Notre Dame hoops cracks national rankings

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

A solid start (8-1) and recent overtime victory over Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge has allowed Notre Dame to secure some serious national attention.

The Irish are ranked by the Associated Press (No. 25) for the first time this season. The newest rankings were released Monday. Michigan State fell out of the poll following losses to No. 11 Kansas and to Notre Dame. The Spartans are No. 23 in the USA Today/Coaches poll. The Irish are not ranked by the coaches.

Notre Dame is one of six Atlantic Coast Conference teams ranked by the AP, including three - Duke (2), Louisville (4) and Virginia (6) - in the Top 10. North Carolina is No. 12. Miami (Fla.) is at No. 15.

Notre Dame received exactly one vote from the AP’s 65 voters a week ago and was behind 21 other schools in the “also received votes” category. Following victories over Michigan State and Fairleigh Dickinson, the Irish tallied 200 points from voters to snag the final spot.

It’s the first time that the Irish are ranked since falling out of the AP poll - from No. 21 - following a home loss to Indiana State on Nov. 17, 2013.

Notre Dame has been ranked at some point in the regular season in 13 of 15 seasons under coach Mike Brey.

The Irish return to action Tuesday at home against Mount St. Mary’s.

Guard Jerian Grant and the Irish men's basketball team are back in the Associated Press poll for the first time in over a year.AP Photo/JOE RAYMOND