Monday, February 02, 2009

Top Jimmy

To no one’s surprise, UConn is ranked No. 1 in this week’s AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll. Here's a look at the AP poll (the Huskies got 64 No. 1 votes, while No. 2 Oklahoma got five and No. 3 North Carolina got three; Louisville, tonight's opponent, is No. 5), as well as the Huskies’ history as the nation’s top-ranked team:

***This is the 26th week UConn has been ranked No. 1, and the 25th time since 1997-98 – behind only Duke (56) and North Carolina (33) in that span. Since 1989-90, only Duke (80), UNC (48) and Kansas (32) have been No. 1 for more weeks than the Huskies’ 26 weeks.

***UConn is 36-7 as the nation’s No. 1 team – 18-2 at home (9-1 at Gampel, 9-1 in Hartford) and 15-2 on the road. They’re 3-3 on neutral courts (2-3 at Madison Square Garden), 12-4 vs. ranked foes and 24-3 vs. unranked opponents.

***It’s eighth different time and sixth different season that UConn has been ranked No. 1. It’s the fifth time that both the Husky men and women have topped the polls together, and the 12th week they’ve done so.

*** The Huskies are the second Big East team to occupy the No. 1 spot this season. Pittsburgh was the first. It's the first time two different Big East teams have held the top spot since 1984-85, when both Georgetown and St. John's attained such status in the same season.

***It’s also worth noting that, in the four prior seasons that the UConn men and women have each been ranked No. 1, at least one of them has won a national title. In 2004, of course, both teams started the season as the top-ranked teams and both won their respective national titles, the only time that’s ever been done in NCAA history.

“It never gets old,” said women’s coach Geno Auriemma. “You never get tired of hearing that Storrs, Connecticut is the basketball capital of the world because you are a part of it and who would have thought it (would happen). Maybe one time it happens and you go, ‘That is just blind luck,’ but I don't think it is just blind luck anymore. It is not one of those passing phases, both programs have been around too long for people to say anything but Storrs, Connecticut is the basketball capital of the world. The thing I love about it is when people come up here from outside the area, they walk in and want to know where is the locker room that looks like the Taj Mahal, where is the practice facility that is unbelievable and the dorm rooms, they're like the Ritz Carlton. It's not. People come here because they want to win, they don't come here because we have a nice locker room.”

***(Oh, who sang "Top Jimmy"?)


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