Big East Notes

A record number of teams from the Big East are in this week's Top 25 polls.

Big East Tops

This week's Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Polls have a distinct Big East flavor. For the first time in the history of the league, seven conference teams are ranked in the top 25 polls.

Three teams stand among the top 10 in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls - Villanova (10-2, 1-1 Big East) is No. 3, Connecticut (12-1, 0-1 Big East) is No. 4 and Louisville (12-2, 1-1 Big East) is No. 10.

One of only three undefeated teams remaining nationally, the Pittsburgh Panthers (12-0, 1-0 Big East) vaulted to No. 11 in this week's ESPN/USA Today Poll and No. 12 in the AP Poll. West Virginia (10-3, 2-0 Big East), fresh off a win at Villanova, is ranked 16th in this week's AP Poll and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.

Cincinnati (13-2, 2-0 BIG EAST) jumped into the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time this season following BIG EAST victories over DePaul and Marquette last week. Syracuse (13-2, 1-0 BIG EAST), winners of 10 in a row, is ranked 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.

Bulger Naismith Candidate

WVU's Meg Bulger is one of nine Big East women's basketball players that have been named to the top 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy Women's College Player of the Year. The Naismith Trophy is given annually to the men's and women's college players of the year and is the most prestigious national award in college basketball.

Joining Bulger on the list are Connecticut's Charde Houston, Ann Strother and Barbara Turner, Rutgers' Matee Ajavon and Cappie Poindexter, Louisville's Jazz Covington, DePaul's Khara Smith and Notre Dame's Megan Duffy.

The award has been presented to Big East standouts six times, including four straight from 2001-4. Ruth Riley of Notre Dame won the award in 2001, Connecticut's Sue Bird in 2002 and the Huskies' Diana Taurasi in 2003 and 2004. Taurasi is one of only four who have won the award on multiple occasions. Sue Wicks of Rutgers became the first Big East player to win the award in 1988.

Early Sellout

If you were waiting to order your tickets to the Big East men's basketball tournament, you might be out of luck. The league announced that every ticket package was purchased by member schools.

That doesn't mean, however, that fans won't be able to get tickets. Each school will likely put tickets on sale according to its own policies in allocating tickets to its ticket holders and donors.

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