Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football can’t overcome four third quarter Mississippi State touchdowns, fall 47-35 Saturday -

September 24, 2016

UMass football’s fourth quarter comeback attempt falls short against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 24, 2016

Cyr: Despite improvement, UMass football still can’t capture first marquee FBS win -

September 24, 2016

MassPIRG kicks off for the fall semester -

September 22, 2016

UMass Resistance Studies Initiative hosts activist and author George Lakey -

September 22, 2016

UMass field hockey readies for tough tests against Stanford, Boston College -

September 22, 2016

Calling the shots: everything you need to know about the flu vaccine -

September 22, 2016

UMass assistant Professor speaks about oppression of American Indians -

September 22, 2016

Astronomy department head hosting sundial and sky-watching event -

September 22, 2016

UMass football looks to pull off upset against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 22, 2016

Cyr: Comis? Ford? Here’s how I would handle the UMass quarterback situation this weekend against Mississippi State -

September 22, 2016

An unofficial presidential debate drinking game for the unruly masses -

September 22, 2016

Stop sweating the small stuff -

September 22, 2016

In defense of being uncomfortable -

September 22, 2016

Please go to sleep -

September 22, 2016

VIDEO – ‘Life in the Dollhouse: Wes Anderson and the Dollhouse Aesthetic’ -

September 22, 2016

Student struck by car near UMass’ Mullins Center -

September 21, 2016

President Anthony Vitale and Vice President Nick Rampone anticipate productive year at SGA -

September 21, 2016

Symposium hosts discussion on safety for journalism students -

September 21, 2016

Andrew Ford, Ross Comis still battling for UMass football’s starting QB position -

September 21, 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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