On Monday, the Saint Louis Billikens found themselves in the top ten of the AP poll for the first time since the 1964-65 season.
That’s a cool nugget in and of itself, but it probably wouldn’t be worth making an entire post out of. They’ve won 17 games in a row. They have firm control of a difficult Atlantic 10. They’re a good basketball team. A top ten ranking isn’t all that surprising.
This is where it gets good.
Almost two years ago, then-Saint Louis head coach Rick Majerus made a comment to John Canzano, a columnist at The Oregonian, that seemed, at the time, to be a bit overly-optimistic.
“We’ll be a Top 10 team in about three years,” he said. “I did it at Ball State, did it at Utah, and we’re going to do it here.”
That column ran in March of 2012. It’s now February of 2014, and the program that Majerus built has officially become a top ten team.
Majerus passed away in December of 2012 after taking a leave of absence from the team prior to the start of the 2012-2013 season. His heart gave out on him. Rick Majerus’ birthday was February 17th, and the team moved into the top ten on … February 17th.
And it happened because Nebraska knocked off then-No. 9 Michigan State. Nebraska assistant coach Chris Harriman was on Majerus’ staff at Saint Louis in 2012:
— Chris Harriman (@chrisharriman24) February 17, 2014