The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Students appreciative of AP Top-25 ranking

The men's basketball team is ranked No. 25 in the nation by the Associated Press Top-25 Poll, which was released on Monday, and students said they could not wait to see where this will take the team as the regular season comes to a close before conference tournament time.

Although most students were a bit surprised to find out that the Spiders won the spot to be in the Top-25 Poll, they were excited nonetheless.

"We're ranked?" sophomore Adelaide Burton asked. "That's awesome! Go Spiders!"

Sophomore Ryan Pierce said he was not expecting to see the Spiders ranked this week, but it was a pleasant surprise. He hopes to see Richmond make it to the coveted NCAA Tournament.

"I'm pretty excited to see how the rest of the season plays out," he said.

Richmond won its 20th game of the season last Saturday at St. Bonaventure, an Atlantic-10 conference foe, improving to an overall record of 20-6 and 9-2 in conference play. After a seven-day stretch of conference games, Richmond beat Temple (currently ranked No. 21) by 17 at home on Feb. 6, defeated Rhode Island by two points on the road and then routed St. Bonaventure 68-49 on the road this past Saturday.

Though the Associated Press ranks Richmond at No. 25, the team is two slots shy of the Top-25 ESPN/USA Today Poll.

Athletic Director Jim Miller said he was a little surprised when he found out about the men's team's rank.

"I thought if we won our games this week, then we would for sure get ranked the next week," he said. "We were on the borderline, but it's great for the national media associations to recognize our program's success."

The Top-25 status late in the regular season could boost Richmond's at-large bid chances to make the NCAA tournament.

"This ranking should definitely make a big difference for the people selecting teams for the NCAA tournament," Miller said.

Spider fans are rejoicing after seasons of under-appreciation for a budding basketball program. Senior Terance Trammell has supported the men's basketball team since his first year at Richmond, and said he was happy to see that the team is finally getting some recognition.

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"The Top-25 ranking demonstrates Coach Mooney's success and how the school had to be patient before seeing success," he said. "This is a mature team that buys into the system."

Junior X'auntasia Johnson said she was proud of the nationally-ranked basketball team.

"It's about time the team got the credit they deserve, and it's also nice to see a team at Richmond that is getting national media attention other than the football team," she said.

While Richmond soaks up the spotlight often associated with a national ranking, other college basketball perennial powerhouses, such as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, have seen less-than-stellar performances compared to what they are used to seeing.

Sophomore Mary Elizabeth Lovelace, a UNC-Chapel Hill fan, is thrilled to see that her own school's team is doing well in college basketball this season.

"Since UNC isn't doing as well as they normally do, I'm definitely glad to have another team to cheer for during college basketball season," she said.

The freshman class has also enjoyed cheering on the men's team to victory. Freshman Joey Greener said he has been to almost all of the men's home games this season, and he said he was not surprised at all at the ranking.

"I think this team is underrated, and I'm glad to see that they are getting the recognition they have worked so hard for," he said.

Richmond tips off against Fordham University at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17 in the Robins Center.

Contact reporter Amelia Vogler at amelia.vogler@richmond.edu

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