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BYU Basketball Ranked In AP Top 25 For 1st Time In Nine Years

Photo courtesy of BYU Photo's Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – For the first time since America had a strong case of “Jimmermania,” BYU basketball finds themselves ranked within the AP Top 25.

The last time BYU appeared in the AP’s Top 25 rankings was during Jimmer Fredette’s Player of the Year season in 2011. BYU finished that year ranked No. 10 in the final rankings and rose as high as No. 3.

On Monday, the voters put BYU back into the poll and had them ranked at No. 23. It’s a major accomplishment for a program that had a 19-win season a year ago and hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament in five years.

This is the 20th season that BYU has appeared in at least one top 25 poll and it’s the 130th week the Cougars have been ranked in the AP’s poll.

Being ranked in the Top 25 is not a common occurrence for the Cougars. In the 21st century, this is the sixth season that BYU has appeared at least once in the AP poll. BYU was only ranked in one season during the 1990s.

BYU is currently 21-7 on the season with three regular-season games remaining. Last week, BYU rolled through Loyola Marymount then had a close call against San Diego at Jenny Craig Pavilion. Despite the close 72-71 win over a nine-win team, many teams in last week’s Top 25 poll had losses.

Marquette, Butler, Houston, Iowa, Illinois, Texas Tech, and LSU were all ranked last week between Nos. 18-25 and all had at least one loss a week ago, opening the door for a new team such as BYU to enter the rankings. Last week, BYU was in the “receiving votes” section of the poll.

BYU hosts one of the nation’s best this week

This week, BYU hosts Santa Clara on Thursday and then No. 2 Gonzaga on Saturday at the Marriott Center. Saturday’s game against the Zags will be the first home time two ranked teams square off in the Marriott Center since BYU hosted Kawhi Leonard and San Diego State on January 26th. BYU won that game 71-58 to help boost the Cougars rise up the rankings.

AP College Basketball Top 25 – Week 16

1. Baylor (23-1)

2. Gonzaga (26-1)

3. Kansas (22-3)

4. San Diego State (26-0)

5. Dayton (23-2)

6. Duke (22-3)

7. Maryland (21-4)

8. Florida State (21-4)

9. Penn State (20-5)

10. Kentucky (20-5)

11. Louisville (21-5)

12. Villanova (19-6)

13. Auburn (22-3)

14. Oregon (20-6)

15. Creighton (20-6)

16. Seton Hall (18-7)

17. West Virginia (18-7)

18. Colorado (20-6)

19. Marquette (17-7)

20. Iowa (18-6)

21. Butler (19-7)

22. Houston (20-6)

23. BYU (21-7)

24. Arizona (18-7)

25. Ohio State (17-8)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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