Oct. 27, 2004
New Yok, N.Y. – Syracuse has been selected to win the 2004-05 BIG EAST regular season title by a vote of the league’s head coaches. The Orange received nine first-place votes. Coaches did not place their own teams on their preseason ballots.
Last season, Syracuse finished with a 23-8 overall record. In the BIG EAST, they were 11-5 and tied for third place. Coach Jim Boeheim’s club advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Championship. This season, the Orange return all five starters. Syracuse won the 2003 NCAA crown.
Connecticut, the 2004 NCAA champion, was picked second. The Huskies lost three starters from last year’s team that compiled a 33-6 record. UConn finished second in the BIG EAST last season with a 12-4 mark and won The BIG EAST Championship for the fourth time in the last seven years.
Pittsburgh received the other first-place vote. Last year, the Panthers won the BIG EAST regular season crown under first-year head coach Jamie Dixon, who earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors. Pittsburgh recorded a school record 31 wins. In the NCAAs, the Panthers advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third season in a row.
Notre Dame was picked fourth. The Irish finished 19-13 overall and 9-7 in the league. Their season ended in the NIT quarterfinals. Notre Dame has enjoyed four straight winning seasons in the BIG EAST under the watch of coach Mike Brey.
Boston College, which reached the second round of the NCAAs last march, was tabbed for fifth place. Providence, one of six BIG EAST teams invited to the NCAA Championship, was placed sixth.
2004-05 Preseason Coaches’ Poll 1. Syacuse (9) 119 2. Connecticut (2) 106 3. Pittsburgh (1) 100 4. Notre Dame 88 5. Boston College 78 6. Providence 69 7. Villanova 59 8. Seton Hall 56 9. West Virginia 43 10. Rutgers 42 11. Georgetown 21 12. St. John’s 11 * First-place votes in parentheses