|North Carolina finishes No. 1 in final AP poll|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 17 March 2008 08:26|
It was the sixth time, and first since 1998, the Tar Heels (32-2) led the final rankings. UCLA and Kentucky have finished No. 1 in the final poll eight times and Duke has done it seven. Ohio State was No. 1 in the final poll last season and the Buckeyes went on to lose to Florida in the championship game.
North Carolina, the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament champions, was No. 1 for the last three weeks of the season and for a total of 14 weeks, including the preseason poll.
The only others to reach No. 1 this season were Memphis for five weeks (three unanimous) and Tennessee for one week.
A record 49 schools were ranked this season, one more than in 1992-93. The poll started in the 1948-49 season and expanded to its current 25-team format in 1989-90.
North Carolina received 53 first-place votes and 1,779 points from the 72-member national media panel.
Memphis, UCLA and Kansas, the other No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament, were second through fourth and were the only other schools to receive first-place votes.
Memphis (33-1), the Conference USA regular-season and tournament champions, was No. 1 on 13 ballots and had 1,710 points. UCLA (31-3), which swept the Pac-10 titles, had five first-place votes and Kansas (31-3), which shared the Big 12 regular-season title with Texas and then beat the Longhorns in the tournament championship game, was No. 1 on one ballot.
Tennessee was fifth after changing places with Kansas from last week and the top 10 was completed by Wisconsin, Texas, Georgetown Duke and Stanford. Butler was 11th, followed by Xavier, Louisville, Drake, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Vanderbilt and Purdue.
The last five ranked teams were Washington State, Clemson, Davidson, Gonzaga and Marquette.
Clemson (24-9) moved back into the poll after being out for one week following its win over Duke in the ACC semifinals and a loss to North Carolina in the title game.
Indiana (25-7) fell out of the poll for the first time this season. The Hoosiers, who were 22nd last week, lost to Minnesota in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament, their third loss in the last four games.
Ten schools were ranked in every poll this season, with North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis and Kansas spending the entire season ranked eighth or higher. The others ranked all season were Georgetown, Tennessee, Michigan State, Washington State, Duke and Texas.
Indiana, Butler and Marquette were ranked for all but one week. Kentucky, Syracuse, Virginia and Kent State were this season's one-week wonders making just a lone appearance in the Top 25.
Nine schools from the 16-team Big East were ranked this season. The Pac-10 had seven and the ACC and Southeastern Conference had six each.