Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dayton charges into AP’s Top 25

Rout of Pitt gives Flyers first ranking in four years; guard Roberts making name for himself


Dayton was impressive with its road win over Louisville.

The Flyers went a lot further with their 25-point rout of previously unbeaten Pittsburgh last weekend, a victory that moved them into The Associated Press' Top 25 for the first time in four years.

"That kind of win was maybe shocking to everybody, including myself, but I hope the ranking is for the 12-game body of work to this point of the season," Dayton coach Brian Gregory said Monday. "It's great recognition for our program and the effort our guys have put forth so far this season but they are mature enough to realize it is a long season."

The 80-55 win over then-No. 6 Pittsburgh on Saturday was the 10th straight for the Flyers (11-1) since a 67-56 loss at George Mason.

They joined the poll at No. 20, their first ranking since a three-week run in December 2003.

North Carolina remained No. 1, the spot it has held since the preseason poll. Memphis and Kansas stayed second and third for the fifth straight week.

Stanford and Wisconsin joined Dayton as newcomers this week, replacing Miami, BYU and West Virginia.

Brian Roberts had 31 points for Dayton in the win over Pittsburgh. The senior guard is in the top five in seven statistical categories in the Atlantic 10.

"I've been saying all along that he is one of the most efficient guards in the country, averaging 19 points on just 11 shots a game while having a great assist-to-turnover ratio," Gregory said. "He has run our offense but knows when he has to take over and he has carried us in stretches."

The Tar Heels (13-0), who easily beat Nevada and Valparaiso this week, received 45 first-place votes and 1,772 points from the 72-member national media panel.

Memphis (11-0), which beat Arizona 76-63 on Saturday, were No. 1 on 26 ballots and had 1,744 points, Kansas (13-0), which beat Yale in its only game last week, received the only other first-place vote.

Washington State and UCLA held fourth and fifth. Michigan State and Georgetown both moved up one place from last week to sixth and seventh, while Tennessee, Duke and Marquette rounded out the top 10.

Indiana was 11th followed by Texas A&M;, Pittsburgh, Texas, Vanderbilt, Butler, Villanova, Mississippi, Clemson and Dayton. Arizona, Southern California, Rhode Island, Stanford and Wisconsin rounded out the Top 25.

Pittsburgh and Texas, which was ninth, both fell from the top 10 to 13th and 14th following weekend losses. It was the second straight loss for the Longhorns (11-2) and both were to Big Ten teams.

Texas was No. 4 when it lost to Michigan State at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The 67-66 loss in the final seconds to Wisconsin came at home and moved the Badgers back into the rankings.

Wisconsin (10-2) was ranked No. 20 in the third poll of the regular season but the Badgers fell out following an 82-58 loss at Duke. They followed that with an 81-76 home loss to Marquette, but Wisconsin had won four straight since.

Stanford (11-1) was 23rd in the preseason poll and moved up to No. 20 in the first poll of the regular season. But the Cardinal lost 79-67 at Siena, were knocked out of the rankings and returned this week on a seven-game winning streak.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.