ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke is the favorite men's college basketball team and Connecticut is the favorite women's team, according to a new Harris Poll of college basketball fans.
Among men's teams, Duke is followed by Michigan (#2), Illinois (#3), UCLA (#4), Kentucky (#5). The next five places are held, in descending order, by Arizona, North Carolina (UNC), Kansas, Maryland and Michigan State. Not surprisingly, all the teams in the top 10 consistently perform well in the NCAA tournament -- even if they will not make the tournament this year. These teams also have in common fierce rivalries, well-known and winning coaches and some of the most talented stars that eventually move on to the NBA. Duke, in particular, has consistently fielded a top-performing team and is currently ranked #12 in the Associated Press (AP) poll, based on its performance this year. Illinois, Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, and Maryland are also ranked in the top 25, according to the AP.
Among women's teams, Connecticut beats out Tennessee (#2), Michigan (#3), Duke (#4) and Texas (#5). Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Iowa, Purdue and Iowa State take the next five places. It is also no surprise that Connecticut would have such a strong following, given that they are the current women's basketball champions with an unprecedented streak of 70 straight wins. Tennessee (the #2 ranked team in The Harris Poll(R)) was also the top women's team in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997 and 1998. They also have Pat Summit as their coach, who is one of the winningest college coaches in men or women's basketball. And, as with the men, performing well in the NCAA tournament seems to be a prerequisite for doing well on The Harris Poll's list of favorite teams.
These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 483 adults who follow college basketball; they are a sub-sample of 2,271 adults surveyed online between February 19 and February 25, 2003, using the same methods used by Harris Interactive(R) to predict the 2000 elections with great accuracy.
The survey also found that approximately the same number of people (21% of adults) follow men's college basketball, as during the period from 1996 through 1998 when these questions were last asked. However, this is somewhat less than the 24% to 28% who followed college basketball between 1992 and 1995. The proportion of all adults who follow women's college basketball, at 5%, has fallen slightly since 1998, when 8% did so.
As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive
OldGoldFreePress.com is organized & maintained by a group of college sports reporters with the help of Purdue sports fans everywhere. OldGoldFreePress.com is an independent and unofficial Purdue (+ Big Ten Conference/NCAA) sports news site that is not affiliated with Purdue University, the Big Ten Conference, the NCAA and/or any university athletic program.