Monday, January 23, 2006

Rank and File: Wildcats Leap Up to #6 In Both Polls - And Once Again Receive A 1st-Place Vote

by Craig Dimitri

Both major polls were released on Monday, as always. Last week, Villanova was ranked #8 in the Associated Press media poll (the more reliable of the two), and #7 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Villanova's pair of victories last week, over Seton Hall and then-#20 Syracuse, impressed the voters. The 13-2 Wildcats are now the sixth-ranked team in both polls, leaping two spots in the AP and one spot in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Best of all, Villanova received a first-place ballot in the AP poll.

Associated Press - #6 (1 first-place vote) ranking, 1,429 points, up from #8, 1,350 points.

Villanova leapfrogged Illinois, which fell from #7 to #8, due to a loss to Indiana. The Wildcats also jumped over Gonzaga, which fell from #6 to #7, despite two victories - the Zags escaped USD with a one-point victory and it cost them some votes as a result.

ESPN/USA Today - #6 ranking, 606 votes.

Villanova moved ahead of the Illini, who tumbled from #7 to #5. - #4 ranking, #13 strength-of-schedule. (As of Wednesday, January 18, the most recent update.)

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