LOGAN, Utah – Following its three wins in the Mountain West Tournament last week, culminating with a 64-57 victory against San Diego State in the championship game, Utah State men’s basketball is nationally ranked for the first time since the 2010-11 season as it comes in at No. 25 in both The Associated Press (AP) and the USA Today Coaches polls.
Utah State garnered 73 votes in this week’s AP poll and 48 votes in the Coaches poll. For USU, it is the first time it is nationally ranked in the AP poll since the 2010-11 team entered the NCAA Tournament 19th in the nation. USU finished that season ranked 25th in the Coaches poll with a school-best 30-4 record.
All-time, Utah State owns a 56-18 (.757) record as an AP ranked team.
Furthermore, Utah State is one of just five schools in the nation to enter the NCAA Tournament nationally ranked and finished the college football season nationally ranked along with Cincinnati, LSU, Kentucky and Michigan.
Overall, this is just the eighth team in school history to be nationally ranked in the AP poll, joining the 1959-60, 1960-61, 1969-70, 1970-71, 2003-04, 2008-09 and 2010-11 clubs. USU’s highest-ever AP ranking was during the 1959-60 season when that team climbed as high as seventh nationally, while the 1970-71 team was ranked ninth.
This is the second-straight week that Utah State is receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches poll after garnering 34 votes in the AP poll and 19 in the Coaches poll last week to rank No. 29 in the nation in both publications. Three weeks ago, USU received 17 votes in the AP poll to rank 29th in the nation.
Before its recent spot in the polls, Utah State last appeared in the national rankings on Jan. 14, 2013, starting the year with a 14-1 record and receiving one vote in the AP poll to tie for 37th and two votes in the Coaches poll to rank tied for 36th.
Utah State is the eighth seed in the Midwest Region of the 2019 NCAA Tournament and play ninth-seeded Washington (26-8, 15-3 Pac-12) on Friday, March 22, at 4:50 p.m. (MT). USU is 5-3 all-time against the Huskies, including an 0-1 postseason record after falling to UW 75-61 in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament in San Diego, Calif.
Entering the NCAA Tournament, Utah State has a NET Ranking of 29, a non-conference strength of schedule of 20, an overall strength of schedule of 96, 14 wins away from home with a 9-4 road record and a 5-1 mark on neutral courts, a 3-2 record against Quad 1 opponents, a 2-3 record against Quad 2 opponents, a 9-1 record against Quad 3 opponents, and a 13-0 record against Quad 4 opponents. Furthermore, USU did not lose back-to-back games one time during the entire season.
This season, Utah State and Duke are the only two teams in the nation with a top 30 NET ranking, a top 20 non-conference strength of schedule and 14 wins away from home.
Utah State also enters the NCAA Tournament riding a 10-game winning streak, which is tied with Iona for the eighth-longest active winning streak in the nation behind Wofford (20), New Mexico State (19), UC Irvine (16), Buffalo (12), Colgate (11), Murray State (11) and Prairie View A&M (11). Overall, USU has won 17 of its last 18 games.
Utah State’s 28 wins are tied with the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 teams for the third-most in school history and trailing the 2008-09 and 2010-11 teams that both won 30 games.