Star-Bulletin Sports



’Bows ranked 26th
in coaches poll

Star-Bulletin staff

It was a good week.

Not only did Hawaii regain the Western Athletic Conference lead with Thursday's win over Tulsa, it finished undefeated at home in WAC play for the first time ever Saturday by thumping Rice.

It got even better yesterday as the Rainbows (23-4, 14-2) moved up into 26th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 poll with 59 points. In last week's poll, Hawaii was No. 29 with 31 points.

"Somebody's paying attention," Hawaii coach Riley Wallace said yesterday. "This is a good step."

Hawaii leaves tomorrow for its final road trip of the season. The Rainbows finish the regular season at Nevada on Thursday and at Fresno State on Saturday.

The WAC tournament begins March 7 for Hawaii, the projected No. 1 seed. The NCAA Tournament's Selection Sunday is March 10.

Two teams debuted in this week's Top 25, Western Kentucky (25-3) at No. 23 and California (20-6) at No. 25. The Golden Bears' two wins over ranked teams -- USC and UCLA -- likely pushed them into the poll ahead of the Rainbows.

"Cal had big wins and we had a good week," said Wallace.

Making the biggest drop was Virginia (16-9), which fell from 15th into a tie for 32nd with Texas Tech. Also falling out of the Top 25 was Syracuse, from No. 25 to No. 27. The only other WAC team receiving votes was Tulsa at No. 39 with 6 points.

The Associated Press Top 25 writers poll will be released today. Hawaii was 38th with 13 points last week.

UH Athletics

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