Dayton Flyers climb in AP poll for fourth straight week

The climb in the Associated Press top-25 poll continued for the Dayton Flyers on Monday.

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Dayton has moved from No. 6 to No. 5 to No. 4 and now to No. 3 in the last four weeks. Only No. 1 Kansas (29-2) and No. 2 Gonzaga (26-3) stand above the Flyers (27-2, 16-0) entering the final week of the regular season. Dayton jumped Baylor (25-3), which fell from No. 2 to No. 4 after losing 75-72 at TCU.

This is Dayton’s highest ranking since it ranked third in the final poll of the 1955-56 season. It climbed as high as No. 2 that season. It has never ranked No. 1.

Dayton extended its winning streak to 18 games, the second longest in one season in school history, last week with two victories. It beat George Mason 62-55 on the road Tuesday and beat Davidson 82-67 at UD Arena on Friday. It clinched a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season championship with the first victory and clinched the outright title, the second in school history, with the second.

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In the final week of the regular season, Dayton plays at Rhode Island at 9 p.m. Wednesday and faces George Washington at 7 p.m. Saturday on Senior Night at UD Arena.

The Flyers will then play in the A-10 tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. They have secured the No. 1 seed and will open the tournament in the quarterfinals against the No. 8 or No. 9 seed at noon on March 13.

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.

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This is the first time since the 1955-56 season that Dayton has been ranked in 14 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 and to No. 4 on Feb. 24.

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