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Nothing but nets

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  January 6, 2009 02:16 PM

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WHO'S HOT

The Big East
ine out of the top 25 teams from the same conference -- are you kidding me? Newly minted No. 1 team Pittsburgh -- ranked at the top of the poll for the first time ever -- had received some criticism for playing what was perceived by some as a weak non-conference schedule. But Panthers coach Jamie Dixon had a quick response when he pointed out that Pitt plays one-third of its Top 25 in conference games.

The breakdown: Pitt (No. 1), UConn (No. 5), Georgetown (No. 9), Syracuse (No. 11), Notre Dame (No. 13), Marquette and Villanova (tied at No. 18), Louisville (No. 23) and West Virginia (No. 25). How tough is the league? West Virginia is favored over UConn in tonight's game in Morgantown.

Northeastern
The Huskies are 3-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association for the first time following a 73-50 romp over Hofstra. Northeastern coach Billy Coen is flat-out good.

Boston College
Beating No. 1 North Carolina on the road Sunday night is a power boost that could benefit the Eagles the entire season.

WHO'S NOT
Gonzaga

Remember when the Zags were the little school that could? Now they are the little school that can't seem to. Maybe that's a little harsh. But Gonzaga has dropped to 8-4 -- including a loss to Portland St. -- and is out of the Top 25 for the first time this season.

Up next is a game against No. 15.ranked Tennessee Wednesday night -- and a chance for redemption of some kind.

WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT . . . WE'RE NOT SURE
Notre Dame is 11-3 and ranked 13th, but the Irish followed a bad loss at St. John's Saturday with a good win at home against Georgetown Monday night. The victory over the Hoyas was the 44th straight home win for Coach Mike Brey's team -- the longest in the country. It was also the Irish's 19th straight home victory in the Big East, one short of the record of 20 set by Pittsburgh in 2004.

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