The Williams College men's basketball team moved up one spot and is now fourth in the latest D3hoops.com national Top 25.

Seven games, seven wins, and now the No. 4 team in the country.

That’s where the Williams College men’s basketball team finds itself as the Ephs begin the final week before the players begin finals.

The latest D3hoops.com national Top 25 came out late Monday, and with it, Williams moved up to the No. 4 spot in the rankings. They earned the one-spot rise thanks to a win over then-No. 19 RPI and a victory over Little Three rival Wesleyan on Saturday.

“It’s hard to tell” if the Ephs are where they should be, Williams coach Kevin App said after Saturday’s 72-58 win over the Cardinals. “Bringing Hudson [Hansen] and Brandon [Roughley] back and trying to figure that out. We missed a couple of rotations for Alex [Stoddard], unfortunately. We still have a lot to figure out. Would we already have figured that out if those guys were back, or as you said, we might be further along than we would have been because other guys got more opportunities.

“We’re enjoying it so far, and we have another big week before finals.”

That big week started with a Tuesday night road game at SUNY Oneonta, and then a home game Saturday against Springfield.

The only team in last week’s top five that remained in its spot was undefeated, and top-ranked Christopher Newport.

The Newport News, Va., college repeated as the No. 1 team in the nation, earning 20 of the 25 first-place votes. Christopher Newport was fourth in the preseason poll.

The only one of the top five teams to drop out was Mount Union. The Purple Raiders, who lost to Heidelberg last week, fell from the No. 2 position to No. 6.

The next four teams in the top 5 all moved up from last week. St. Joseph’s (Conn.) is 6-0 and moved from third to second, while Wisconsin-LaCrosse went from fourth to third. LaCrosse is 8-0 and received four first-place votes, while St. Joseph’s — the program that former UConn Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun revitalized — got the fifth vote.

After Williams, the rest of the top 10 consisted of No. 5 Randolph-Macon, Mount Union, seventh-ranked Rochester, No. 8 Keene State, No. 9 John Carroll and 10th-seeded Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

There are five New England schools in the Top 25. Williams and 12th-ranked Middlebury (5-1) are the two NESCAC representatives. The Panthers actually moved up from 13 after a 1-1 weekend. They beat Carnegie Mellon but lost to then 10th-ranked Rochester in the NESCAC-UAA Challenge.

Rochester (7-1) had a nice jump, moving from 10th after beating Bowdoin and Middlebury in the Challenge. Keene State (8-0) is the other New England team in the Top 25, as the Owls jumped from 14th last week to the No. 8 spot this week.

The third New England team in the Top 25 is 13th-ranked WPI (5-1), but the Engineers fell from No. 6.

There are two other upstate New York teams joining Rochester in the Top 25. RPI (7-1), losers to Williams a week ago, went from 19 to 18, bouncing back with a pair of Liberty League wins over Hobart and RIT. SUNY Oswego (5-2), dropped from 12th to 25th.

The D3hoops.com women’s top 25 came out shortly before the men’s Top 25. The top five, Hope, NYU, Transylvania, Trinity (Tex.) and Christopher Newport, remain the same from last week.

There are two NESCAC teams in the Top 25, with Amherst moving from seventh to sixth, and Tufts dropping from 11th to 13th.

The other New England teams in the Top 25 are No. 11 Smith, 12th-ranked Babson and 15th-ranked Springfield.

Williams has already played, and lost to Babson and Springfield, and will play Smith on Wednesday night in Chandler Gym.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253.


Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.