The Gaels Are in the Top-20 Teams in the Nation

The Associated Press poll puts Saint Mary’s at No. 18, the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 19. It’s the first time SMC has been back in the Top 25 since the 2023–24 preseason polls.

by Ryan Barnett, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications | February 12, 2024

UPDATE FEBRUARY 19, 2024: After a commanding win over Pepperdine last week, the Gaels are now ranked No. 18 in the country by both AP and USA Today. An updated story is in progress.

Saint Mary's Men's Basketball is on the rise! The Gaels currently hold the nation's longest active winning streak at 12 in a row (tied with UConn) and have won 17 of their last 18. And today the Gaels made a triumphant return to the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls, which rank the top 25 teams in the nation. The Gaels checked in this week at No. 18 in the AP poll and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll

It’s the first time since the 2023–24 preseason polls that the Gaels have been nationally ranked. This is also their highest ranking since week 18 of last season, when the Gaels were ranked 16th in both polls.

Gaels are No. 15 in NET Rankings

Fans who pay attention to stats might not be surprised by the latest AP and USA Today poll results. For weeks, Saint Mary’s has been in the top 25 for the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings. For these rankings, it’s number crunching that leads to the rankings—including winning percentage, opponents’ winning percentage, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses. This week the Gaels clock in at No. 15 in the NET rankings.

The Gaels boast an impressive resume this season that includes four quad one wins. Racking up a quad one win requires a home win against a NET top-30 team, a neutral-site win against a NET top-50 team, or a road win against a NET top-75 team.

For the Gaels, two of the quad one wins came in non-conference matchups with Mountain West foes New Mexico (19-5, and receiving votes but not ranked in both polls) and Colorado State (19-5, receiving votes in AP Poll, No. 25 in Coaches Poll), while two more came on the road in conference play against San Francisco (20–6) and Gonzaga (18-6, receiving votes but not ranked in both polls). 

At 11–0 in West Coast Conference play, the Gaels hold the inside track to a regular season conference title, with a two game lead on second place San Francisco and a 2.5 game lead on third place Gonzaga, with five games to go. Saint Mary's will host both San Francisco and Gonzaga in the final three weeks of the regular season, with a chance to pull even further ahead. 

UP NEXT: The Gaels host Pepperdine on Thursday, February 15. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. inside UCU Pavilion. It’s a special occasion: Jock Landale Jersey Retirement Night. The Gaels will be retiring No. 34, the jersey of Jock Landale of the Houston Rockets, whose stellar performance with Saint Mary’s led to an NBA career, years playing with the Australian National Team, and to Olympic Bronze. The game includes a Jock Landale replica jersey giveaway for fans.

READ MORE: This story as it originally appears at

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Story updated February 19, 2024, at 10:15 a.m.