NEW ORLEANS — When Xavier University of Louisiana visits Dillard in men's basketball at 5 p.m. Saturday, it will be the 14th consecutive time that one of the teams is in the NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25. But for the second time this season, that ranked team is Dillard.
Xavier's Gold Rush were among "others receiving votes" Tuesday for the fifth consecutive week after 55 consecutive top-25 appearances. Dillard, which trailed Xavier in last week's rankings, climbed into a tie for 25th place with Oklahoma City.
This is Dillard's third top-25 appearance in 2015-16 after a 12-year absence from the rankings. The first time Xavier and Dillard met this season, the Gold Rush rallied in the second half Feb. 6 for a 69-61 victory at Xavier which helped knock the Bleu Devils out of the top 25.
Xavier has won six straight and 14 of the last 15 meetings with its longtime city and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference rivlal. The XU men won the last 11 times at Dillard's Dent Hall. The Bleu Devils have not won on their campus against the Gold Rush since an 84-68 decision Feb. 24, 2001.
Talladega, which clinched the GCAC regular-season championship outright with a 96-80 home victory Monday against Dillard, climbed from fifth to a third-place tie nationally. LSU-Alexandria received all nine first-place votes and tops the poll for the fourth consecutive week.
Dillard will be the final opponent of the regular season for Xavier, which is 19-10 overall and 6-5 in the GCAC. The GCAC Tournament will be played March 4-6 in New Orleans, with first-round games at Dillard (men) and SUNO (women) and all semifinals and finals at Xavier's Convocation Center.
|NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll|
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Feb. 21)