KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As the only undefeated team in all NAIA and NCAA divisions of men's basketball, Columbia (Mo.) is the No. 1-ranked team in the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Wednesday by the national office. With a 33-0 record, the Cougars were the unanimous No. 1 pick with 281 points for the eighth-straight week. There were no new teams in the top 10 in the final regular-season edition of the poll.
Columbia won the American Midwest Conference regular season and tournament championships and set a school-record for most wins in a single season. The Cougars became the first team since Georgetown (Ky.) in 2007 - 08 to head into postseason play undefeated.
Qualifiers for the 76th annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship will be announced today at 4 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org. The 32-team field is comprised of 15 automatic berths and 17 at-large selections. The official championship bracket will be announced via a graphical selection show at approximately 7:30 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org.
Ranked in the top five for the last six weeks, No. 2 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) pushes up one spot with 268 points. This is the highest position since the Blue Raiders were second on Feb. 22, 2005. No. 3 Lee (Tenn.) dropped one after a 67-65 loss in the Southern States Athletic Conference semifinals March 1.
No. 4 John Brown (Ark.) held steady with 251 points. The Eagles were the runner-up in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament after winning the regular-season title. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) rounds out the top-five with 244 points. This is the fifth-straight week the Warriors held the No. 5 position.
Defending national champion No. 23 Concordia (Calif.) is back in for the first time since Jan. 8. The Eagles won the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) tournament in a thrilling 112-111 double-overtime contest over then-No. 24 Arizona Christian Tuesday. The other newcomer is No. 20 (tie) St. Thomas-Houston (Texas). This position is the first Top 25 ranking for the Celts since polls are tracked to 2000. St. Thomas won its ninth-straight game with a 67-51 victory over No. 6 SAGU (Texas) Monday in the Red River Athletic Conference championship.
Culver-Stockton (Mo.) (No. 22-tie) and Bethel (Tenn.) (No. 25) both fell out this week.
Despite the loss in the GSAC championship, Arizona Christian shifts up five spots to No. 19 for the largest upward swing. Conversely, No. 24 Montana State-Northern and No. 25 LSU Shreveport (La.) both took a four-spot fall.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences or unaffiliated groups with four Top 25 programs: Lee, No. 12 William Carey (Miss.), No. 15 Emmanuel (Ga.) and No. 18 Faulkner (Ala.). The Frontier Conference, Mid-South Conference and Red River Athletic Conference each 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 postseason Top 25 Poll will be announced on March 26. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) Columbia, who has held the No. 1 ranking for the past eight weeks, marks the longest continuous stretch since Mountain State (W.Va.) went nine-straight weeks in 2009 - 10 season... There have been 45 different teams represented through 12 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 62-straight mentions (which dates back to March 5, 2008), followed by Montana State-Northern at 27, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 24, Xavier (La.) at 23, Lee (Tenn.) at 22 and Columbia at 21... Since the 2000 - 01 season, there have been 25 different teams to hold the No. 1 ranking, with eight 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 with 24, Concordia (Calif.) is next with 12, Georgetown (Ky.) is at 10, Columbia at eight and Rogers State 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 - No. 10
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012-13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Columbia (Mo.) (11)||33-0||281|
|2||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||29-4||268|
|4||4||John Brown (Ark.)||27-6||251|
|5||5||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||26-5||244|
|7||7||Cal State San Marcos||23-6||219|
|12||12||William Carey (Miss.)||25-5||192|
|T16||17||Hope International (Calif.)||25-7||136|
|T20||RV||St. Thomas-Houston (Texas)||28-5||93|
|T20||18||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||20-10||93|
|22||T22||Philander Smith (Ark.)||24-8||89|
|25||21||LSU Shreveport (La.)||24-6||76|
Others receiving votes: Science & Arts (Okla.) 67; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 50; Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 32; Campbellsville (Ky.) 26; Westminster (Utah) 19; Life (Ga.) 18; Voorhees (S.C.) 9; Park (Mo.) 5; Bethel (Tenn.) 3.