By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Standing as the only undefeated team in NAIA men's basketball, Columbia (Mo.) earns the No. 1 ranking in the fifth regular season edition of the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The 20-0 Cougars are on top of the charts for the second-straight poll, going 3-0 last week and winning by an average margin over 30 points. Columbia collected all 11 first-place votes and 281 total points.
Improving four positions, No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) posted 264 total points. This is the highest spot for the Flames (photo top left) since the 2007 - 08 season. Lee has won four in-a-row and is 17-1 on the season. No. 3 Pikeville (Ky.) fell one spot with 260 points. The Bears lost their second game of the year, 80-77, to unranked Georgetown (Ky.) Jan. 19.
Tied at No. 4 with 247 points, John Brown (Ark.) and Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) are moving in opposite directions. With two wins last weekend, John Brown has won six-consecutive games. One of those triumphs was a 75-70 nail-biter over then-No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist Jan. 17 in the NAIA Game of the Week. Starting the season 18-0, the Warriors have dropped two of their last three games, with both losses against unranked foes.
No. 17 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) made the biggest splash this week, enjoying the best upward spike with an eight-spot shift. The Pioneers are 15-6 overall and hold the Heart of America Athletic Conference lead with No. 19 Evangel (Mo.).
Cumberlands (Ky.), losers of four-straight, plummets to 25th for the largest fall of 11 spots. Two weeks ago, the Patriots held the No. 1 ranking.
No. 24 Shawnee State (Ohio) is the lone newcomer this week with 76 points. The Bears, with an 11-7 record, have won six of their last seven contests, including a 70-66 win Jan. 3 against then-No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). This is the first NAIA Division I ranking for the Bears - Shawee State was members of NAIA Division II prior to 2009 - 10 season and were last ranked nationally during the 2003 - 04 Division II campaign.
After three-straight weeks in the Top 25, Texas College (No. 24) falls out. The Steers have lost four-in-a-row.
With four Top 25 teams, the Mid-South Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference listed the most teams of any conference or unaffiliated group. The Frontier Conference landed a trio of ranked programs. Overall, all 11 conferences and unaffiliated groups are represented this week.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The sixth regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Jan. 29. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) Last week was a difficult stretch for the former Nos. 2-5 - those teams from the Jan. 15 edition all lost at least one contest... Twelve teams have been ranked in all of the six polls this season (including Preseason Top 25)... Columbia is the only program in NAIA Division I and II men's basketball without a loss - Lee (Tenn.) is the only one-loss team in Division... There have been 40 different teams represented through six polls this season (includes Preseason Top 25)... Columbia (Mo.) is the fourth different No. 1 team this year, joining Concordia (Calif.), Cumberlands (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist... Oklahoma Baptist leads the active group of being ranked with 56-straight mentions, followed by Rogers State (Okla.) at 22 and Montana State-Northern at 21... Since the 2000 - 01 season, there have been 25 different teams to hold the No. 1 ranking, with seven of those program having five-or-more listings on top of the charts...Former NAIA member Mountain State (W.Va.) leads this group with 48 No. 1 rankings, followed by Robert Morris (Ill.) with 24, Concordia (Calif.) is next with 12, Georgetown (Ky.) is at 10 and Rogers State is at seven... Robert Morris is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 - 07 season... By falling out of the Top 25 in the Dec. 4, 2012 edition, Georgetown had its consecutive streak of being ranked stopped at 78-straight, which was the longest active stretch at the time.
2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - (Jan. 22)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Columbia (Mo.) (11)||20-0||281|
|T4||10||John Brown (Ark.)||17-3||247|
|T4||3||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||19-2||247|
|7||T8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||18-2||229|
|8||4||William Carey (Miss.)||16-3||212|
|9||T8||Cal State San Marcos||16-4||210|
|15||16||Hope International (Calif.)||18-2||158|
|17||25||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||15-6||126|
|18||20||Rogers State (Okla.)||15-5||125|
|21||23||Science & Arts (Okla.)||10-4||85|
|23||22||Philander Smith (Ark.)||13-5||80|
|24||RV||Shawnee State (Ohio)||11-7||76|
Others receiving votes: LSU Shreveport (La.) 54; Great Falls (Mont.) 44; Arizona Christian 34; Southern-New Orleans (La.) 24; Georgetown (Ky.) 19; Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 19; Mid-Continent (Ky.) 8; St. Thomas (Texas) 7.