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After four-week wait, No. 22 SLU will play first game as ranked team this season

After four-week wait, No. 22 SLU will play first game as ranked team this season

SLU battles the Bonnies

St. Louis University cheerleaders, dancers, players, coaches and managers cheer on the seniors during senior night after the Billikens defeated the St. Bonaventure Bonnies 72-49 at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday, March 7, 2020, in St. Louis. Photo by Lexi Browning,

St. Louis University finally will get an opportunity to play a game as a ranked team after voters in the AP poll not only kept the Billikens in the top 25 but moved them up three spots to No. 22 this week.

SLU did not play a game for the fourth consecutive week but continued to garner support based on a 7-1 nonconference performance.

The Billikens will return to the court after a 33-day layoff Tuesday night against Dayton at Chaifetz Arena, barring any further unforeseen issues.

SLU earned its first ranking at No. 23 the week after going into quarantine and not playing a game. The Billikens slipped to No. 24 and No. 25 in subsequent off weeks while players were in isolation and then slowly returning.

But considerable volatility in the lower portion of the rankings and maybe the team’s return to practice Friday prompted voters to keep them in the rankings.

The Billikens had an outbreak of COVID-19 that impacted at least 11 players as well as coach Travis Ford. Their layoff between games is among the longest in the country this season.

Players' families and some season ticket holders will be admitted to Tuesday's game with a maximum of about 300 people. 

SLU has not played an Atlantic 10 game yet while everyone else in the conference has played at least six and as many as nine.

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