|North Carolina holds No. 1 in next-to-last AP poll of the season|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 10 March 2008 08:48|
The top five teams held their spots from last week in the next-to-last poll of the season.
The Tar Heels (29-2), who beat Duke 76-68 to win the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title, received 52 first-place votes and 1,776 points from the 72-member national media panel. It was North Carolina's second week in its second stint as No. 1. The Tar Heels were on top of the preseason Top 25 and the first 10 polls of the regular season.
Memphis (30-1), which finished its second straight unbeaten season in Conference USA with convincing wins over SMU and UAB, held second with 13 first-place votes. UCLA (28-3), which swept home games over Stanford and California to win its third straight outright Pac-10 title, was No. 1 on five ballots to stay third.
Tennessee (28-3) received the other two first-place votes. The Volunteers remained fourth after clinching their first outright Southeastern Conference title since 1967 with a win over Florida last week.
M, while the Longhorns moved up three places after victories over Nebraska and Oklahoma State.
Duke dropped one place to seventh while Big Ten champion Wisconsin, Big East champion Georgetown and Atlantic 10 champion Xavier rounded out the Top 10.
Stanford, which lost at UCLA and Southern California last week, dropped from seventh to No. 11 and was followed by Butler, Louisville, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Drake, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Michigan State and Gonzaga.
The last five ranked teams were Washington State, Indiana, Davidson, BYU and Marquette.
BYU (25-6), ranked for five weeks earlier this season, is back again. The Cougars moved in having won 13 of their last 14 games to set a school record regular-season wins. BYU won the Mountain West title with a 14-2 record, the first team in league history to win that many games.
Clemson (22-8) dropped out from No. 24. The Tigers, who returned last week after being out the Top 25 for the previous six polls, lost to Georgia Tech and beat Virginia Tech last week. They finished third in the ACC behind North Carolina and Duke, Clemson's best conference finish since winning the title in 1990.
The final poll will be released next Monday.