The unbeaten Tommie men’s basketball team (12-0) has climbed one spot to No. 2 in this week’s d3hoops.com national rankings.
St. Thomas (10-1) is also ranked No. 4 in this week’s d3hoops.com women’s poll.
North Central (Ill.), 13-0, is ranked first, with 14 of 25 first-place votes. UST received five No. 1 votes. At No. 3 is Middlebury, (11-0). Two teams the Tommies have beaten are in the top 10 -- 12-1 Whitworth at No. 5 and 12-2 UW-Stevens Point at No. 10.
This UST men’s basketball’s second-best national ranking in school history – the Tommies climbed to No. 1 four years ago en route to a 30-1 finish. The Toms have won a Division III-best 116 games over the last five seasons, including victories in 20 of their last 21 games.
Coach John Tauer’s men’s team has posted back-to-back 42-point victories, both over opponents with multiple victory streaks -– 9-0 Augsburg, and Bethel, the winner of five in a row. St. Thomas ranks among the Division III leaders in field-goal percentage, 3-point proficiency, fewest turnovers, and bench points (39 points a game).
St. Thomas has started 12-0 for just the third time in the last 20 seasons. The 1994-95 Toms, in Tauer’s senior year as a player, had a 27-0 start before losing in round two of the NCAA playoffs. The 2008-09 Tommies started 30-0 before losing in the NCAA playoff quarterfinals to eventual champion Washington (Mo.).
St. Thomas will play at home on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) against Gustavus and on Saturday (3:05 p.m.) against St. John’s. The Tommie-Johnnie game will be telecast live in the Twin Cities on Channel 45.
Tommie teams are a combined 76-3 this school year in the sports of volleyball, football and basketball, with all three defeats to top-five ranked teams.
UST is currently ranked in the top five nationally in five sports -– volleyball (first); football, baseball and men’s basketball (second); and women’s basketball (fourth).
Click here to see d3hoops.com poll: