By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Columbia (Mo.), the only undefeated team in the NAIA, also holds the distinction as the No. 1 program in the fourth regular season edition of the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. At a perfect 17-0, the Cougars are the unanimous top selection with 11 first-place votes and 281 total points. Since the 2000 - 01 season, this top billing is a first for Columbia. The Cougars are the only team thus far in 2012 - 13 to be the unanimous No. 1 selection.
Columbia (picture courtesy of Columbia Athletics) ranks first in NAIA Division I in scoring defense (56.70 papg) and third in scoring margin (+25.7 ppg). Led by Devin Griffin with a 14.0 scoring clip, the Cougars next face Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. CST. With a win tonight, Columbia would set a school-record for consecutive victories in a season with 18.
No. 2 Pikeville (Ky.) makes a leap up three spots, thanks in large part to an 80-64 upset win over then-No. 1 Cumberlands (Ky.) on Jan. 10. With 271 points, the Bears are in their highest ranked position of the season.
Falling for the first time on the season on Jan. 12, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) still holds at No. 3. The Warriors were 18-0 prior to the 89-80 setback at Rocky Mountain (Mont.). Lewis-Clark State checks in with 256 points.
No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) hops up two spots since last week and is ranked in the top-five for the first time this season. The Crusaders, behind a 15-2 overall record, stand with 254 points. William Carey, who joins three other Top 25 teams in the Southern States Athletic Conference, leads the league with an 8-0 mark.
Falling one spot to No. 5 is Oklahoma Baptist. The Bison will face two-ranked opponents in the next seven days in the form of No. 10 John Brown (Ark.) on Thursday and No. 23 Science & Arts (Okla.) on Jan. 22.
No. 10 John Brown is the highlight of the poll as it boasts the largest movement of 15 positions within the Top 25. In three of their last four wins, the Eagles have defeated Top 25 clubs including an 81-80 triumph over then-No. 19 Rogers State (Okla.) on Jan. 12
No. 23 Science & Arts and No. 24 Texas College both tumble 14 spots, which is the largest drop within the poll. Previously-ranked No. 1 Cumberlands goes to No. 14 after losing twice last week.
Newcomers Hope International (Calif.) (No. 16) and Philander Smith (Ark.) (No. 22) are listed in the ranking for the first time since 2000 - 01. The Royals have won 12 in-a-row to post a 17-1 record to start the season. Philander Smith brings a nine-game win streak into its next contest against No. 13 Xavier (La.) Saturday. The third newcomer this week is No. 25 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), who was ranked previously in the second regular-season poll.
Concordia (Calif.) (No. 15), Oklahoma City (No. 22) and Culver-Stockton (Mo.) (No. 24) all fell out of the Top 25 this week. Defending national champion Concordia has started the conference season at 0-2 and is 11-5 overall.
The Sooner Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference listed the most teams of any conference or unaffiliated group with four apiece. The Frontier Conference and Mid-South Conference land 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 fifth regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Jan. 22. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) With the addition of No. 16 Hope International (Calif.) and No. 22 Philander Smith (Ark.) there have been 39 teams represented through five polls this season (includes Preseason Top 25)... Columbia (Mo.) becomes 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 55-straight mentions, followed by Rogers State (Okla.) at 21 and Montana State-Northern at 20... Since the 2000 - 01 season, there have been 25 different teams to hold the No. 1 ranking, with seven 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 (Ill.) with 24, Concordia (Calif.) is next with 12, Georgetown (Ky.) is at 10 and Rogers State is 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 - (Jan. 15)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Columbia (Mo.) (11)||17-0||281|
|3||3||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||18-1||256|
|4||6||William Carey (Miss.)||15-2||254|
|T8||10||Cal State San Marcos||15-4||209|
|T8||14||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||16-2||209|
|10||25||John Brown (Ark.)||15-3||188|
|16||RV||Hope International (Calif.)||17-1||145|
|20||19||Rogers State (Okla.)||13-5||119|
|22||RV||Philander Smith (Ark.)||12-4||78|
|23||9||Science & Arts (Okla.)||8-4||77|
|25||RV||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||14-5||74|
Others receiving votes: Arizona Christian 60; Concordia (Calif.) 34; Texas Wesleyan 31; Southern-New Orleans (La.) 28; Oklahoma City 18; Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 13; Shawnee State (Ohio) 9; LSU Shreveport (La.) 7; Mid-Continent (Ky.) 3.