixth such move during the regular season in the 12 years of the coaches’ poll. The last comparable jump came when Kansas moved from No. 5 to No. 1 on November 30, 2003.

 

On January 5, 2009, Pitt earned the nation’s No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history. The Panthers spent two consecutive weeks as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team and went 2-1 during that span. Pitt dropped to No. 4 following a 69-63 loss at Louisville on Jan. 17.

 

Since January 7, 2002, Pitt has been ranked among the nation’s top-25 in 124 of the previous 133 national polls. Additionally, Pitt has been ranked among the nation’s top-10 teams in each of the last seven seasons (2002-08).

 

Pitt also enters the week ranked No. 1 in the Ratings Percentage Index (www.realtimerpi.com) with a No. 12 ranked strength of schedule.

 

Pitt (25-2, 12-2 Big East) plays at Providence on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. The game will be produced by ESPN Regional and broadcast locally on FSN Pittsburgh. The contest marks Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon’s 200th career game.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS RANKINGS

(as of February 23, 2009)

Rank

School

W-L

Points

1.

PITT (69)

25-2

1,797

2.

Connecticut (1)

25-2

1,692

3.

Oklahoma (2)

25-2

1,643

4.

North Carolina

24-3

1,556

5.

Memphis

24-3

1,543

6.

Louisville

21-5

1,403

7.

Duke

22-5

1,228

8.

Marquette

23-4

1,169

9.

Michigan State

21-5

1,136

10.

Villanova

22-5

1,125

11.

Missouri

23-4

1,094

12.

Clemson

22-4

1,050

13.

Wake Forest

20-5

992

14.

Arizona State

21-5

869

15.

Kansas

22-5

812

16.

Purdue

21-6

765

17.

Gonzaga

21-5

661

18.

LSU

23-4

541

19.

Xavier

22-5

413

20.

Illinois

22-6

364

21.

Washington

20-7

291

22.

UCLA

20-7

268

23.

Florida State

21-6

217

24.

Butler

23-4

192

25.

Texas

18-8

162

 

Others receiving votes: Utah 108, West Virginia 96, Syracuse 53, Arizona 33, Dayton 21, Creighton 21, Utah State 16, Florida 14, California 11, Siena 9, South Carolina 8, Penn State 8, Saint Mary’s, Calif. 5, Davidson 3, Minnesota 3, Kansas State 3, BYU 2, American 1, Kentucky 1, Maryland 1.

 

USA TODAY/ESPN COACHES’ POLL RANKINGS

(as of February 23, 2009)

Rank

School

W-L

Points

1.

PITT (30)

25-2

774

2.

Connecticut (1)

25-2

721

3.

Oklahoma

25-2

692

4.

Memphis

24-3

682

5.

North Carolina

24-3

668

6.

Louisville

21-5

585

7.

Duke

22-5

559

8.

Missouri

23-4

517

9.

Michigan State

21-5

511

10.

Marquette

23-4

471

11.

Arizona State

21-5

434

12.

Villanova

22-5

428

13.

Clemson

22-4

424

14.

Wake Forest

20-5

411

15.

Kansas

22-5

355

16.

Purdue

21-6

261

17.

Gonzaga

21-5

257

18.

LSU

23-4

239

19.

UCLA

20-7

202

20.

Illinois

22-6

197

21.

Washington

20-7

178

22.

Xavier

22-5

175

23.

Butler

23-4

75

24.

Texas

18-8

55

25.

Florida State

21-6

52

 

Others receiving votes: Utah 22, Utah State 22, Dayton 21, Syracuse 18, Florida 16, Penn State 10, Arizona 9, California 7, West Virginia 7, BYU 6, South Carolina 5, Saint Mary’s (Calif.) 4, Boston College 3, Creighton 2, Kentucky 1.

 

PITT MEN’S BASKETBALL HIGHEST NATIONAL RANKINGS

 

Rank

Poll, Date

2

AP-Dec. 7, 1987

2

AP-Jan. 4, 1988

2

UPI-Jan. 4, 1988

2

AP-Dec. 22, 2002

2

USA Today/ESPN, Dec. 22, 2002

2

AP-Dec. 29, 2002

2

USA Today/ESPN, Dec. 29, 2002

2

AP-Jan. 19, 2003

2

USA Today/ESPN, Jan. 19, 2003

2

AP-Jan. 28, 2003

2

USA Today/ESPN, Jan. 28, 2003

2

AP-Nov. 27, 2006

2

AP-Dec. 4, 2006

2

USA Today/ESPN, Dec. 4, 2006

2

AP-Dec. 11, 2006

2

USA Today/ESPN, Dec. 11, 2006

1

AP-Jan. 5, 2009

1

USA Today/ESPN, Jan. 5, 2009

1

AP-Jan. 12, 2009

1

USA Today/ESPN, Jan. 12, 2009

1

AP-Feb. 23, 2009

1

USA Today/ESPN, Feb. 23, 2009