By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Four of the top five teams held their positions, including top-ranked Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), in the third regular-season installment of the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Wolves were the unanimous No. 1 pick with 13 first-place votes and 343 total points. With a 12-0 record, Cardinal Stritch is one of two programs with an undefeated record in Division II.
The other undefeated, Eastern Oregon, holds at the second position with 332 points. The Mountaineers are 14-0 and are tied with No. 7 William Penn (Iowa) for the most wins in the NAIA. Eastern Oregon faces No. 12 Southern Oregon on Friday in a Cascade Collegiate Conference showdown.
No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan posted 321 points. No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) shifts up one spot with 303 points. Northwood (Fla.) flip-flops with the Eagles and holds down the No. 5 position.
Ranked for the first time in school history, No. 22 Rochester (Mich.) and No. 23 Ave Maria (Fla.) are two of the four newcomers this week. No. 20 Indiana Tech and No. 25 Madonna (Mich.) are the other two rookies this week. Both of those programs were mentioned in the Top 25 earlier this year.
Central Christian (Kan.) (No. 21), Indiana East (No. 23), Cal Maritime (No. 24) and Briar Cliff (Iowa) (No. 25) all fell out of the Top 25 this week.
The Cascade Collegiate Conference, The Sun Conference and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference each place four programs in the ranking this week, which is the most of any conference or independent. The Crossroads League and Great Plains Athletic Conference land a trio of programs on the list. Overall, there are 10 of the 13 conferences and independents represented this week in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The fourth regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 8. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000) There have been 37 teams listed in the Top 25 this year, through four polls (including Preseason Top 25)... No. 1 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) earned its first-ever top ranking in school history in the Dec. 4 edition... Six conferences and the independent group have multiple ranked teams this week... Embry-Riddle (Fla.) owns the most No. 1 rankings since 2000 with 17; Oregon Tech is next with 15, followed by Northwood, Oklahoma Wesleyan and former NAIA member Walsh (Ohio) at 12 mentions each... Northwood now holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 56-consecutive mentions and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 40-straight... Oregon Tech had its streak of 90-consecutive polls snapped (dating back to Jan. 11, 2005) in the Nov. 27 poll as the Hustlin' Owls were in the "receiving votes" category.
2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - Rating No. 3
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (13)||12-0||343|
|7||6||William Penn (Iowa)||14-1||272|
|11||15||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||11-1||223|
|14||13||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||7-3||187|
|15||17||Valley City State (N.D.)||8-2||180|
|16||22||Saint Francis (Ind.)||10-2||168|
|18||18||St. Thomas (Fla.)||8-2||166|
|23||RV||Ave Maria (Fla.)||10-1||75|
Others receiving votes: Cal Maritime 55; Point (Ga.) 52; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 50; Central Christian (Kan.) 48; Hastings (Neb.) 45; Bethel (Ind.) 35; Saint Mary (Kan.) 14; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 6; Dakota State (S.D.) 4; York (Neb.) 3; Oregon Tech 3.