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Men's basketball is No. 5 in Top 25 poll

The men's basketball team has risen steadily up the poll. (Photo courtesy of Emory Athletics)

The Emory men's basketball team continues its ascension among Division III programs, moving up to the No. 5 spot in this week's Top 25 Poll.  The most recent rankings cover games played though Dec. 11.

The Eagles of head coach Jason Zimmerman catapulted four spots from last week's poll and posted 490 points to go along with their 8-0 record, the first time in program history that an Emory team has captured its opening eight games of a season.  In its lone action of last week, Emory ventured cross-town and recorded a 60-54 victory over Oglethorpe University.

Holding down the top spot with 624 points is Middlebury, the owners of a 7-0 record and recipients of 24 of 25 first-place votes.  Virginia Wesleyan (6-1) stands second with 560 points, followed by Augustana (7-1) with 556 points.  MIT (11-0) holds down the No. 4 spot with Emory rounding out the top five.

The Eagles have moved up in each of the Polls this year.  After garnering the No. 13 position in the preseason rankings, the squad moved into 10th in the initial poll of the year (Nov. 27).  Emory inched up one spot in the Dec. 4 poll followed by its current ranking.

After breaking for finals and the holidays, Emory returns to action with a pair of home dates to close out the 2011 portion of the schedule. The Eagles will entertain Rhodes College on Dec. 29 in a 7 p.m. contest before hosting Guilford on Dec. 31 in a 1 p.m. tip.

The Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, sports information directors and media members from across the country and is published weekly.

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