AP top 25 poll: why aren’t the Panthers ranked yet?



The UNI men’s basketball team is sitting in first place in the conference and 21-3 overall, but has not yet garnered the attention of national polls.


After UNI’s win over Drake Sunday, they now sit at a 21-3 overall record, number one in the MVC, and a perfect 13-0 at home. While most people would assume that resume is good enough to be put in the AP Top 25 rankings, the most recent rankings released say otherwise. Northern Iowa sat just outside the top 25 with 44 votes, following Rhode Island with 57 votes. While I understand mid-major schools do not bring in the same hype or recruits that Power Five schools do, one thing that is for certain is that UNI can play. Just ask Kansas, Texas, or North Carolina.

One reason I can see is the fact that UNI has only played one AP top-25 team this season (a win on the road against the 23rd-ranked University of Colorado back on Dec. 10) but if you look at the number six-ranked Dayton Flyers, they have only faced one as well, in which they lost. One could also look at the number four-ranked San Diego State Aztecs, who have yet to play an AP top-25 team so far this season. UNI has not played the toughest strength of schedule so far this season, but there needs to be at least some respect for a team with only three losses this late in the year.

I think we can all agree that college basketball has been terribly inconsistent this year. Michigan State was preseason number one, and now they are in the same boat as UNI – outside of the top 25. Northern Iowa has had votes on the map consistently increasing since week seven of the polls, and it is still early February. There is still a lot of basketball ahead of us and we can only play the teams placed in front of us. A team this talented will soon get the recognition they deserve.