Seven of poll's first 15 represent Big East

Updated: January 3, 2009, 3:40 PM ET
ESPN.com

The Big East continues to flaunt its depth in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, with seven teams spread among the first 15 in the rankings released Monday thanks to strong jumps by Georgetown and Syracuse.

Poll Positions

The top five teams in the ESPN/USA Today poll:

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• Complete ESPN/USA Today poll

Connecticut (8-0) and Pittsburgh (10-0) represented the first wave of Big East muscle, the two following North Carolina (9-0), which remained the poll's unanimous No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week.

Oklahoma (10-0) benefited from Gonzaga's first loss of the season to move up a spot to No. 4, with Big 12 rival Texas (8-1) checking in fifth, Duke (6-1) sixth, and the Zags (7-1) and 9-0 Xavier tied for seventh.

No. 9 Louisville (6-1) was the first of five Big East teams to dot the rankings through the 15th spot. Wake Forest (9-0) rounded out the top 10.

Syracuse, unbeaten through nine games, was 11th and UCLA (6-2) jumped two spots to 12th. Then came the Big East wave -- No. 13 Georgetown (7-1), No. 14 Notre Dame (7-2) and No. 15 Villanova (10-1).

The Hoyas moved up six spots and Syracuse five.

Rounding out the top 20 are Ohio State (6-0), Arizona State (8-1), Purdue (8-2), Tennessee (6-2) and Davidson (8-1).

Memphis (5-2), Michigan State (6-2), Marquette (8-1) and newcomers Baylor (8-1) and Clemson (10-0) complete the rankings. Defending national champion Kansas and Miami dropped out.