KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After giving up the No. 1 ranking for one week, Northwood (Fla.) takes over that position for the fifth time this year in the 2011 – 12 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced Monday by the national office. The Seahawks, who corralled 374 points as the unanimous top pick, replace Oregon Tech. An 81-66 road loss at unranked Concordia (Ore.) on Jan. 27 doomed Oregon Tech and pushed the Hustlin’ Owls back to No. 2.
Northwood has rebounded from a Jan. 19 loss to reel off four-straight wins. On Thursday, the Seahawks face No. 14 St. Thomas (Fla.) in a battle of the top-ranked teams in The Sun Conference. The Bobcats enter Monday’s game against Johnson & Wales (Fla.) on a 13-game winning streak.
With a 22-3 record, Oregon Tech recorded 352 points. Davenport (Mich.) holds steady at No. 3 for the third-consecutive time and stands in the poll with 342 total points. Behind a seven-game winning streak, No. 4 McPherson (Kan.) moved up one spot with 340 points. No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) is back in the top five with 338 points after spending one week at sixth.
No. 19 St. Ambrose (Iowa) made the biggest improvement within the poll with a three-spot leap. The Fighting Bees posted 156 points. They have opened up a two-game lead in the Midwest Collegiate Conference courtesy of a current six-game winning streak.
No. 16 Indiana Wesleyan headlines a group of five newcomers. The Wildcats boasted two, No. 1 rankings earlier this year before falling out during a 3-8 stretch. Indiana Wesleyan has gotten back to winning with a 3-1 spurt, including an 82-74 triumph over then-No. 4 Grace (Ind.) on Jan. 24. No. 20 Indiana Tech, No. 21 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 24 Marian (Ind.) and No. 25 Daemen (N.Y.) join Indiana Wesleyan on this list.
Five teams were knocked out of the Top 25: Spring Arbor (Mich.) (No. 17), Goshen (Ind.) (No. 21), Warner (Fla.) (No. 23), Cornerstone (Mich.) (No. 24) and Mount Mercy (Iowa) (No. 25).
The Mid Central College Conference leads all leagues and independents with four ranked members: No. 8 Grace (Ind.), Indiana Wesleyan, St. Francis and Marian. The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Great Plains Athletic Conference and The Sun Conference all land a trio of schools in the Top 25. Overall, 12 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented this week.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The eighth regular-season Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be announced on Feb. 6.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999 – 2000) No. 3 Davenport (Mich.) joins its women’s program in the top-five as the Lady Panthers share the No. 1 ranking in the Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll this week… Newcomer and No. 24 Marian (Ind.) is ranked for the first time since Jan. 11, 2005 when it was 22nd… There are three teams to be ranked in the No. 1 spot this year (Northwood (Fla.), Oregon Tech and Indiana Wesleyan)… There have been 45 different teams to be ranked at least once this season… No. 8 Grace (Ind.) has been in the top 10 in all eight polls this year – before this season, the Lancers had not reached the top 10 since the 1992-93 season… No. 11 Northwest (Wash.) was the last undefeated team to lose, with that setback coming on Jan. 6, 2012 after the Eagles started 14-0… No. 2 Oregon Tech has spent 16-straight polls ranked in the top 10, dating back to Jan. 10, 2011… Embry-Riddle (Fla.) owns the most No. 1 rankings since 2000 with 17; Oregon Tech is next with 13, followed by Oklahoma Wesleyan and former NAIA member Walsh (Ohio) at 12 mentions each… Oregon Tech is listed with the longest active streak in the Top 25 at 83-straight weeks – the last time the Hustlin’ Owls were not ranked was on Jan. 11, 2005… In second place is Northwood with 48-consecutive mentions.
2011-12 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – (Jan. 30)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 – 12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Northwood (Fla.) (14)||20-2||374|
|9||10||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||19-5||278|
|10||8||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||18-5||276|
|14||16||St. Thomas (Fla.)||14-6||212|
|15||14||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||16-7||198|
|17||19||Valley City State (N.D.)||18-6||166|
|19||22||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||16-8||156|
|21||RV||Saint Francis (Ind.)||16-8||132|
Others receiving votes: Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 60; Goshen (Ind.) 42; Warner (Fla.) 38; Ashford (Iowa) 37; Saint Mary (Kan.) 23; Southern Oregon 22; Tennessee Wesleyan 14; Madonna (Mich.) 12; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 12; Morningside (Iowa) 11; Cal Maritime 8; Cornerstone (Mich.) 3; Eastern Oregon 3; Oklahoma Wesleyan 1; William Penn (Iowa) 1; Bluefield (Va.) 1; Huntington (Ind.) 1.