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Louisville tops final men's hoops poll

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Big East champion Louisville finished atop the final Associated Press men's basketball poll.

The Cardinals (28-5) captured the regular season and tournament titles in what is considered the toughest conference in the country. It marks the first top ranking for the school, which won national championships in 1980 and '86.

There is no poll after the NCAA Tournament.

Louisville, which received the top overall seeding for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, received 45 first-place votes and a total of 1,740 points from a nationwide media panel. The Cardinals vaulted from fifth to the top spot thanks to numerous upsets in this past weekend's conference tournament play.

North Carolina held last week's top spot, but without injured point guard Ty Lawson, lost in the ACC Tournament semifinals to Florida State and finished second in the poll. The Tar Heels, who will also head to the NCAA Tournament with a top seed, still earned 11 first-place votes and 1,654 total points.

Memphis finished third and was followed by Pittsburgh and Connecticut. All three teams also garnered first-place votes, as Memphis picked up 11, Pitt three and UConn one.

Pittsburgh and Connecticut lost in the Big East quarterfinals last week, but still earned top seeds for the NCAA Tournament. Memphis, despite winning a fourth straight Conference USA Tournament title and riding a 25-game winning streak into the NCAA tourney, is only a No. 2 seed in the field of 65.

ACC Tournament champion Duke, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Big 12 tourney champ Missouri and Gonzaga completed the top 10.

The second 10 consists of Villanova, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Kansas, Washington, Florida State, Purdue, UCLA, Arizona State and Xavier. Purdue made the biggest jump within the poll, vaulting seven spots from 24th following its initial Big Ten Tournament championship.

LSU, Butler, Marquette, Clemson and Utah were the last five teams ranked. Clemson, after a loss to Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament, had the biggest fall within the poll, dropping seven spots from 17th.

Utah was the lone newcomer to the last poll after its Mountain West Tournament title. The Utes replaced fellow MWC member BYU, which lost in the conference tourney semifinals.

A total of 47 different teams were ranked this year and six spent time at the top. Including Louisville and North Carolina, the others were Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Duke and Wake Forest.

03/16 14:46:02 ET


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