By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 20th time in school history, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) lands the No. 1 position in the third regular-season edition of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office on Tuesday. This poll marks the third-straight time the Eagles have been ranked first. Embry-Riddle gathered 372 total points behind 11 first-place votes.
Moving up one spot, No. 2 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) posted 353 points and one first-place nod. Similarly in movement, No. 3 Indiana Southeast finished with 348 points and the remaining two first-place votes. No.4 Bethel (Ind.) and No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) round out the top five with 338 and 331 points, respectively.
No. 10 Cornerstone (Mich.) enjoys the best improvement within the poll with a eight-spot jump. It is the Eagles' first top-10 ranking since Oct. 24, 2011. No. 17 Hastings (Neb.) suffers the largest drop, down 11 positions.
No. 25 Northwest Christian (Ore.) is listed in the Top 25 for the first time in school history. The Beacons are 10-5 on the season and top the Cascade Collegiate Conference standings. On Jan. 3, Northwest Christian toppled its second ranked opponent of the year with a 75-71 victory over then-No. 2 Southern Oregon.
No. 19 Friends (Kan.), off to a 13-2 start, is one of the other three newcomers this week. The Falcons are ranked for the first time since Oct. 25, 2010 in the Preseason Top 25. No. 24 Marian (Ind.) is recognized for the first time since March 19, 2012 (No. 18). Prior to this week, No. 23 College of Idaho was last mentioned in the first regular-season edition on Dec. 3.
Ashford (Iowa) (No. 23) and Lourdes (Ohio) (No. 25) both dropped out of the Top 25.
Eleven of the 14 conferences and independents are represented this week, led by five teams from the Crossroads League: Bethel, No. 14 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 15 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 20 Huntington (Ind.) and Marian. The Cascade Collegiate Conference lands four institutions 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 Top 25 poll will be announced on Jan. 14. 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 are no undefeated teams remaining in Division II... No. 1 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) is the only team in this week's poll to hold its position from the second-regular season edition (Dec. 10)... No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) holds the most wins thus far in Division II with a 16-1 mark... There have been 41 different teams ranked this year through four polls (including Preseason).. Of that group of 41 teams, 14 have been ranked in all four... With 20 all-time No. 1 rankings, Embry-Riddle only trails Bethel's (Ind.) 35 times for the most on the all-time list... There were four different teams ranked No. 1 last year: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Eastern Oregon, Northwood (Fla.) and William Penn (Iowa)… Northwood holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 70-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 53-straight... There have been 36 teams all-time to be ranked No. 1, with nine programs earning at least 10 top mentions… Behind Bethel and Embry-Riddle is 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 at 12 and Jamestown (N.D.) at 11 – no other school has more than 10 mentions at No. 1.
2013 – 14 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll - (Jan. 7)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (11)||13-1||372|
|2||3||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (1)||13-3||353|
|3||4||Indiana Southeast (2)||9-3||348|
|7||10||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||14-2||306|
|12||8||Robert Morris (Ill.)||11-4||233|
|14||16||Saint Francis (Ind.)||12-4||227|
|16||22||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||12-3||204|
|21||19||St. Thomas (Fla.)||10-3||138|
|22||21||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||11-4||122|
|23||RV||College of Idaho||13-5||115|
|25||NR||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||10-5||61|
Others receiving votes: Ashford (Iowa) 54; Southeastern (Fla.) 54; Union (Ky.) 50; William Penn (Iowa) 48; York (Neb.) 33; Morningside (Iowa) 29; Northwest (Wash.) 28; Grand View (Iowa) 19; Madonna (Mich.) 7.
^ ranking on Dec. 10, 2013