Rhode Island Ranked No. 23/24 in USA Today, AP Polls

Rhode Island Ranked No. 23/24 in USA Today, AP Polls

KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island has cracked the Top 25 in both national polls, coming in No. 23 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 24 in the Associated Press Poll, both of which came out Monday.

In the USA Today Poll, Rhode Island received 107 points, coming in one spot behind Florida (138) and one spot in front of Miami (98 points). The USA Today Sports men's basketball coaches poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at Division I schools. The panel is chosen in consultation with the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The members represent each of the 32 Division I conferences that receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.

The Rams - who are riding a 10-game win streak - had 189 points in the Associated Press poll, just one behind No. 23 Nevada. Rhode Island was one spot ahead of Michigan, which had 123 points. Rhode Island appeared on 47 out of a possible 65 voter ballots, with two voters placing the Rams as high as No. 16. Rhody was ranked higher than the top 20 on nine different ballots.

Though it has received votes in both polls every week this season, Monday marks the first time Rhode Island has been in the top 25 in either poll. This is the first regular-season appearance in the AP Top 25 for Rhode Island since Nov. 28, 2016, when the Rams were ranked No. 21 following a 5-1 start.

Head coach Dan Hurley has Rhody off the best conference start in program history, as the Rams are 7-0 in Atlantic 10 play. Overall, Rhode Island has won 10 straight games for the first time since the 1987-88 season, when Tom Penders eventually coached the Rams to the Sweet 16. The 10-game winning streak is tied for the third-longest active streak in the country behind only No. 3 Purdue (15 games) and No. 16 St. Mary's (14 games). A win Wednesday at Fordham would give the Rams their longest winning streak in 70 seasons, dating back to an 11-game streak that began in 1946-47 and ended in 1947-48.

Rhode Island is 15-3 overall, with its only losses coming against No. 2 Virginia, at No. 23 Nevada and at Alabama. Senior E.C. Matthews - who is the team's second-leading scorer - missed the games against Virginia and Alabama, and was injured during the Nevada game.

Villanova was the near-unanimous No. 1, receiving 63 of the 65 first-place votes. No. 2 Virginia and No. 3 Purdue each received one first-place vote. Duke and Kansas rounded out the top five.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes noted in parentheses, are determined by a points system. A team receives 25 points for a first-place vote, 24 points for a second-place vote and so on through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking.