NEW ORLEANS — When the men's basketball teams of Xavier University of Louisiana and Dillard meet at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Crosstown Classic at XU's Convocation Center, it will include a role-reversal not seen in more than a decade.
For the second straight week, the Gold Rush are among "others receiving votes" in the NAIA Division I top 25 coaches poll, and the Bleu Devils are in the top 25. Xavier received six points and is tied for 33rd overall, and its longtime city and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference rival climbed from 24th to 21st.
Xavier's men haven't played a ranked Dillard team since Jan. 31, 2004, when the seventh-ranked Gold Rush won 84-79 at No. 18 Dillard. The Bleu Devils' second loss in three days knocked them out of the top 25, and they did not return to the rankings until last week.
Xavier, meanwhile, seeks a return to the top 25 after 55 consecutive appearances there. When Xavier was 21st in the Jan. 19 poll, it possessed the longest active top-25 streak in the division.
The Gold Rush are 16-8 after rallying late for a 59-50 GCAC victory Monday at SUNO. Dillard, 14-7 after an 82-65 Tuesday non-conference loss at Loyola, has as many victories this season as it did the previous three years combined.
Talladega, the leader in the GCAC by a half-game over Dillard, climbed from ninth to sixth nationally. Second-year program LSU-Alexandria received 5-of-10 first-place votes and climbed a notch to earn its first No. 1 ranking.
|NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll|
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Jan. 31)