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Connecticut is the favorite in Big East preseason poll
After setting a school record with 48 wins a
season ago and hosting an NCAA Regional, Connecticut topped the
Big East preseason poll in voting by the league’s head coaches,
who were not allowed to vote for their own teams, as released by
the conference office.
The Huskies earned nine of a possible 11
first-place votes and compiled 117 points to finish ahead of
second-place St. John’s. The Red Storm notched two first-place
votes and 107 points. Louisville received the other first-place
vote and placed third with 105 points.
Connecticut finished second in the regular season
in 2010, reached the Big East championship game and hosted the
Norwich Regional. The Huskies, under head coach Jim Penders,
return seven position starters and their top two pitchers.
St. John’s won its sixth Big East title a season
ago and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in
the past four years.
Louisville won the 2010 Big East regular-season
crown and was the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cardinals set a school record with 50 victories.
USF was picked to finish fourth in the Big East
preseason poll, with Pittsburgh fifth and Rutgers sixth.
Cincinnati and Notre Dame tied for seventh, followed by West
Virginia, Villanova, Seton Hall and Georgetown.
The 2011 campaign begins on Friday, Feb. 18, as
the majority of teams participate in the third annual Big
East/Big Ten Challenge on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The first
weekend of conference competition is March 25-27 with all 12
teams involved. The 2011 Big East Baseball Championship returns
to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., from May 25-29. The
title game will be televised on ESPNU.
Big East Preseason Poll
Team, Points (First Place) (2010 Big East,
1. Connecticut, 117 (9) (20-6, 48-16)
2. St. John's, 107 (2) (16-11, 43-20)
3. Louisville, 105 (1) (21-6, 50-14)
4. USF, 87 (16-11, 26-32)
5. Pittsburgh, 82 (18-8, 38-18)
6. Rutgers, 75 (15-12, 30-26)
7. Cincinnati, 56 (13-14, 29-29)
7. Notre Dame, 56 (10-17, 22-32)
9. West Virginia, 38 (10-17, 27-30)
10. Villanova, 31 (9-18, 29-23)
11. Seton Hall, 25 (8-19, 19-30-1)
12. Georgetown, 13 (5-22, 23-31)