MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's men's basketball team continues to make a national splash this week, rising in the major national polls to program-best rankings.
The Gaels are ranked 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 16th by the Associated Press. The no. 13 ranking is the highest-ever in either of the two major polls for a Saint Mary's men's basketball team. The team's appearance at 16 by the AP is its best in that poll since 1959 and the third-highest ever.
Saint Mary's enters Thursday's West Coast Conference showdown at second-place Gonzaga with a 22-2 overall record and a perfect 11-0 mark in league play. The Gaels have won 12-straight games and 20 of their last 21.
Thursday's game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. (PT) with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham calling the action. A live audio stream will also be available on SMCGaels.com with Mike Bouve on the microphone.
Saint Mary's has been included in the two major national polls for four-straight weeks. The Gaels entered the rankings on Jan. 16 at 23rd by the coaches and 24 by the AP. Since that time, SMC has won five-straight games and has risen 10 spots in the rankings.
Prior to this season, the program enjoyed a previous high of 18th in the coaches poll on Jan. 26, 2009. The Gaels earned top-20 rankings by the AP in 1989 and 1959 with a best-ever ranking of 14th in the season-opening poll of the 1958-59 season.