Men's Basketball enters Top 25 in both national polls

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    Top 25 Rankings


    Feb. 5, 2007

    For the first time in nearly two years, the Southern Illinois University men's basketball team has cracked the Top 25 in a major national poll.

    Winners of five-straight games and seven of their last eight, the Salukis (19-5) entered the Associated Press poll at #21 this week and the ESPN/USAToday Coaches poll at #20.

    "It's a nice reward for our players, who have worked extremely hard to achieve this degree of success," Saluki head coach Chris Lowery said. "At the same time, we can't become complacent, because we're in the heart of our conference schedule right now, and every game is critical toward the success of our season."

    Since Southern Illinois moved up to the University Division (Division I) in 1968-69, it has been nationally ranked 11 times (weeks). The last time was on Feb., 28 2005, when SIU spent one week in the Coaches poll at #25.

    The highest ranking in school history came on March 1, 2004, when SIU climbed to #15 during a school-record, six-week stay in the national polls.

    The Salukis will play their next two games at home as they host Bradley at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday and then square off with Missouri Valley Conference co-leader Creighton at 5 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available for the Bradley game. The Creighton game is sold out.