By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Eastern Oregon climbs up to No. 1 for the first time in school history in the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Mountaineers become the third different top-ranked team thus far during this campaign. Eastern Oregon recorded 11 first-place votes and 342 total points in the fourth regular-season edition.
No team held its position from the last Top 25 poll, which was released on Dec. 11, 2012. Overall, there were four newcomers this week, including No. 21 Bethel (Ind.) and No. 25 (tie) College of the Ozarks (Mo.), who are ranked for the first time this season.
Checking in behind Eastern Oregon (photo courtesy of Eastern Oregon Athletics), No. 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) corralled the remaining two first-place votes and 332 total points. It is the highest mark for the Eagles since a No. 1 spot on Feb. 22, 2006.
Northwood (Fla.) jumps up two positions to third with 317 total points. No. 4 William Penn (Iowa), with 305 points, vaults into the top-five for the time in 2012 - 13. The previous No. 1-ranked team, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), falls to the No. 5 spot with 300 points.
These teams dropped out of the Top 25: Saint Francis (Ind.) (No. 16), Bellevue (Neb.) (No. 19) and Cornerstone (Mich.) (No. 24).
The Cascade Collegiate Conference and The Sun Conference each have four programs listed in the ranking, which is the most of any conference or independent. The Crossroads League, Great Plains Athletic Conference and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference place a triplet of teams on the list. Overall, there are 11 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 fifth regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 15. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1991 - 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) There have been 39 teams listed in the Top 25 this year, through five polls (including Preseason Top 25)... Bethel (Ind.) is ranked for the first time overall since Feb. 22, 2010 (No. 1) and College of the Ozarks (Mo.) is mentioned for first time since Oct. 24, 2011 (No. 12)... Northwood (Fla.) holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 58-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 42-straight, followed by Indiana-Southwest (36), Grace (Ind.) (30) and Northwestern (Iowa) (26)... There have been 35 teams all-time to be ranked No. 1, with nine programs earning at least 10 top mentions... Bethel boasts the most all-time No. 1's with 35, followed by Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 17, Oregon Tech at 15, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and former member Northern State (S.D.) with 14... The last No. 1 ranking for Bethel was on Feb. 2, 2009... Oregon Tech had its streak of 90-consecutive polls snapped (dating back to Jan. 11, 2005) in the Nov. 27, 2012 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. 4
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012-13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Eastern Oregon (11)||19-1||342|
|2||4||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (2)||16-1||332|
|4||7||William Penn (Iowa)||17-1||305|
|5||1||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||16-2||300|
|9||11||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||16-2||247|
|11||14||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||15-4||224|
|17||18||St. Thomas (Fla.)||13-3||168|
|19||23||Ave Maria (Fla.)||14-1||125|
|20||15||Valley City State (N.D.)||12-4||115|
|23||RV||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||14-4||102|
|T25||NR||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||12-4||78|
Others receiving votes: Point (Ga.) 57; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 55; Saint Mary (Kan.) 34; Oklahoma Wesleyan 30; Taylor (Ind.) 20; Indiana East 18; York (Neb.) 6; Dakota State (S.D.) 5; Hastings (Neb.) 4.