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Irish men slide in polls, women get ready for top-3 showdown

The Notre Dame men's basketball team slipped in the polls, and the women's team held onto to its No. 2 spot in the Associated Press Top 25 with a top-three showdown on tap for tonight.

The Irish men (22-7, 10-6 Big East), who fell 72-64 at Marquette on Saturday, went from No. 21 to No. 24 in the AP poll. Notre Dame also slipped in the USA Today coaches' poll, going from No. 20 to No. 24.

Notre Dame closes its home schedule Tuesday night against St. John's (16-12, 8-8) before finishing the regular season at No. 8 Louisville (24-5, 12-4).

The Irish are in a three-way race for the fourth double-bye in the Big East tournament, which runs March 12 to 16 in New York's Madison Square Garden. They are battling No. 17 Syracuse (22-7, 10-6) and No. 20 Pittsburgh (23-7, 11-6) for the final double-bye.

The Notre Dame women's team (27-1, 15-0) will seek to win its second straight Big East title when the Irish play host to No. 3 Connecticut (27-2, 14-1) in tonight's season finale.

The Irish defeated the Huskies 73-72 Jan. 5 in Storrs, Conn. UConn was ranked No. 1 at the time, and Notre Dame was No. 5.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.

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