Pitt No. 1, Nine Big East Teams in Top 25 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / August 15.
  • Pitt No. 1, Nine Big East Teams in Top 25

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    For the first time in school history, Pitt was ranked No. 1 in both the AP and USA Today – ESPN Coaches Polls.

    Pitt ascended to the consensus No. 1 ranking after entering the week ranked No. 3 in both polls. On Monday, No. 2 ranked Connecticut was defeated by No. 11 ranked Georgetown 74-63. No. 3 Pitt defeated both Rutgers (78-72) and Georgetown (70-54). No. 1 ranked North Carolina dropped an 85-78 decision to Boston College.

    In the Associated Press poll, Pitt garnered 70 of the 72 first place votes. The USA Today/ESPN poll saw Pitt earn 30 of the 31 first place votes.

    “I don’t think it will change anything for us,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz on Sunday night. “We’ve become rivals of schools over the years, rivals of schools that weren’t rivals before.”

    Pitt led a parade of nine Big East teams in the Coaches poll: No. 4 UConn, No. 9 Syracuse, No. 10 Georgetown, No. 13 NOtre Dame, No. 15 Marquette, No. 17 Villanova, No. 21 Louisville and No. 22 West Virginia were also ranked.

    All nine teams were also ranked in the AP poll.

    “I told [Ohio State coach] Thad Matta last week, this would be a great job if we didn’t have to play games,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins told the Charleston Gazette. “We’re 1-0 [in the Big East] and all we have left is 17 more league games and our in-state rival [Marshall a week from Wednesday].”

    With the Steelers playing host to San Diego in the NFL’s AFC divisional playoffs on Sunday, it could take some heat off Pitt this week. The Panthers’ next game is Sunday against St. John’s.

    “[A No. 1 ranking] doesn’t mean much to me, but it will mean something to other people,” Dixon said Sunday night. “It won’t mean much to our players. We’ve been consistently good, but at the same time we haven’t won a national championship, so nothing changes.”

    (ESPN.com contributed)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.