December 29, 2014

Tony Bozzella has had Seton Hall on the rise since he took over the program last season.

Now he's got the Pirates back in the Top 25 for the first time in nearly 20 years after a convincing 19-point win over then-No. 14 Georgia on Sunday.

Seton Hall came into The Associated Press poll Monday at No. 23 and has matched its best start at 12-1. The Pirates are riding an 11-game winning streak - the school's longest since the 1980-81 season.

''That's fantastic,'' Bozzella said when he heard the news of the team making the poll. ''It's a big jump and I hope we play like a Top 25 team on Tuesday night against Butler.''

The Pirates open conference play against the Bulldogs before a key Big East matchup at St. John's on Friday night.

Georgia coach Andy Landers thought the Pirates were a Top 25 team before Monday.

''I think they should have been ranked,'' Georgia coach Andy Landers said. ''They got quality wins, no bad losses, beat who they are supposed to beat.''

While Seton Hall moved into the poll, there wasn't much change up top with most teams taking a break for the holidays. The first 10 teams remained the same with South Carolina leading the way for the sixth straight week.

UConn, Texas, Notre Dame and Texas A&M followed the Gamecocks, who had the week off. Baylor, Louisville, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon State and Duke were next. The Blue Devils visit Connecticut on Monday night.

Some notes from this week's poll:

UNBEATENS: With Georgia losing, there are five unbeaten teams left in women's basketball led by No. 1 South Carolina. Third-ranked Texas and No. 17 Mississippi State also haven't lost. Princeton and Akron are the other two undefeated squads.

On the other end of the spectrum, Alabama A&M, Saint Peter's, UC Santa Barbara and Illinois State are all winless.

WELCOME BACK: While Seton Hall made its first appearance in the Top 25 since Jan. 31, 1995, DePaul came back into the poll this week after falling out seven days ago. It gives the Big East two ranked teams for the first time since the conference split apart two years ago.

Green Bay and West Virginia fell out.

CLEAN SHEET: For the first time this season there were no ties in the poll. The first seven weeks had at least one tie a week with last week having two ties with Oregon State and Duke both at 10 and Kentucky and Nebraska at 12.

UPCOMING MATCHUPS: With league play getting underway there are fewer tantalizing nonconference matchups. Duke and Connecticut get the week started off Monday night. Fifth-ranked Texas A&M visits Washington and talented sophomore scorer Kelsey Plum on Monday also. The SEC has a great matchup between Georgia, which will try to rebound from its first loss of the season, when it visits unbeaten Mississippi State on Friday.

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