College basketball coaches are finally beginning to take note of the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Jamie Dixon’s program cracked the coaches’ poll for the first time this season after spending most of the year as one of the leading vote-getters on the outside looking in. Pittsburgh checks in at No. 24 and is joined in the latest Top 25 by returning occupant N.C. State. New Mexico (No. 17) and North Carolina (No. 19) each spiraled out of the poll. The Lobos lost to Nate Wolters and South Dakota State at the Pit while the Tar Heels fell on the road to Texas.
Duke and Michigan retain the top two spots in the poll. The Blue Devils received 30 of 31 first-place votes while the Wolverines received the other. Michigan is followed by Louisville (No. 3), Arizona (No. 4) and Indiana (No. 5), which all moved up a spot as formerly third-ranked Syracuse dipped to seventh. The Orange racked up its first loss on Saturday against Temple.
Kansas, which slayed Ohio State in Columbus over the weekend, jumped from eighth to sixth while the Buckeyes sunk from seventh to tenth. Border War rival Missouri skipped from No. 12 to No. 9 after dealing Illinois its first loss in the Braggin’ Rights game. The Fighting Illini sagged from No. 10 to No. 15. Cincinnati climbed into the Top 10, scaling from No. 11 to No. 8, while Florida (No. 9 to No. 11) ducked out after losing to Kansas State in Kansas City.
Kentucky at No. 23 remains the only team in the poll with at least three losses.
|USA Today Coaches Poll|
|16||San Diego State||11-1||327|
|25||North Carolina State||9-2||87|