Tuesday, April 5, 2011
UConn a near unanimous No. 1
ESPN.com news services
Connecticut received 30 of 31 first-place votes in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, released a day after the Huskies defeated Butler to win their third NCAA championship under coach Jim Calhoun.
Ohio State, which was knocked out by eventual regional champion Kentucky in the Sweet 16, received the lone remaining first-place vote.
The 31 Division I coaches voting in the poll are not obligated to vote for the NCAA tournament champion as No. 1 on the final ballot of the season. In a USA Today online report Tuesday, Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras told the newspaper he gave his No. 1 vote to the Buckeyes.
Adras said he also put Kansas No. 2 before voting for UConn third on his ballot.
"I voted for who I thought was the best team in the country based on the entire body of work during the season," Adras told USA Today. "I believe it is Ohio State. I want to congratulate Connecticut for winning the NCAA tournament. They deserved it."
ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll
The top five teams in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll:
Although the coaches' votes are made public for every other poll, they are not made public for the final poll, according to policy set by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Butler, which reached its second straight NCAA final, was ranked No. 2 and led six teams that vaulted from unranked status into the final Top 25. Fellow mid-major Final Four participant Virginia Commonwealth, also unranked when the tournament began, finished No. 6.
Kentucky was ranked third, followed by Kansas and Ohio State. VCU, Duke, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida rounded out the top 10.
While Butler and VCU reached the top 10 following tournament success, a pair of high tournament seeds plunged after disappointing losses.
Pittsburgh, the regular-season Big East champion and a No. 1 seed, fell to No. 12 in the final poll from No. 4 after Butler eliminated the Panthers from the tournament in the third round. San Diego State, formerly No. 5, fell to No. 11 following its Sweet 16 loss to UConn.
St. John's, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Xavier and Georgetown fell out of the poll, while Florida State, Marquette and Richmond -- all of whom pulled off upsets in the tournament -- ascended into the final Top 25 of the season.