Dec. 31, 2009

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Louisville sits atop Big East preseason poll


After claiming the regular season and tournament titles a season ago, the Louisville Cardinals are the favorite to capture the 2010 crown in voting by the league’s head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own teams, as released by the conference office.


Louisville received nine of the possible 11 first-place votes to squeak past second-place USF. The Cardinals notched 119 points, while the Bulls earned the remaining three first-place votes to register 113 points.


The Cardinals were 47-18 in 2009 and 19-7 in the Big East. Louisville swept a three-game series from USF the final weekend of the regular season to finish atop the league standings and claim the top seed in the conference tournament. The Cardinals made their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and advanced to the Super Regionals for the second time in three years. Louisville is No. 19 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll.


USF was in first place for the majority of the 2009 regular season under Lelo Prado, the 2009 Big East Coach of the Year. The Bulls were 34-25 a season ago and 18-9 in conference play to place second behind Louisville.


Connecticut is picked third in the Big East preseason poll, followed by St. John's, Notre Dame and West Virginia.


The 2010 season begins on Friday, Feb. 19. The second annual Big East/Big Ten Challenge will take place the second weekend of the season in Florida, with 11 schools participating. The first weekend of conference play is March 26-28, with all 12 teams in action. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top eight teams will participate in the 2010 Big East Championship May 26-30 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. The title game will be televised on ESPNU.


Big East Preseason Poll


Team, Points (First Place) (2009 Big East, Overall Records)

1. Louisville, 119 (9) (19-7, 47-18)

2. USF, 113 (3) (18-9, 34-25)

3. Connecticut, 94 (14-13, 36-24)

4. St. John’s, 87 (16-11, 30-22)

5. Notre Dame, 84 (15-12, 36-23)

6. West Virginia, 79 (17-10, 37-18)

7. Cincinnati, 53 (13-14, 29-29)

8. Rutgers, 49 (8-19, 22-31)

9. Pittsburgh, 44 (13-13, 28-21)

10. Seton Hall, 32 (13-14, 25-24)

11. Villanova, 23 (6-20, 22-28)

12. Georgetown, 15 (8-18, 17-34)