HARTFORD, Conn. — Russ Smith scored 23 points and Gorgui Dieng had six points and 16 rebounds and Louisville, playing just hours after it moved to No. 1, used a strong second half to beat Connecticut 73-60 on Monday night as the Cardinals (16-1, 4-0 Big East) won their 11th straight game.
The only other time Louisville was ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press' Top 25 was the final poll of 2008-09. The Cardinals won the national championship in 1980 and 1986 but the AP does not conduct a post-NCAA tournament poll.
Rick Pitino is guessing his Louisville Cardinals won't be the last team to be No. 1 this season.
The Cardinals took advantage of losses by Duke and Michigan to move up two spots to No. 1 on Monday in The Associated Press' Top 25 poll. This is just the second time in school history they're on top. The other time was the final poll of 2008-09, a season in which they reached the final eight of the NCAA tournament.
Louisville (15-1) was one of five teams to receive a first-place vote this week, and that backs Pitino's point.
The Cardinals received 36 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. That's 23 more than Indiana, which moved up from fifth.
Indiana was No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first five weeks of the regular season. Duke, which was No. 1 for the last four weeks, was third with 14 No. 1 votes. The Blue Devils were followed by Kansas and Michigan, which drew one first-place vote each.
Four teams entered the week unbeaten: Duke, Michigan, then-No. 4 Arizona and unranked Wyoming and they all took their first loss.
It was the first time three of the top four teams lost in the same week since November 2003, when the top four teams — Connecticut, Duke, Michigan State and Arizona — all were defeated.