Men’s Basketball: Owls advance to No. 19 in AP Top 25

Along with their advance in the Top 25, the Owls also hold the longest active winning streak in the NCAA.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

FAU men’s basketball (21-1, 11-0 C-USA) added yet another accomplishment to their already historic season, as they rose to #19 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll released on Monday afternoon. 

“As we get more attention, as we win, and as all these things outside of the lines happen, you can have a tendency to get too far ahead,” said head coach Dusty May following the victory over Western Kentucky on Saturday following the Owls win over Western Kentucky on Saturday. “We’ve got to resist the temptation to feel good about ourselves, and remain hungry and humble and focused on the next thing.”

The Owls’ advance in the AP Poll comes two days after they extended their winning streak to 20 consecutive games—the longest active winning streak in the nation.

The College of Charleston Cougars (21-2, 9-1 CAA) previously held the longest winning streak. However, their loss to Hofstra University on Saturday, coupled with the Owls’ 70-63 victory over Western Kentucky, means the title of the nation’s longest active winning streak belongs to FAU.

“This all goes back to May and June, when guys were in the gym putting in work, lifting, practicing,” said sophomore forward Giancarlo Rosado. “This all started in May. Now, everybody else gets to see it.”

Although the work that went into this season began last May, all roads lead to March, as the Owls are looking to earn their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2002.

When asked if there is any talk in the locker room about what lies ahead in the postseason, Rosado maintained that their focus is on the task at hand.

One game at a time,” said Rosado. “Actually, one possession at a time. One possession at a time, frame-by-frame.” 

A little over a month away from “Selection Sunday” on Mar. 12, multiple experts have predicted the Owls to comfortably qualify for the tournament.

In his latest bracket prediction, ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi has the Owls taking the eighth seed in the Midwest region. If his prediction were to take fruition, FAU would be scheduled to take on the University of Iowa Hawkeyes (13-8, 5-5 Big Ten) in Birmingham, Ala., in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Similarly, in his most recent prediction, Andy Katz of the Big Ten Network has FAU taking the eleventh seed in the Midwest region, which would mean they would take on the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights (14-7, 6-4 Big Ten) in Greensboro, N.C.

“Winning is hard, and a lot goes into it. But, I have as much confidence and believe in these guys as I’ve ever had in a team,” said May. “It’s because of the way they are every single day. It’s not like they have to change their behavior or character to rise to a challenge. It’s who they are.”

The Owls will now look to extend the nation’s longest winning streak on the road against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers (15-7, 6-5 C-USA) on Thursday, Feb. 2. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Bartow Arena and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

Cameron Priester is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron