The Associated Press Top 25 men’s basketball poll came out Monday, as it does every week. The one voter who ranked Maryland No. 25 in last week’s poll was not impressed by losses to Syracuse and Purdue and an overtime win at Illinois, and so the Terps received no votes.
Towson does not have a pair of wins as impressive as Maryland’s over Butler and Bucknell. The Tigers do not even rate among the top 100 teams in advanced-analytics guru Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. (The Terps are No. 40.) But they have won eight straight games, including a last-second win Saturday over Manhattan in the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, and are off to their best start in program history (8-1) at the Division I level.
For that, Towson got a top-25 vote in Monday’s poll for the first time in over four years.
It came courtesy of Washington Post contributor John Feinstein, whose official ballot online is incomplete for some reason but who acknowledged responsibility Monday for Towson’s lone vote.
The Tigers never have been ranked in the AP Top 25 — among Colonial Athletic Association programs, only the College of Charleston and Northeastern ever have — and they might be weeks of uninterrupted success away from getting more than just Feinstein’s attention. But Towson’s four remaining nonconference games can raise the team’s profile higher still.
After a game Wednesday over a Morgan State team missing star guard Tiwian Kendley, the Tigers will face UMBC on Saturday, another local game in which they will be favored. Then it's 10 days off before a Dec. 20 game at Horizon League favorite Oakland and, two days later, a game at Pittsburgh, which Navy already exposed as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s worst team. Win those four, and Towson would head into its much-anticipated CAA opener against preseason favorite College of Charleston with 12 wins in 13 games.
Early in the season, the Tigers privately grumbled over the disrespect of not even making the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. (That’s since changed.) With the way they’re playing, they might have another poll to check every Monday.