OMAHA, Neb. -- The Creighton men's basketball team finished the 2011-12 season ranked 21st nationally in the year-end USA Today/ESPN Top-25 Coaches Poll that was released on Tuesday.
That figure is Creighton's best year-end mark in the coaches poll since 1994, when the coaches began voting on a post-championship poll. Creighton's only other year-end rank since 1994 in a post-tournament USA Today/ESPN poll came in 2002-03, when the Jays were 23rd after finishing 29-5.
The year-end poll marked the 16th different time that Creighton was ranked by the coaches this season. CU cracked into the top-25 for the first time on Nov. 21st, and remained ranked the following 11 weeks as well. A three-game skid in early February dropped CU out of the top-25 for two weeks, only to return on Feb. 27th after four straight wins entering the MVC Tournament. CU was 22nd after winning Arch Madness, then improved to 20th on Selection Sunday, before dropping one spot to 21st in the final poll.
The Bluejays (29-6) were the only Missouri Valley Conference school in the final USA Today/ESPN top-25 poll, as Wichita State dropped out after a loss to VCU to open NCAA Tournament play.
Creighton finished the year 19th in the Associated Press poll, though the writers do not vote after the NCAA Tournament begins.
With nine of its top 10 scorers slated to return, including MVC Defensive Player of the Year Gregory Echenique and First Team All-American Doug McDermott, Creighton figures to get plenty of attention looking ahead to next year. In fact, seven prominent websites produced early top-25 polls for 2012-13 after Monday's national championship game. All seven had Creighton in the top-25 for next season.
Early Top-25 Hype For 2012-13
NBCSports.com (9th) - http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/03/indiana-louisville-top-our-too-early-2012-13-preseason-top-25/
TheBigLead.com (10th) - http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/04/03/college-basketball-top-25-for-2012-2013-very-very-early-edition/
SportsIllustrated.com (14th) - http://ncaa-tournament.si.com/2012/04/04/after-the-confetti-top-32-for-2012-13/?sct=hp_wr_a1&eref=sihp
San Jose Mercury News (17th) - http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2012/04/03/my-ridiculously-early-top-25-basketball-rankings-for-2012-13/
ESPN.com (18th) - http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7767401/indiana-hoosiers-continue-moving-2012-13