Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

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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