Rick Majerus made a prophetic prediction about Saint Louis two years ago

Midway through a conversation about senior forward Brian Conklin two years ago, former Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus made a bold prediction to a Portland columnist.

"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."

Majerus tragically died of heart failure about eight months after making that projection, but his former players and coaches have made him look clairvoyant by eclipsing his time table by a year. Saint Louis cracked the top 10 for the first time since the 1964-65 season on Monday, the same day as Majerus would have turned 66 no less.

Former Saint Louis assistant and current Nebraska aide Chris Harriman revealed another hidden irony of Saint Louis' ascent into the top 10. Harriman noted that it was Nebraska's victory at Michigan State on Sunday that knocked the Spartans out of the top 10 and made room for the Billikens.

The team that beat Majerus in the last game he ever coached was Michigan State in the round of 32 of the 2012 NCAA tournament.

Tweeted Harriman, "Somewhere in "Hoops Heaven" Coach Majerus is smiling! Our last game together was a loss to MSU in NCAA Tournament..Today was 4 U! #Legend"

Defending Atlantic 10 champion Saint Louis improved to 23-2 and tightened its grip on first place in the league by holding off a late rally by second-place VCU on Saturday. The Billikens' only two losses came against Wisconsin and Wichita State.