KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With 12 first-place votes and 373 total points, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) remains No. 1 in the ninth edition of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Wolves are winners of 14 games in-a-row and stand 25-3 overall. Cardinal Stritch has now owned the top spot in each of the last five polls. That streak is the longest for any team since Eastern Oregon went five-straight polls last season.
The Wolves next face Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) on Wednesday in the final regular season tilt in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play. Cardinal Stritch already has secured a spot in the NAIA National Championship after its 14th-straight win, 75-74, on Feb. 15 against Trinity Christian (Ill.).
No. 2 IU Southeast (Ind.) boasts Division II's longest active win streak at 16 games. The Grenadiers, with 363 total points, gathered the remaining two first-place nods to stay in the second position for the fifth-straight time. With two games remaining in Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) action, IU Southeast is trying to go undefeated in KIAC play as it holds a 14-0 record.
Cornerstone (Mich.) accrued 350 points this week en route to the No. 4 ranking. The Golden Eagles clinched the outright Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) regular-season crown with a 93-60 victory over Lourdes (Ohio) last Saturday. Cornerstone has two games left on its conference schedule – against Aquinas (Mich.) on Wednesday and Lawrence Tech (Mich.) on Saturday – before opening WHAC Tournament action on Feb. 26.
Falling one spot to No. 4 this week is Dordt (Iowa) with 332 points. The Defenders dropped their second Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) game of the year last week, falling at home to then-unranked Morningside (Iowa), 103-100, on Feb. 12. Despite the loss, Dordt maintains a two-game lead over second-place and eighth-ranked Midland (Neb.) in the GPAC standings with two games left.
Moving up one spot to No. 5, College of Idaho earned its first top-five mention this year with 324 points. The Coyotes became an automatic qualifier to the NAIA National Championship after a pair of wins this past weekend secured the Cascade Collegiate Conference regular-season title.
No. 18 Morningside makes the biggest splash as it is ranked for the first time since Dec. 12, 2011 (No. 22). The Mustangs won their fifth-straight with a 95-82 victory against Doane (Neb.) on Feb. 15. The signature win was the aforementioned victory against then-No. 3 Dordt.
The other three newcomers are No. 22 Robert Morris (Ill.), No. 23 Friends (Kan.) and No. 25 Oklahoma Wesleyan. All three of those programs were listed in the Top 25 at least in one previous occasion this year.
Falling out this week is Hastings (Neb.) (No. 13), Marian (Ind.) (No. 22), Concordia (Ore.) (No. 24) and Sterling (Kan.) (No. 25).
Twelve of 14 conferences and independents are represented this week, led by four teams each from the Crossroads League and The Sun Conference.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The 10th regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Feb. 25. 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. 18 Morningside (Iowa) becomes the 45th different team to be ranked this year... Within the group of 45 different Top 25 teams this year, 13 have been ranked in each of the nine polls... Bethel's (Ind.) 35 all-time No. 1 mentions tops on the list, followed by 21 by Embry-Riddle (Fla.)... Northwood (Fla.) holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 76-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 60-straight... There have been 36 teams to be ranked No. 1 all-time, with nine programs earning at least 10 top mentions… Behind Bethel and Embry-Riddle for the most all-time No. 1's are 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... Jamestown and Embry-Riddle are the only Division II programs to last the entire season ranked in the No. 1 position -- Jamestown did it during the 2003-04 campaign (11 polls) and Embry-Riddle's run was during 2000-01 (nine polls)
|RANK||WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (12)||25-3||373|
|2||2||Indiana Southeast (2)||20-3||363|
|5||6||College of Idaho||23-5||324|
|7||5||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||24-4||300|
|11||11||St. Thomas (Fla.)||21-5||254|
|19||23||Saint Francis (Ind.)||19-9||155|
|22||RV||Robert Morris (Ill.)||20-8||101|
Others receiving votes: Marian (Ind.) 85; Hastings (Neb.) 84; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 72; Concordia (Ore.) 68; Sterling (Kan.) 23; Northwest (Wash.) 5; Rochester (Mich.) 3.