Basketball climbs to fourth

TUSCALOOSA - Compliments of its season opening win against then No. 3 Oklahoma, the University of Alabama men's basketball team has climbed to No. 4 in the latest Associated Press men's basketball rankings released on Monday, November 18, 2002.

Though Alabama jumped into the AP top five last February 4, 2002, the spot at No. 4 marks the highest Alabama has been ranked since it was ranked No. 4 in the February 15, 1977 AP poll.

The highest Alabama has ever been ranked happened that same season when the Crimson Tide spent two weeks at No. 3 in the nation in the January 18, 1977 and January 25, 1977 AP polls.

"It's a long season. It's early," said Alabama head men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried upon hearing the news that his team had jumped from No. 7 to No. 4 in the poll after beating Oklahoma 68-62 in its November 14 opener. "You don't need to pay too much attention to it now. Our goal is to be ranked high at the end. There's a lot of basketball to be played between now and then."

It marks the second straight week both the Crimson Tide basketball and football teams have been ranked simultaneously in the AP Top 10 as the football team climbed at spot to No. 9 in this week's poll. Prior to last week, the last time both the Alabama football team and basketball teams were simultaneously ranked in the top 10 was on January 13, 1992 when the basketball team was ranked No. 9 and the football team had finished No. 8 in the final AP poll.

The AP Top 25 includes:

1. Arizona (58)
2. Kansas (10)
3. Texas
4. Alabama
5. Pittsburgh (1)
6. Duke
7. Oklahoma
8. Florida
9. Michigan St.
10. Oregon
11. Xavier
12. Maryland
tie. Mississippi St. (1)
14. Connecticut
15. UCLA
16. Marquette
17. Kentucky
18. Georgia
19. Western Kentucky
20. Missouri
21. Gonzaga
22. Indiana
23. Cincinnati
24. Minnesota
25. Tulsa

Others receiving votes: Virginia 110, Wisconsin 78, Illinois 53, Notre Dame 53, Boston College 50, Wyoming 50, Syracuse 45, Creighton 40, Memphis 39, Texas Tech 37, Ohio St. 34, Oklahoma St. 26, Pepperdine 25, N.C. State 24, Georgia Tech 23, Louisville 23, Southern Cal 20, LSU 16, Penn 15, Temple 11, Stanford 8, UNLV 8, Villanova 7, Wake Forest 7, Arizona St. 4, Ohio 4, S. Illinois 4, Ball St. 3, California 3, Auburn 2, Georgetown 2, Utah 2, Hawaii 1, Holy Cross 1, Mississippi 1.

Having both teams ranked in the nation's top 10 has occurred in seven different seasons, including this one.

  • The first time was in 1972-73 when the Alabama basketball team spent two weeks in the top 10 in late January and the football team finished No. 7 in the final poll.
  • In 1973-74 the basketball team spent seven weeks in the top 10 after the football team finished No. 4 in the final ranking.
  • In 1974-75 the basketball team spent 13 weeks in the top 10 and the football team finished fifth.
  • In 1975-76 the basketball team spent seven weeks in the top 10, reaching as high as No. 6 on March 2, 1976. The football team was No. 3 in that final poll.
  • In February 1982 the basketball team was ranked No. 8 with the football team ending at No. 7.
  • And on January 13, 1992, the basketball team was ranked No. 8 while the football team was No. 8 in the final AP poll.

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