Marquette enters AP Top 25 Poll for the first time under Shaka Smart

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Photo by Alex DeBuhr

Marquette men’s basketball head coach Shaka Smart during the Golden Eagles’ 75-64 win over then-No. 20 Xavier Jan. 23.

After picking up its sixth-straight win Sunday against then-No. 20 Xavier, the Marquette men’s basketball team earns its first national ranking since the week of Feb. 10 and 17, 2020 and first under first-year head coach Shaka Smart.

The Golden Eagles made a showing at No. 22 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll.

It is the first time since week’s four and five of the season that Marquette received any votes, now being in Week 12 of the season.

The Golden Eagles have won three contests in a row against opposing nationally ranked teams and have five wins on the season against ranked opponents including Illinois, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova and Xavier.

Based on the NCAA’s Net Rankings, Marquette is tied with Wisconsin for the second most Quadrant One  — wins vs. Top 30 teams in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) at home, Top 50 on neutral courts and Top 75 on the road — victories in the nation with six, trailing only No. 5 Baylor with seven.

Marquette currently stands third in the BIG EAST behind No. 17 Providence (6-1) and No. 14 Villanova (7-2) with a 6-3 BIG EAST record after it 0-3 start. The Golden Eagles are 14-6 overall on the season.

Smart’s squad has defeated both teams in front of them, dominating Providence at Fiserv Forum 88-56 and picking up their most prominent win of the season this past Wednesday on the road at Villanova 57-54.

The upcoming two weeks pose more challenges for the Golden Eagles as they have an east coast road trip at Seton Hall on Wednesday and at Providence on Saturday. Following that, Marquette will host the rematch with Villanova at Fiserv Forum the following Wednesday.

This article was written by Matt Yeazel. He can be reached at matthew.yeazel@marquette.edu or on Twitter @MJYeazel.