By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Boasting the nation's longest win streak at 18-straight games, Cal State San Marcos remains No. 1 in the ninth regular-season edition of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Cougars earned the top ranking for the fifth-straight time with nine first-place votes and 250 total points. Cal State San Marcos closes out the regular season with a date against No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.) on Thursday.
Pikeville (Ky.) secures the No. 2 position with 242 points and the remaining first-place vote. The Bears have already wrapped up the Mid-South Conference regular-season championship with a 25-2 overall record. On Thursday, Pikeville takes on Campbellsville (Ky.) before closing the regular season at home against No. 23 St. Catharine (Ky.) on Saturday.
No. 3 William Carey (Miss.), powered with a 16-game win streak, captured 279 total points. No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) improved three positions with 269 points. Falling one spot to No. 5 is SAGU (Texas) with 217 points.
Two of the six newcomers enter the Top 25 for the first time all season: No. 17 Oklahoma City and No. 24 Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.). The Stars, who have rattled off six wins in their last seven games, were last in the Top 25 on Jan. 8, 2013 (No. 22). Lindenwood-Belleville is in its first NAIA varsity season and has won its last 10 contests.
The other four rookies this week are: No. 19 Evangel (Mo.), No. 22 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), No. 23 St. Catharine and No. 25 Biola (Calif.). All of those clubs were ranked at least once previously this year.
No. 16 Arizona Christian is the biggest surprise within the poll this week with a nine-spot improvement. With three-straight wins, the FireStorm have vaulted up to second place in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings. One of those victories came against then-No. 9 Vanguard, 82-79, on Feb. 13.
No. 15 Culver-Stockton (Mo.) suffers a three-spot drop, which is the largest decline this week.
Six programs fell out of the Top 25: Concordia (Calif.) (No. 15), Mid-America Christian (Okla.) (No. 17), Rio Grande (Ohio) (No. 19), Wiley (Texas) (No. 20), Central Methodist (Mo.) (No. 22) and Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (No. 24).
All 10 conferences and independents are represented in this week's poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The 10th regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on March 4. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) No. 7 Emmanuel (Ga.) holds the second-longest win streak at 17 victories, which is a school record and also stands with a school-best 25-2 mark... In the last four polls, No. 1 Cal State San Marcos has tallied nine first-place votes... The combo of No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 6 Freed-Hardman (Tenn.) out of the American Midwest Conference have now been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last seven polls... This year, there have been six different No. 1-ranked teams: Cal State San Marcos, Freed-Hardeman, SAGU (Texas), Pikeville (Ky.), Georgetown (Ky.) and Columbia... Twenty-nine different teams have held the No. 1 ranking since 2000... Through 10 polls (including Preseason), there have been 44 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 are currently ranked No. 14... 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 34-straight mentions, followed by Columbia at 32, Cal State San Marcos at 23 and Pikeville at 23… 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 – Feb. 25
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cal State San Marcos (9)||27-1||250|
|2||2||Pikeville (Ky.) (1)||25-2||242|
|3||3||William Carey (Miss.)||22-2||234|
|11||10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||21-7||174|
|12||13||LSU Shreveport (La.)||19-6||160|
|20||23||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||20-7||100|
|22||RV||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||19-8||90|
|23||RV||St. Catharine (Ky.)||17-9||65|