The No. 14 ranking is Dayton’s highest since it was 14th on Jan. 16, 2008. It’s the third time in the last 50 years Dayton has ranked in the top 15. It ranked 15th in February 2016. The last time it was in the top 10, it was No. 6 in December 1967.
Two voters ranked Dayton as high as sixth this week. Twelve had it in the top 10. Only one person did not vote for the Flyers.
Louisville topped the poll for the second straight week. Ohio State moved from No. 6 to No. 3 and received five first-place votes. Xavier is No. 23. Colorado, which Dayton plays on Dec. 21 in Chicago, is No. 24.
Dayton earned one vote in the first four AP polls of the season and then climbed to No. 19 last week after a runner-up finish in the Maui Invitational. One voter had the Flyers ranked seventh last week. Nine voters had them ranked 10th or higher. Fifteen people didn’t vote for them.
Dayton improved to 7-1 with the victory against Saint Mary’s in the Jerry Colangelo Classic at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Flyers made 10 of 15 3-pointers in the first half.
“I told our team, when a team is shooting that well, you have to weather the storm,” St. Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett told the Associated Press after the game. “We didn’t do that. We started talking bad shots. I don’t think our best players showed up ready to play in a game that was at this level. Your dudes better show up in this game because theirs probably are. And a couple of them did.”
In the various analytical websites ranking college basketball teams, Dayton has climbed as high or higher than it’s ever been. It’s No. 20 in the Ken Pomeroy ratings, No. 23 in ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, No. 7 in the Haslametrics rankings and No. 25 in the Sagaring ratings. The first NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) ranking comes out Dec. 16.
Dayton plays two teams ranked in the top 150 by Pomeroy at home in its next two games. It plays No. 143 Drake (8-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday and No. 135 North Texas (4-6) at 7 p.m. Dec. 17.
Dayton’s biggest remaining test on the non-conference schedule and its last chance to pick up the type of victory that will impress the NCAA tournament selection committee comes when it plays Colorado (7-1) at the United Center in Chicago. Like Dayton, Colorado has lost only to No. 2 Kansas, 72-58 on Saturday.
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