MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers have landed in the Associated Press college basketball Top 25 poll for the first time in three years.
The Gophers are ranked at 21, after posting an 8-1 record to start the season, including a big upset victory over then-4th ranked Iowa on Christmas Day.
Minnesota's lone loss thus far was to Illinois
“We're a pretty motivated team,” Golden Gophers coach Richard Pitino told the Associated Press. "We just talked about what Illinois did to us and we didn't get negative or lose hope. It was one game and we had to get back to work, which is what we did. We didn't even watch film on it. We addressed it and moved on ... and we beat a team that people think can go to the Final Four."
The Gophers face a difficult test ahead, with its next six games against other Top 25 teams, including Monday against Michigan State (17), followed by Wisconsin (6), Ohio State (25), Michigan (16, playing twice) and Iowa again (10).
“We'll turn the page and look towards the next one,” Pitino said. “We're not a get too-high-or-too-low-type of program.”
According to the AP, the last time the Gophers were ranked was on Dec. 4, 2017.
Nine Big Ten teams are currently ranked in the AP Top 25.