Monday, December 15, 2008 Updated: January 3, 3:40 PM ET
Seven of poll's first 15 represent Big East
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.
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.