KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Columbia (Mo.) is the new No. 1 team in the first regular-season edition of the 2013 - 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25, announced by the national office Tuesday. The Cougars get back on top of the poll for the first time since the final 2012 - 13 Top 25 (March 6, 2013) and the ninth time in the last 11 rankings overall. Posting eight first-place votes and 249 total points, Columbia is a perfect 8-0 on the season thanks in large part to scoring. The Cougars are second in the NAIA in scoring margin (29.4), second in field goal percentage (.556) and 10th in scoring offense (93.3).
Preseason No. 1 Georgetown (Ky.) falls one spot to No. 2 this week after a 119-109 loss at then-No. 23 Life (Ga.) on Dec. 2. The Tigers picked up one first-place nod and 235 points. The defending national champion is 9-1 on the young season and will face No. 24 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) on Saturday.
Tied in the No. 3 position with 233 points, Pikeville (Ky.) and SAGU (Texas) have suffered just one loss on the year. Pikeville, at 7-1, gathered the remaining first-place vote. Defending national runner-up SAGU stands 5-1 this year.
Sliding up four spots, No. 5 Evangel (Mo.) recorded 219 points. The Crusaders are enjoying their first top-five mention since they entered the Division I ranks prior to the 2008 - 09 season.
The highlight of the seven newcomers is No. 11 Talladega (Ala.). The Tornadoes, members of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, are boasting their first-ever ranking dating back to the 1999 - 2000 season. Standing with a 13-2 mark, Talladega recently took down then-No. 13 Faulkner (Ala.), 77-70, on Dec. 3.
Other newcomers with a long drought snapped are No. 19 St. Gregory's (Okla.), which was last ranked on Oct. 31, 2000 at the No. 24 position and No. 20 (tie) Wiley (Texas), which was last mentioned in the Top 25 on Jan. 16, 2008 in the 21st spot.
Rookies No. 14 Philander Smith (Ark.), No. 15 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) and No. 22 Hope International (Calif.) were all listed in the Top 25 at least once last season. No. 23 Cumberland (Tenn.) checks in after its most recent recognition on Jan. 16, 2012 (No. 23).
A pair of teams with a history in the Top 25 had their long ranking streak snapped: Oklahoma Baptist (former No. 2 - tie) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (former No. 10 - tie). The Bison had been ranked consecutively since March, 5, 2008 -- a streak of 64 polls -- which was No. 1 on the active list. Before this poll, Lindsey Wilson held a Top 25 position for 26-straight weeks.
LSU Shreveport (La.) (No. 2 - tie), Park (Mo.) (No. 21) and Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) (No. 24 - tie) are the other teams to fall out this week.
All 10 conferences and independents are represented in the second edition. Six conferences land three teams apiece, which is the highest amount. The Mid-South Conference -- Georgetown and Pikeville -- and the Sooner Athletic Conference -- SAGU and No. 7 John Brown (Ark.) are the only leagues with a pair of clubs in the top 10.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The second regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 7. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) No. 1 Columbia (Mo.) enjoyed a stretch of eight-straight weeks atop the Top 25 last year (Jan. 15 - March 6)... The Cougars are trying to repeat their performance from last year when they won 35 games, which marked the most of any NAIA program in a single-season since 2007... Through two polls (including Preseason), there have been 35 different teams ranked... Preseason No. 1 and defending national champion Georgetown (Ky.) looks to become the first team since Oklahoma City in 2008 to be the Preseason No. 1 and win the national championship in the same season... The nine all-time No. 1 rankings for Columbia is good for fifth on the list... Last year, five programs earned the No. 1 ranking: Georgetown, Columbia, Concordia (Calif.), Cumberlands (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist... Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 26-straight mentions, followed by Columbia at 24… Since the 2000 – 01 season, 25 different teams have held the No. 1 ranking, with eight of those programs 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 and Georgetown are next with 12 and Columbia is at nine mentions… Robert Morris, now a NAIA Division II member, is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 – 07 season... A conference change this year saw the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference move to NAIA Division II.
2013 – 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Dec. 10
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||4||Columbia (Mo.) (8)||8-0||249|
|2||1||Georgetown (Ky.) (1)||9-1||235|
|T3||7||Pikeville (Ky.) (1)||7-1||233|
|7||14||John Brown (Ark.)||10-0||202|
|8||12||Cal State San Marcos||9-1||193|
|9||T10||William Carey (Miss.)||4-1||188|
|10||17||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||9-2||176|
|14||NR||Philander Smith (Ark.)||7-2||131|
|19||NR||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||8-1||103|
|22||NR||Hope International (Calif.)||7-1||94|
|24||22||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||7-3||59|
Others receiving votes: Emmanuel (Ga.) 36; Montana Western 34; St. Catharine (Ky.) 29; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 28; Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 23; Southern-New Orleans (La.) 10; Graceland (Iowa) 7; Vanguard (Calif.) 4; Westminster (Utah) 3; Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) 3; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 3.
^ Ranking from 2013 - 14 Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll (Oct. 29)