The Bowie State men's basketball team rose to No. 1 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II poll yesterday, earning the top spot for the first time in school history.
Bowie State, which is 23-3 after last night's 53-44 victory at Elizabeth City State, was a unanimous selection entering the final week of the regular season.
"This is big time for our program," assistant coach Fred Burroughs said before last night's game. "There's no fear. If somebody beats us it'll be because the team played well; it won't be because we're number one in the country."
The Bulldogs conclude their regular season with a nonleague game against Columbia Union tomorrow, and have a bye into the CIAA tournament's quarterfinals, which will be shown live on ESPN Classic on March 3. If they win the CIAA tournament, they will almost certainly host the eight-team South Atlantic Region in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
The Bulldogs had reached No. 4 in the national rankings twice this season, including last week. Before this season, Bowie State had never been ranked higher than ninth.
-- Dan Steinberg