By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third-straight week, the 2013 - 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 has a new No. 1-ranked team, announced by the national office Tuesday. Cal State San Marcos and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) tie for the top position in the fifth regular-season edition with 244 total points. The Cougars secured four first-place votes and Freed-Hardeman posted five. Both teams slide up due in part to the former No. 1-team, SAGU (Texas), falling on Jan. 23 to Wayland Baptist (Texas).
Both programs boast their first-ever No. 1 ranking in school history. Cal State San Marcos stands with the second-most wins in Division I with a 20-1 mark. Their win streak reached 11 games after a 86-73 victory over Simpson (Calif.) on Jan. 18. The Cougars next play at La Sierra (Calif.) on Thursday.
Freed-Hardeman is the remaining undefeated team in Division I at 16-0. The Lions have already set their program record for longest win streak. Senior forward Kyle Teichmann is nearing the 2,000-point career mark as he stand 25 points shy heading into the contest against Fisk (Tenn.) on Tuesday.
Improving one slot is No. 3 Pikeville (Ky.) with 234 points. The Bears posted the remaining first-place vote and continue to move up the polls after three-straight wins.
Former No. 1 SAGU stands in the fourth spot this week with 230 points. One day after earning their first-ever No. 1 ranking in school history, the Lions stumbled against Wayland Baptist, 89-82.
Claiming its first top-five ranking in more than a year, No. 5 William Carey (Miss.) slid up three spots. With 213 point this week, the Crusaders last held a top-five ranking on Jan. 15, 2013 at No. 4.
No. 12 Vanguard (Calif.) enjoys the best improvement with a 11-spot leap from last week. The Lions, at 17-2 overall, stand on top of the Golden State Athletic Conference with a 4-0 mark. No. 25 (tie) Arizona Christian dropped the furthest -- down 12 positions -- as the Firestorm have gone 1-3 in their last four games.
Newcomer LSU Shreveport (La.) checks in at the No. 17 ranking. This is the first Top 25 mention since the Preseason Top 25 (No. 2 - tie).
St. Catharine (Ky.) (No. 24 - tie) fell out of the Top 25 this week.
All 10 conferences and independents are represented in this week's poll. The Golden State Athletic Conference lead all leagues with four ranked teams: No. 8 Concordia (Calif.), Vanguard, No. 23 Hope International (Calif.) and No. 25 (tie) Arizona Christian. Five other conference land a trio of programs in the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The sixth regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Feb. 4. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) In six polls this year, there now has been six different No. 1-ranked teams: Cal State San Marcos, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), SAGU (Texas), Pikeville (Ky.), Georgetown (Ky.) and Columbia (Mo.)... With the addition of Cal State San Marcos and Freed-Hardeman, there have been 29 different teams since 2000 to hold the No. 1 ranking... No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.), a team with a six-spot improvement this week, is in the top 10 for the first time since it became a member of NAIA Division I in 2008-09... Through six polls (including Preseason), there have been 42 different teams ranked... Preseason No. 1 and defending national champion Georgetown 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 Tigers stand No. 18 this week... Last year, five programs earned the No. 1 ranking: Georgetown, Columbia, Concordia, Cumberlands (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist... Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 30-straight mentions, followed by Columbia at 28, Evangel (Mo.) at 20, Cal State San Marcos at 19 and Pikeville at 19… 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 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), 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 CCAC move to NAIA Division II.
2013 – 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Jan. 28
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|T1||2||Cal State San Marcos (4)||20-1||244|
|T1||3||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (5)||16-0||244|
|3||4||Pikeville (Ky.) (1)||16-2||234|
|5||8||William Carey (Miss.)||13-2||213|
|14||20||Rio Grande (Ohio)||14-6||135|
|16||22||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||11-5||119|
|17||RV||LSU Shreveport (La.)||13-5||118|
|20||21||Philander Smith (Ark.)||15-5||103|
|22||17||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||15-4||81|
|23||19||Hope International (Calif.)||14-5||77|
|24||24||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||12-5||75|
|T25||24||Great Falls (Mont.)||14-7||63|