FGCU basketball cracks AP Top-25 poll for first time ever
The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team cracked The Associated Press Top-25 College Basketball Poll for the first time in program history. On Monday afternoon, the Eagles landed the No. 22 spot above James Madison University, George Washington University and Syracuse.
Tuesday afternoon, the program received the No. 24 spot in the USA TODAY Top 25 coach’s poll to add to the program’s growing list of firsts.
“We talk about it at points in different years our goal is to get in the Top 25,” head coach Karl Smesko said in an interview with the NCAA on Monday. “The last couple weeks we’ve reiterated that goal that we want to get in the Top 25. Now the next logical talk is what you have to do to stay in the Top 25. We’ll have that talk next time we’re together.
After weeks of narrowly missing a spot, FGCU’s 74 votes this week and an official RPI of 16 not only cracked the top-25, but landed the No. 22 spot.
The Eagles, who haven’t lost since late November, hold the nation’s fourth-best win streak, behind No. 1 Connecticut, No. 3 Baylor and No. 16 Princeton.
“We’ve had it as a goal for our program,” Smesko said of a national ranking in an interview with The News-Press. “It’s nice to receive the national recognition. Now the thing is to understand it helps increase motivation for opponents and be ready for it.”
During the weekend, the Eagles earned two more conference wins to push their 18-game win-streak to a 23-2 record and continue a perfect conference record with just one more win away from its fifth consecutive regular-season conference title.
The Eagles hope to keep the streak alive while they travel to their final conference games against Kennesaw State, USC Upstate and North Florida during the two weeks before returning back to the nest for their final regular season conference match up against Jacksonville.
Others receiving votes in AP Poll: Oklahoma 38, California 36, Seton Hall 20, South Florida 19, Northwestern 18, Gonzaga 16, Texas 12, DePaul 12, Green Bay 12, Dayton 11, LSU 9, Oklahoma State 8, Washington 6, Miami 5, Minnesota 4, Georgia 4, Arkansas-little Rock 2, Quinnipiac 1, Western Kentucky 1, Pittsburgh 1, Wichita State 1