Movin’ on up: URI men’s basketball team ranked 16th in country

Rhode Island's Jared Terrell during the first half an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Amherst, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WPRI) — Two days after the University of Rhode Island trounced Davidson to remain undefeated in A-10 play, the team once again moved up in the AP men’s basketball poll.

The rankings, which came out Monday, moved URI up two slots to No. 16.

Virginia has climbed to No. 1 for the first time in more than 35 years.

The Cavaliers earned 30 of 65 first-place votes in Monday’s latest poll to outdistance No. 2 Michigan State. Virginia had suffered an overtime home loss Saturday to Virginia Tech, part of an upset-filled week that saw the top three teams lose.

But Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers rose above the turmoil at the top, climbing a slot to No. 1 for the first time since December 1982 — the senior season of 7-foot-4 great Ralph Sampson.

The Spartans climbed two slots after their win against Purdue, while last week’s No. 1 Villanova fell to third after a home loss to St. John’s.

Xavier and Cincinnati rounded out the top five.

  1. Virginia (30) 23-2
  2. Michigan St. (21) 24-3
  3. Villanova (9) 23-2
  4. Xavier (5) 23-3
  5. Cincinnati 23-2
  6. Purdue 23-4
  7. Texas Tech 21-4
  8. Ohio St. 22-5
  9. Gonzaga 23-4
  10. Auburn 22-3
  11. Clemson 20-4
  12. Duke 20-5
  13. Kansas 19-6
  14. North Carolina 19-7
  15. Saint Mary’s (Cal) 24-3
  16. Rhode Island 20-3
  17. Arizona 20-6
  18. Tennessee 18-6
  19. Wichita St. 19-5
  20. West Virginia 18-7
  21. Texas A&M 17-8
  22. Michigan 20-7
  23. Oklahoma 16-8
  24. Nevada 21-5
  25. Arizona St 19-6