The University of Dayton’s No. 7 ranking in this week’s men’s basketball Top 25 is the first time the Flyers have been in the top 10 since 1967 when UD made an unlikely run to the NCAA championship game before losing to UCLA.
The Flyers were ranked as high as No. 6 during the 1966-67 season.
Dayton (16-2) picked up two solid wins last week, beating VCU 79-65 at home and winning 78-76 in overtime at St. Louis. It was No. 13 in last week’s rankings.
Baylor and Gonzaga were the only two teams in the top five that took care of business last week.
The Bears (15-1) leaped over the Bulldogs and into the No. 1 spot, using wins over Iowa State and Oklahoma State to give the Top 25 its seventh team on top this season. That matches the record set in 1983 for the most No. 1s in the history of the poll, which dates to the 1948-49 season.
Gonzaga (20-1) was merely a victim of its conference schedule. The Bulldogs blew out Santa Clara and BYU, but just enough voters considered those wins to be less impressive than the Bears’ perfect Big 12 start. Baylor received 33 first-place votes and had 1,591 points from the 65-member media panel while Gonzaga received 31 first-place votes for 1,588 points.
The rest of the top five looks a whole lot different after Duke, Auburn and Butler all lost both of their games last week.
Kansas (14-3) rose three spots to No. 3 after victories over Oklahoma and Texas, the latter requiring a big comeback in Austin. San Diego State (19-0) remained perfect with wins over Fresno State and Nevada, and Florida State (16-2) barged into the fifth spot after it beat reigning national champion Virginia and survived overtime to best Miami.
The Seminoles haven’t lost since playing Indiana in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge the first week of December.
Louisville, which tasted the top spot earlier this season, jumped five spots to sixth after beating Pittsburgh in overtime and handling the Blue Devils. Dayton was next, followed by Duke, Villanova and Seton Hall to round out the top 10.
Rutgers (14-4) got into the poll at No. 24 for the first time since the final poll of the 1978-79 season. And with Seton Hall at No. 10, the state of New Jersey has two teams ranked for the first time since the Pirates were joined by Princeton in the last poll of the 1990-91 season.
No team has been falling as steadily as Ohio State, which was 9-0, was ranked in the top five and received first-place votes just six weeks ago. The Buckeyes have lost six of their last nine games, and five of their last six, to complete their tumble from the poll. Their lone victory in the last few weeks was against lowly Nebraska.