The newest polls are out and Villanova is the nation's newest #1 as the 'Cats collected 32 of 65 first place votes.
After posting two solid victories in the past 7 days; a 25-point shellacking against Creighton and a 12-point victory on the road at previously 11th ranked Providence, 'Nova did what they had to do to hold their spot in the National Polls. Their ascent was assisted by a combined three losses to Oklahoma and North Carolina who were ranked ahead of the 'Cats in last week's poll.
This is the first time the Wildcats have ever held the nation's poll pole position. They had been ranked #2 on five previous occasions. "We’re honored and humbled to have been voted No.1 by the writers in the Associated Press poll and the coaches in the USA Today Coaches poll," Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in a statement. "There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played and handling this will be another challenge for our team. We look forward to it."
Maryland, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Xavier round out the Top 5.
"The No. 1 national ranking is not only attributed to Jay Wright and the team’s on court success, but it is a reflection of the program’s culture of excellence that promotes academic achievement, community involvement and an unselfish approach both on and off the court," said Director of Athletics Mark Jackson. "This group of Wildcats play for those that came before them and have a great appreciation for the tradition of Villanova Basketball. In my mind, these are the essential characteristics that make up a top-ranked program in college basketball. This is a historic day for Villanova University and an achievement that should make all of Nova Nation proud."
Besides 'Nova and Xavier, the BIG EAST is also represented by Providence at #20.
Southern Cal (#23) and Texas (#24) are the newest additions to the Top 25; Seton Hall also received votes this week.
AP Top 25
|1||Villanova Wildcats (32)||20-3||1,566|
|2||Maryland Terrapins (13)||21-3||1,499|
|3||Oklahoma Sooners (7)||19-3||1,472|
|4||Iowa Hawkeyes (11)||19-4||1,471|
|6||Kansas Jayhawks (1)||19-4||1,311|
|7||Virginia Cavaliers (1)||19-4||1,223|
|8||Michigan State Spartans||20-4||1,144|
|9||North Carolina Tar Heels||19-4||1,136|
|10||West Virginia Mountaineers||19-4||1,082|
|14||Iowa State Cyclones||17-6||781|
|15||Texas A&M Aggies||18-5||663|
|25||Wichita State Shockers||17-6||132|
|Others receiving votes: South Carolina 128, Indiana 91, Notre Dame 75, San Diego State 22, Duke 14, Seton Hall 14, Gonzaga 10, LSU 10, VCU 10, Valparaiso 9, Stony Brook 8, Saint Mary's 6, Saint Joseph's 5, UNC Wilmington 4, Hawaii 3, Utah 3, Chattanooga 2, Connecticut 2, George Washington 2, Michigan 1, Monmouth 1|
USA Today Coaches Poll
|8||North Carolina (1)||19-4||599|
|9||Michigan State (1)||20-4||567|
|Others receiving votes: Notre Dame 63, Gonzaga 53, Duke 40, Saint Mary's 28, Pittsburgh 25, Seton Hall 21, Valparaiso 14, Louisville 12, Monmouth 12, Utah 12, VCU 8, LSU 5, Saint Joseph's 2, Stony Brook 1, California 1, Clemson 1, Arkansas-Little Rock 1|