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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 / July 31.
  • 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.”

    St. Anthony, the defending national high school champ, pulled out a narrow 57-54 victory over Paterson Eastside Sunday at the New Years Jump-Off at Teaneck High School.

    The Friars improved to 8-1 but arent blowing out opponents like they did last year when they featured six Division I players.

    “We made a lot of mistakes so it really came down to who made fewer mistakes, them or us,” St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley told the Jersey Journal.

    “We’re still young and we haven’t yet worked it all out,” said Hurley.

    It was a Big Day in the Big East, with several surprises…

    **No. 3 Pitt went into No. 8 Georgetown and handed it to the Hoyas behind 20 points and 17 boards from DeJuan Blair, who looked like a man among boys while outplaying freshman Greg Monroe.

    “I played with something on my back saying, ‘They’re picking this young cat against me, and I’m not going to take it,'” Blair said. “I was always an underdog throughout my whole life. I think I showed a lot of people.”

    Rutgers junior All-America wide receiver Kenny Britt decided to forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2009 NFL Draft. The nation’s second-leading receiver in yards per game in 2008, Britt finished his career as the BIG EAST’s all-time leader in receiving yards (3,043) in 34 games.

    “It has always been a dream to me to go to the NFL and this is a gateway and an opening to leave this year,”  Britt said. “I have an opportunity to go and I want to take my chances and go.”

    Britt ended the season with school records in single-season receptions (87) and receiving yards (1,371) to help guide Rutgers to its third consecutive bowl victory.

    Britt is the second player in the Greg Schiano era at Rutgers to leave school early and enter the NFL Draft. Ray Rice left Rutgers following his junior season and was a second round draft selection of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 NFL Draft. During Britt’s three-year career in Piscataway, the Scarlet Knights won 27 games, including three bowl victories.

    Vincent Council and Beas Hamga both missed their recruiting visits to Rutgers for last Wednesday’s Pittsburgh game and are still deciding on their future destinations.

    “He never made it to the Rutgers visit,” Vincent Council Sr. said. “So they’re going to reschedule another one.”

    The 6-foot-2 Council plays at The Patterson (NC) School, the No. 1 prep school in the National Prep Poll, and is considering Providence, Rutgers, UCF and Arkansas. His father says he’s leaning toward Providence and could announce soon.

    “He wants to see other schools,” the father said. “He wants to see Arkansas also.”

    As for the 7-foot Hamga, Mark Adams, his advisor, said his flight to the Pitt-Rutgers game was “cancelled.”