Ryan Mikesell made time to eat a cheesesteak and walked around downtown, visiting the Reading Market just down the street from the team hotel, the downtown Marriott. He did not have time to join his dad Reed on a run up the Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
For the most part, like all trips the Dayton Flyers take, their five-day journey to Philadelphia was all about business, and that paid off on the court in an 84-58 victory on Thursday against La Salle and an 80-67 victory Sunday against Saint Joseph's.
Dayton had not won in Philadelphia since beating Temple in 2012. It had not won at La Salle's Tom Gola Arena since 2011. It had not won at Saint Joseph's Hagan Arena since 2000.
La Salle and Saint Joseph's are unlikely to finish in the top half of the Atlantic 10 Conference, but these were two important wins for Dayton nonetheless.
"There's something about this place," said Mikesell on Sunday after scoring 18 points against Saint Joseph's. "It's hard. Their record doesn't show how good they are. They've got some players. Obviously, (Ryan) Daly is really good. They've got a young team. Their coaching is new. It was a hard-fought win."
The two victories, plus the win Dec. 30 against North Florida, impressed Associated Press voters. Dayton (13-2, 2-0) moved from No. 20 to No. 15 in the Associated Press top-25 poll on Monday.
This is the first time since the 1957-58 season that Dayton has been ranked in six straight weeks or in six polls in one season. That team was ranked in the final eight polls of the season.
» RESUME BOOSTER: Georgia victory helps Dayton
Gonzaga retained the top spot in the poll for the second straight week. Ohio State fell from No. 5 to No. 11. Dayton jumped Villanova, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan and Memphis.
The only two teams to beat Dayton are ranked: No. 3 Kansas and No. 25 Colorado.
Dayton entered the poll at No. 19 on Dec. 2 and then climbed to No. 14 on Dec. 9 and to No. 13 on Dec. 16. That was its highest ranking since 1967.
The Flyers fell to No. 18 on Dec. 23 after a 78-76 overtime loss to Colorado at the United Center on Dec. 21.
Other rankings: Dayton moved from No. 18 to No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. It is No. 7 in the Ken Pomeroy ratings and No. 8 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool.
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