Rebel Basketball Team Ranked No. 9 In Final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll

April 3, 2001

OXFORD, Miss. - ,The Ole Miss Rebel basketball squad finished the 2000-01 season ranked No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Top 25 Poll, which was released Tuesday afternoon. The national ranking is the program's highest ever, with the previous best rank being No. 10 in both polls heading into the 1998 Southeastern Conference Tournament (1997-98 season).

The Rebels finished No. 14 in this year's final Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll, which was released prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament.

"First, I would like to thank God for the opportunity we had to play basketball and represent the University this year," said Barnes, who will accept the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award in Atlanta Saturday. "It was a magical season for everyone-coaches, players, and fans-associated with the basketball program and Ole Miss.

"This ranking is another big step for our program. We are building something special at Ole Miss, and we want it to continue for many years. This year's team worked hard, and I am proud of them for what they accomplished."

At the end of the 1997-98 season, Ole Miss finished No. 13 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the coaches' poll.

This season, the Rebels compiled a 27-8 overall record and an 11-5 SEC mark. The 27 victories, an Ole Miss school record, were the most by an SEC team and tied for fifth most among NCAA Division I schools. Only Duke (35 wins), Stanford (31), Arizona (28) and Michigan State (28) had more wins than Ole Miss in 2000-01.

Ole Miss won the SEC Western Division title, the program's third divisional crown in the last five years, and advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16" appearance. The Rebels also advanced to this year's SEC Tournament championship game and received their fourth NCAA Tournament berth in the last five seasons.

The following is the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll:

1. Duke (35-4), 2. Arizona (28-8), 3. Michigan St. (28-5), 4. Maryland (25-11), 5. Stanford (31-3), 6. Illinois (27-8), 7. Kansas (26-7), 8. Kentucky (24-10), 9. OLE MISS (27-8), 10. North Carolina (26-7), 11. Boston College (27-5), 12. UCLA (23-9), 13. Florida (24-7), 14. Southern Cal (24-10), 15. Iowa St. (25-6), 16. Temple (24-13), 17. Georgetown (25-8), 18. Syracuse (25-9), 19. Oklahoma (26-7), 20. Gonzaga (26-7), 21. Virginia (20-9), 22. Cincinnati (25-10), 23. Notre Dame (20-10), 24. St. Joseph's (26-7), 25. Penn State (21-12)

 

 

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