Louisville grabs top spot in poll

Updated: March 15, 2009, 10:36 PM ET
ESPN.com

Winning the Big East tournament paid major dividends for Louisville.

The Cardinals (28-5) grabbed the No. 1 spot in the final regular-season ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll on Sunday. It was the first time in school history that Louisville was ranked No. 1 by one of the major polls during the season. Shortly before that, the Cardinals were named the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

Louisville garnered 14 of 31 first-place votes for 752 points.

Memphis had an up-and-down day. They ascended to No. 2 in the poll and had 11 first-place votes, but the tournament selection committee did not think the Tigers (31-3) were worthy of a No. 1 seed for March Madness, despite a 25-game winning streak.

Losing in the ACC tournament dropped North Carolina from No. 1 in the poll to No. 3, but the Tar Heels (28-4) were the only non-Big East team to get a top seed in the tournament.

Pittsburgh (28-4) dropped two spots to No. 4 in the poll but did get a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Duke's ACC tournament title pushed the Blue Devils (28-6) to fifth in the poll.

Connecticut (27-4) fell from fourth to sixth after a thrilling six-overtime loss in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. The Huskies still earned a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Michigan State (26-6), Oklahoma (27-5), Missouri (28-6) and Gonzaga (26-5) rounded out the top 10.

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