By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the fourth-straight time, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) sits in the No. 1 position in the fourth regular-season edition of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office on Tuesday. The Eagles posted 10-of-14 first-place votes to tally 371 total points.
Embry-Riddle, who is the only one-loss team in Division II at 16-1, has won six in-a-row after a 67-59 defeat of Johnson & Wales (Fla.) on Jan. 11. The Eagles host Southeastern (Fla.) on Wednesday before a home game against No. 22 St. Thomas (Fla.) on Saturday.
No. 2 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 3 Indiana Southeast both hold their positions from last week. They also each grab two first-place nods. The Wolves stand with 361 total points, while Indiana Southeast tallied 354 points.
Enjoying its first top-five ranking since the 2000-01 season, No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) vaults up three spots. The Cougars, who posted 333 points, ranks No. 2 in the NAIA with its current 12-game win streak. St. Xavier puts that record on the line Wednesday at home against Purdue North Central (Ind.)
No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) gathered 322 points to stay in its position from last time out. The Defenders have gone 14-1 in their last 15 games and lead the Great Plains Athletic Conference with a 9-1 mark.
Within the poll, No. 6 Cornerstone (Mich.), No. 12 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and No. 20 Marian (Ind.) all improved four positions for the best spike. No. 15 Bethel (Ind.) suffered an 11-spot shift downward in the largest fall.
No. 25 Ashford (Iowa) is the lone newcomer this week. The Saints have won three out of their last four and are 14-6 on the season. Ashford was last ranked on Dec. 10, 2013 in the second regular-season installment.
After three-straight losses, Northwest Christian (Ore.) (No. 25) falls out of the Top 25.
Twelve of the 14 conferences and independents are represented this week, led by five teams from the Crossroads League: No. 11 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 15 Bethel, No. 20 Marian and No. 24 Huntington (Ind.). Three other conferences have a triplet of teams represented in the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The fifth regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Jan. 21. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1991 – 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) No. 16 Friends (Kan.) boasts the longest active win streak in Division II with a 15-gamer -- the Falcons have not lost since Nov. 5... No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) holds the most wins thus far in Division II with a 17-2 mark... There have been 41 different teams ranked this year through five polls (including Preseason).. Of that group of 41 teams, 14 have been ranked in all five... With 21 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 71-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 54-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. 14)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (10)||16-1||371|
|2||2||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (2)||15-3||361|
|3||3||Indiana Southeast (2)||10-3||354|
|4||7||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||16-2||333|
|11||14||Saint Francis (Ind.)||13-5||257|
|12||16||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||12-3||253|
|17||12||Robert Morris (Ill.)||12-5||184|
|21||23||College of Idaho||14-5||126|
|22||21||St. Thomas (Fla.)||11-4||110|
|23||22||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||12-5||90|