By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the second-straight time, Eastern Oregon claims the No. 1 spot in the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Mountaineers gathered all 13 first-place votes to go along with 343 points to rule the perch in the fifth regular-season installment. With a 20-1 overall record, Eastern Oregon is tied with Indiana Wesleyan (Division II Women's Basketball) for the most wins in any division of NAIA men's and women's basketball.
The Mountaineers next take on Oregon Tech on Friday, before a home showdown on Saturday against No. 21 Southern Oregon. Southern Oregon dealt Eastern Oregon its only loss of the year, 72-68, back on Dec. 14. Eastern Oregon is tied with No. 8 Warner Pacific (Ore.) for the Cascade Collegiate Conference lead at 8-1.
Outside of Eastern Oregon, 23 programs shifted rank within the Top 25. The only other team to hold position is No. 13 Rochester (Mich.).
No. 2 William Penn (Iowa) enjoys its best mark of the season. With 331 points, the Statesmen (picture courtesy of William Penn Athletics) are ranked the highest since a No. 2 spot on Jan. 30, 2008. After a contest against Viterbo (Wis.) Wednesday, William Penn faces No. 7 Mount Mercy (Iowa) Saturday. Both opponents are tied with the Statesmen at 3-0 for the Midwest Collegiate Conference lead.
Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) improves two positions and checks in at No. 3 with 319 points. Sticking with the theme of moving up two spots, No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan and No. 5 Northwestern (Iowa) each make the move up in the poll. Both clubs have been in the top 10 all season.
No. 6 St. Thomas (Fla.) is this week's biggest mover in the poll with an 11-spot shift. The Bobcats capped off a four-game win streak with an 81-78 victory at then-No. 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) on Jan. 12. Conversely, No. 22 Grace (Ind.) fell the farthest as the Lancers were 12th in last week's poll.
No teams fell out of the Top 25 this week.
The Cascade Collegiate Conference and The Sun Conference each claim four teams in the Top 25, 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, 11 of the 13 conferences and independents are 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 sixth regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 22. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1991 - 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) Eastern Oregon becomes the 30th team all-time to hit the No. 1 position on at least two occasions... Three different teams have been ranked No. 1 this year: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Eastern Oregon and Northwood (Fla.)... There have been 39 teams listed in the Top 25 this year through six polls (including Preseason Top 25)... Northwood (Fla.) holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 59-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 43-straight, followed by Indiana-Southwest (37), Grace (Ind.) (31) and Northwestern (Iowa) (27)... 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.) (currently a member in NAIA Division I) and former member Northern State (S.D.) with 14, Oklahoma Wesleyan and former member Walsh (Ohio) at 13, Northwood (Fla.) at 12 and Jamestown (N.D.) at 11 - no other school has more than 10 mentions at No. 1... 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. 5
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Eastern Oregon (13)||20-1||343|
|2||4||William Penn (Iowa)||19-1||331|
|3||5||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||19-2||319|
|6||17||St. Thomas (Fla.)||15-3||274|
|7||9||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||18-2||269|
|8||11||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||17-4||252|
|18||23||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||17-4||139|
|20||20||Valley City State (N.D.)||14-4||113|
|24||19||Ave Maria (Fla.)||14-2||95|
|25||25||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||14-4||93|
Others receiving votes: Briar Cliff (Iowa) 60; Saint Mary (Kan.) 56; Cornerstone (Mich.) 48; York (Neb.) 25; Hastings (Neb.) 14; Oklahoma Wesleyan 8; Indiana Tech 6; Dakota State (S.D.) 5; Tennessee Wesleyan 5; Taylor (Ind.) 4.