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Gopher men's basketball team makes AP Top 25 poll

It's the first top 25 ranking for the team since 2017.
Credit: AP
Minnesota forward Isaiah Ihnen (35), guard Tre' Williams, second from left, center Sam Freeman, behind in black shirt, and center Liam Robbins, rear, in jersey, mob forward Brandon Johnson (23) for his overtime performance against Iowa as coach Richard Pitino, back right, watches at the end of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 102-95. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

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.