By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With all 10 first-place votes, Concordia (Calif.) was tabbed the No. 1 selection in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll, the NAIA announced Monday. After winning its second overall national championship and first since 2003, the Eagles recorded 250 points. They defeated No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Baptist, 72-69, on March 20 in the 75th Anniversary tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
Finishing with a 31-7 overall record, Concordia earns its third No. 1 ranking on the year and 11th overall since 2000. After two-straight weeks at the top in the Dec. 5 and 12 polls, the Eagles dipped down to a season low 18th on Jan. 18. They lost three-of-five at one point in January, before making the championship run.
Oklahoma Baptist, with 242 points, ended the year with a 32-5 record and runner-up status for the sixth time in history. The eight national championship final appearances set a NAIA-record as the Bison have won two national titles.
Shorter (Ga.) checks in at the No. 3 position with 234 points. The Hawks finished the regular with the No. 1 ranking and had been the top team for five weeks. Shorter fell to Concordia in the Fab Four on March 19, 81-67. No. 4 Mountain State (W.Va.), who made its fifth Fab Four trip since 2003, corralled 223 points.
No. 5 Georgetown (Ky.) made the largest leap within the poll, improving nine spots after a quarterfinal appearance. The Tigers posted 202 total points.
No. 20 Southern-New Orleans (La.) and No. 22 Evangel (Mo.) both made runs in the national championship and were rewarded for a new spot in the poll. The Knights completed one of the biggest upsets in the 2012 championship with a 94-92 overtime victory over No. 3-seed Robert Morris (Ill.) in the first round on March 15. Unseeded Evangel eliminated No. 9 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 60-49, in the first round on March 14.
The last time Southern-New Orleans was ranked was Feb. 7, 2007 (No. 18). Evangel is back in the ranking for the sixth time this year, with the last coming on Jan. 16.
Campbellsville (Ky.) (No. 23) and Tougaloo (Miss.) (No. 24) both fell out of the Top 25.
All 12 of the conferences and unaffiliated groups are represented this week. The Sooner Athletic Conference landed four ranked teams to lead all conferences and groups: Oklahoma Baptist, No. 8 Rogers State (Okla.), No. 17 John Brown (Ark.) and No. 25 Southern Nazarene (Okla.). The Golden State Athletic Conference, Red River Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference each have a triplet of ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) In 13 polls this year, there have been five different teams to boast the No. 1 ranking (Concordia (Calif.), Oklahoma Baptist, Pikeville (Ky.), Robert Morris (Ill.) and Shorter (Ga.))... There have been 25 different teams since 2000 to be ranked the top team, and within that group, 16 teams have multiple No. 1 rankings... No. 3 Shorter led the NAIA with a school-record 34 wins... Shorter had never been ranked inside the top 10 prior to this year... There were 41 different teams to be ranked at some point this season... No. 4 Mountain State (W.Va.) boasts the longest active stretch of consecutive rankings with 146-straight weeks; No. 5 Georgetown (Ky.) is next with 78, followed by No. 23 Texas Wesleyan at 55 and No. 2 Oklahoma Baptist at 50... Mountain State has the most No. 1 rankings since 2000 - the Cougars have been No. 1 a total of 48 times since 2000, which marks the highest total of any program in that span... Robert Morris is second with 24 No. 1s, Concordia (Calif.) is next with 11 and Georgetown follows with 10 top mentions ... Robert Morris is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 - 07 season.
2011 - 12 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll - (March 26)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 – 12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||4||Concordia (Calif.) (10)||31-7||250|
|4||11||Mountain State (W.Va.)||26-9||223|
|7||12||LSU Shreveport (La.)||27-8||197|
|8||9||Rogers State (Okla.)||24-9||196|
|9||6||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||28-7||193|
|10||3||Robert Morris (Ill.)||27-5||186|
|11||6||Southern Poly (Ga.)||24-6||178|
|12||10||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||27-8||163|
|14||8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||21-10||141|
|15||16||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||21-10||139|
|17||13||John Brown (Ark.)||24-9||130|
|19||22||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||25-9||105|
|20||NR||Southern-New Orleans (La.)||18-14||89|
|25||25||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||23-10||53|