By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. –For the sixth-consecutive poll, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) locks down the No. 1 position in the 10th edition of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. That No. 1 streak is the longest for any team since former member Walsh (Ohio) rattled off eight-straight top rankings during the 2010-11 season. With 12 first-place votes and 373 total points, the Wolves hold the most wins in Division II with a 27-3 record.
The 11th and final regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced at 3 p.m. CST on Wednesday, March 5, along with the official 32 National Championship qualifiers. The official championship bracket will be announced live via a selection show at 8 p.m. Follow along with all of the conference tournaments by clicking here.
Cardinal Stritch rides a 16-game win streak into the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) tournament on Wednesday where they face Calumet St. Joseph (Ind.). The defending national champs have already earned an automatic berth in the NAIA National Championship in Point Lookout, Mo., by way of the CCAC regular-season championship.
Holding the NAIA's longest win streak at 18 games, No. 2 IU Southeast (Ind.) stands with 363 points. The Grenadiers earned the remaining two first-place votes. Ranked first in Division II in four statistical categories, IU Southeast is the highest scoring offense at 97.4 points per game. The Grenadiers hold the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament and will play No. 8 Point Park (Pa.) on Tuesday.
Moving up two spots, third-ranked College of Idaho collected 340 total points. The top-seed Coyotes have won 12 games in-a-row heading into the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament on Wednesday.
No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan, who is back in the top five for the first time since Dec. 3 (No. 2), gathered 333 points. The Wildcats also improved two positions on the strength of an eight-game win streak.
Going in the opposite direction, No. 5 Cornerstone (Mich.) fell two spots after a 70-57 loss to unranked Aquinas (Mich.) on Feb. 19.
No. 12 Saint Francis (Ind.) claims the best improvement within the poll, a seven-spot jump from last week. The Cougars have won four-straight games and moved into a tie for second place in the Crossroads League.
Conversely, one of those Saint Francis victims, No. 16 Huntington (Ind.), suffers the largest drop at four positions.
No. 22 Concordia (Ore.) is the sole newcomer as the Cavaliers were last ranked in the Feb. 11 edition (No. 24 - tie). Concordia has gone 4-2 in its last six contests, including a recent 78-53 victory over then-No. 14 Southern Oregon on Feb. 22
Southern Oregon drops out this week in the Top 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. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES:(All information dates back to 1991 – 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) By falling out of the Top 25, Southern Oregon has its streak of 15-straight rankings stopped.... Within the group of 45 different Top 25 teams this year, 12 have been ranked in each of the 10 polls... Top-ranked Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) becomes the 10th different team to be ranked No. 1 at least 10 times... 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 77-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 61-straight... There have been 36 teams to be ranked No. 1 all-time, with 10 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)
2013 – 14NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll - (Feb. 25)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (12)||27-3||373|
|2||2||IU Southeast (Ind.) (2)||23-3||363|
|3||5||College of Idaho||25-5||340|
|7||7||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||26-4||301|
|11||11||St. Thomas (Fla.)||23-5||256|
|12||19||Saint Francis (Ind.)||21-9||230|
|19||22||Robert Morris (Ill.)||22-8||139|