For the first time since the 2017-18 season, the Loyola men’s basketball team (17-3, 12-1) has made its way into the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll — a weekly ranking compiled by polling 65 sportswriters and broadcasters from across the nation. The Ramblers are currently ranked at No. 22 and have not been ranked during the regular season since checking in at No. 16 on March 4, 1985.
When Loyola was last ranked in the Top 25 poll, the team earned the No. 7 spot in the final poll after its Cinderella Final Four Run in 2018. The Ramblers had a 32-6 record that season and made it to NCAA March Madness for the first time since 1985.
Loyola redshirt senior forward Aher Uguak said with a veteran group like the Ramblers, they know what it’s like to get noticed, but he said there’s still more work to be done.
“We never really talk about rankings or anything like that,” Uguak said. “We know that stuff doesn’t matter. It just distracts you from winning. It’s good to be recognized though.”
Off to its best start since the 1965-66 season and holding a 10-game winning streak, Loyola currently sits in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). This comes after sweeping University of Evansville Feb. 6-7 and former first place Drake University falling to Valparaiso University in the Bulldogs’ first loss of the season.
Last week, Drake sat at No. 25 in the AP Poll with Loyola just missing out and receiving enough votes for an unofficial No. 28 spot. The last time two MVC teams were ranked in the same season was 2014-15 with University of Northern Iowa and Wichita State University.
The Ramblers face off against the Bulldogs Feb. 13-14.
Loyola head coach Porter Moser was not immediately available for comment.