April 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

VIDEO: UMass United Ralley in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass cracks AP Top 25 poll at No. 24

Evan Sahagian/Daily Collegian

Entering the season, all the talk surrounding the Massachusetts men’s basketball team was about ending the 15-year NCAA Tournament drought.

On Monday, it ended a different 15-year drought.

The Associated Press released its weekly poll on Monday with UMass slotted in at No. 24 in the country. The ranking came with much anticipation following the team’s 62-56 Charleston Classic championship win Sunday night over Clemson, pushing its record to a perfect 6-0 to start the season.

It’s the first time the program has been ranked since the 1998 season.

“Well, I think first of all, it was nice flying under the radar for a little while there,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said in an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg.

“So the ranking gets us some national attention. I think the one thing it does, it reminds people of the glory years of UMass back in the 90s when we were a top-20 team on a regular basis.”

The Minutemen join Iowa as the two new members, replacing Atlantic 10 rival Virginia Commonwealth and New Mexico – who the Minutemen beat in their semifinal matchup – in the national rankings. VCU was ranked No. 10 last week, but plummeted out of the Top 25 after losing two of its three games at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament.

UMass made it a point to strengthen its non-conference schedule in order to garner more national attention and it certainly aided its own cause this weekend in receiving enough votes to move into the Top 25. So far this season, the Minutemen have the fifth best out of conference schedule and have the top RPI in the country.

Through its first six games, UMass also proved that it might have one of the most balanced lineups in the nation. Every member of the starting five – Chaz Williams, Derrick Gordon, Raphiael Putney, Sampson Carter and Cady Lalanne – is averaging double-digit points per game.

Entering Selection Sunday the last two seasons, UMass was a bubble team, ultimately missing out on the NCAA Tournament due to a low a RPI and not enough quality wins. That won’t be the case this season as UMass already has four wins against BCS-conference opponents – Boston College, LSU, Nebraska and Clemson – and anupset over the then-No. 19 Lobos to put on its tournament resume.

“UMass is a basketball school that is committed to men’s basketball,” Kellogg said to Katz and Greenberg. “We have a great program and we play a fun, exciting style that, obviously now, people realize can beat some of the top teams in the country.”

After opening the season with a grueling non-conference schedule, the Minutemen will travel to Eastern Michigan on Dec. 3 before returning home to face yet another talented out-of-conference opponent in Brigham Young University on Dec. 7 in Springfield.

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at pstrohec@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @P_Strohecker.

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