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The GW Hatchet


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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Colonials crack Top 25 after upsets

The GW men’s basketball team made the Top 25 rankings for the first time since 1998 Monday. The Associated Press ranked GW the No. 21 team in the nation after the Colonials upset two ranked teams in two days to win the BB&T Classic last weekend.

After knocking off Michigan State University and University of Maryland, the Colonials are now ranked ahead of the Terrapins (No. 23) and one spot behind the Spartans (No. 20). GW is ranked No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll.

In 1998, the Colonials were ranked as high as No. 17 in the AP poll. GW was No. 5 in 1955, the school’s highest ranking ever.

“I’m trying to do a very good job of ignoring it all,” GW head coach Karl Hobbs said Tuesday. “But I’m getting so many phone calls that are making it difficult to ignore. I’d like to just kind of ignore it for a while.”

It will be difficult, because for the first time in recent memory, GW is at the top of the D.C. area basketball totem pole – which is great for the University, GW Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz said Monday afternoon.

“This is a big step in the right direction,” he said. “To be king of the hill in D.C. is great. That’s an accomplishment that you’ve got to think about.”

However, Kvancz added that “the deal is not done.” The season is young, and the Colonials’ goal, as Kvancz and Hobbs said Sunday, is to play well in the Atlantic 10 and make the NCAA Tournament.

“A ranking is great,” Kvancz said. “But once you get a ranking you can’t lose. If you’re successful (early) you want more.”

While the Colonials will not play any more games against ranked non-conference opponents, their schedule is still full of challenging match-ups. In December and early January, they will play at Florida International University, at West Virginia University, and host Massachusetts. The Mountaineers are traditionally strong at home, and many have predicted the Minutemen to be an A-10 contender this season.

As a ranked team, Hobbs said opponents will likely look at the Colonials differently now. Teams will be looking to knock off GW, a team that has not made the NCAA Tournament since 1999.

“What I would hope is that … we’ll play with the same emotion, the same compassion, the same determination,” Hobbs said. “We just have to make sure we stay focused and don’t get caught up in other people’s expectations and what they think or don’t think of us.”

The Colonials will begin their first stretch of play as a ranked team Saturday at St. Francis College in Pennsylvania.

“This Saturday is going to be a huge test,” Hobbs said. “Anytime we go on the road, it’s a challenge … We have to be able to go on the road and play (well) on the road as well.”

GW will play one more home game before the holidays on Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Smith Center. They will play only three home games between now and Jan. 25.

At home, the colonials will play La Salle Jan. 5, Massachusettes Jan. 15, before facing rival Xavier on the 25th. The Musketeers knocked GW out of the A-10 Tournament last year.

-Brian Costa contributed to this report.

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