Dayton Flyers rise in Associated Press poll for third straight week

Dayton has won 16 games in a row

No one younger than 64 was alive the last time the Dayton Flyers ranked in the top five before this season. You would have to be in your late 60s to even remember a regular season that compares to this one.

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Dayton's magical run in the Associated Press top-25 poll continued Monday when it climbed from No. 5 to No. 4. It's a special season when Dayton fans can complain about not being ranked third, but many thought they should have jumped Gonzaga and San Diego State.

Instead, No. 1 Kansas (24-3), No. 2 Baylor (24-2) and No. 3 Gonzaga (27-2) are the only teams ahead of Dayton (25-2, 14-0). San Diego State (26-1) fell from No. 4 to No. 5 after losing 66-63 at home to UNLV.

Florida State, Duke, Kentucky, Maryland and Creighton round out the top 10. Ohio State moved from No. 25 to No. 23.

Dayton extended its winning streak to 16 games by winning 66-61 at Virginia Commonwealth on Tuesday and beating Duquesne 80-70 on Saturday at UD Arena.

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Prior to this season, Dayton had not ranked in the top 10 since 1967 and had not ranked in the top five since it reached No. 2 in 1956. Dayton is the highest-ranked Atlantic 10 Conference team since Saint Joseph’s, which reached No. 1 in 2004. That was the last A-10 team to reach the top spot. Dayton has never ranked No. 1.

Three teams in the top five lost Saturday. Baylor and Gonzaga lost for the first time since November.

Kansas, which won 64-61 at Baylor on Saturday, moved back to No. 1 for the first time since Dec. 16. Kansas and No. 21 Colorado are the only teams to beat Dayton. The Flyers lost both games in overtime. They are the only team in the country that has not lost a 40-minute game this season.

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This is the first time since the 1955-56 season that Dayton has been ranked in 13 straight weeks. The 1955-56 team was ranked all season in 15 polls. That team finished 25-4.

Dayton entered the top 25 at No. 19 on Dec. 2, following its runner-up finish at the Maui Invitational. It climbed to No. 14 on Dec. 9 and to No. 13 on Dec. 16.

The Flyers fell to No. 18 on Dec. 23 after a 78-76 overtime loss to Colorado at the United Center on Dec. 21. They dropped to No. 20 on Dec. 30 before climbing to No. 15 on Jan. 6, to No. 13 on Jan. 13 and to No. 7 on Jan. 20. It stayed at No. 7 on Jan. 27 and then climbed to No. 6 on Feb. 3 and stayed there Feb. 10. It moved to No. 5 on Feb. 17.

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