By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the ninth time this year – sixth-straight week, Oklahoma City holds the No. 1 position in the final regular-season edition of the 2011-12 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced Wednesday by the national office. The Stars, who claimed both the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) regular-season and tournament crowns, garnered all 12 first-place votes and 312 points en route to boasting the top spot.
Qualifiers for the 32nd annual Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship will be announced today at 3 p.m. CST on NAIA.org. The field will consist of 17 automatic berths and 15 at-large selections. The official 32-team bracket will then be unveiled at 6 p.m. CST on NAIA.org.
Similar to the last three installments of the Top 25, Union (Tenn.) and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) hold down the No. 2 and 3 positions, while Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) tournament champion Westmont (Calif.) jumps one spot to No. 4 with 284 points. After a loss in the SAC tournament, Lubbock Christian (Texas) falls one position to No. 5.
No. 9 Azusa Pacific proved to be the largest mover this week, bumping up three spots with 226 points. Conversely, No. 13 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 19 Georgetown each fell two positions following losses in GSAC and Mid-South Conference tournaments, respectively.
American Midwest Conference (AMC) tournament champion William Woods (Mo.) is the lone newcomer to the poll, replacing Rogers State (Okla.) at No. 25. The Owls have been unranked since the Jan. 30 edition of the Coaches’ Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The postseason Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be announced on March 26.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000 season) This week’s No. 1 ranking gives Oklahoma City its 44th top mention, which ranks second all-time behind Union’s (Tenn.) 53 … Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) received its first No. 1 ranking in school history with a unanimous selection in the Jan. 23 poll … Oklahoma City, Freed-Hardeman and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) are the other schools to be placed in the No. 1 position this season … Oklahoma City, Azusa Pacific, Vanguard (Calif.) and Freed-Hardeman are the only teams that have owned the No. 1 spot in the last five years outside of Union’s run of 48-straight No. 1 appearances from Oct. 31, 2007 – March 9, 2011 … Four programs have topped the poll 10-or more total times: Union (53), Oklahoma City (44), Vanguard (27) and Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (15) …Oklahoma City, Freed-Hardeman and Union have been listed in all 150 polls since the start of the 1999-2000 season … Vanguard has appeared in 117 consecutive polls … Union and Vanguard are the only programs that have spent an entire season ranked No. 1 (Union: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) (Vanguard: 2005-06, 2006-07).
2011-12 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - Final (March 7)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011-12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (12)||30-1||312|
|5||4||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||25-5||266|
|8||7||Shawnee State (Ohio)||27-5||244|
|9||12||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||24-7||226|
|11||10||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||27-4||210|
|12||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||28-4||205|
|14||15||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||24-8||178|
|16||16||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||24-9||160|
|21||22||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||24-8||111|
|25||RV||William Woods (Mo.)||23-9||68|
Others receiving votes: Biola (Calif.) 66; Rogers State (Okla.) 52; LSU Shreveport (La.) 33; Lyon (Ark.) 18; Avila (Mo.) 17; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 14; St. Gregory’s (Okla.) 6; Talladega (Ala.) 4; Robert Morris (Ill.) 1; Montana State-Northern 1.