PULLMAN, Wash. - Fresh from upsetting Arizona, Washington State appeared on the Top 25 basketball poll for the first time in a generation today, debuting at Number 22 in a tie with Notre Dame.
It was the first time since a one-week appearance in 1983 that the Cougars (14-2, 3-1 Pacific 10) have been ranked in the Top 25. Picked last in the Pac-10's preseason media poll, the Cougars are off to their best start in more than a decade under first-year coach Tony Bennett.
The Cougars began receiving votes after they beat Gonzaga on December 5. This season they also lost just 55-52 at top-ranked UCLA, and beat Southern Cal. Their sweep of Arizona State and Arizona last week turned enough heads to earn 214 poll points.
In other poll developments involving Washington teams, Washington (11-4) dropped out of the Top 25 for the first time this season, after losing to Arizona but beating Arizona State last week.
Gonzaga (10-6), which had been ranked earlier this season, again did not draw any poll votes this week. But the Zags are the only team to have beaten North Carolina (14-1), which moved up to Number 1.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)