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BIG EAST Releases Preseason Men's Basketball Polls

Oct. 23, 2002

Connecticut and Pittsburgh are picked to repeat as the East and West Division champions in the 2002-03 BIG EAST regular season, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches. Coaches did not place their own teams on their preseason ballots.

The Huskies and Panthers won their respective divisions last season, though neither team was a preseason selection for first place. Connecticut was tabbed for second and the coaches felt Pittsburgh would end up sixth. Both teams finished 13-3 in BIG EAST play and met in the title game of the ConAgra Foods BIG EAST Championship. UConn prevailed, 74-65 in double overtime.

This season, the Huskies received nine first-place votes in the East and a total of 85 points. Boston College finished second with 71 points just ahead of Villanova (67) and St. John’s (66). Miami was fifth followed by Providence and Virginia Tech.

In the West, Pittsburgh garnered 12 first-place votes and 90 points. The Panthers were a comfortable selection ahead of second-place Georgetown, which had 72 points. Syracuse was third with 68 points, though the Orangemen received the other two first-place votes. Notre Dame was fourth with 59 points.

Rutgers was picked fifth with Seton Hall and West Virginia in sixth and seventh places, respectively.

2002-03 BIG EAST Coaches’ Preseason Poll

East Division Points
1. Connecticut (9) 85
2. Boston College (2) 71
3. Villanova (2) 67
4. St. John’s (1) 66
5. Miami 46
6. Providence 31
7. Virginia Tech 19

West Division Points
1. Pittsburgh (12) 90
2. Georgetown 72
3. Syracuse (2) 68
4. Notre Dame 59
5. Rutgers 41
6. Seton Hall 36
7. West Virginia 19

First-place votes in parentheses