By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the seventh-straight week, Cal State San Marcos claims the No. 1 ranking in the final regular-season edition of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Cougars collected nine-of-10 first-place votes and 250 total points.
The official list of 32 National Championship qualifiers will be announced at 3 p.m. CST today. The official championship bracket will be announced live via a selection show at 8 p.m. Click here to view the free live video-stream.
Cal State San Marcos is enjoying one of the nation's longest win streaks at 21-straight games after capturing the Association of Independent Institutions Tournament championship on March 9 over Life (Ga.), 112-95. That victory sealed the Cougars' (30-1) trip to the NAIA National Championship for the second-straight year. Cal State San Marcos is the only one-loss team in NAIA Division I. The win streak is tied with No. 3 William Carey (Miss.) for the longest active mark in Division I.
For the sixth-consecutive poll, Pikeville (Ky.) locks down the No. 2 position with 242 points and the remaining first-place nod. The Bears (30-2) have punched their eighth overall ticket to the National Championship after sweeping the regular-season and conference championships in the Mid-South Conference.
Third-ranked William Carey posted 234 total points to hold its spot for the fifth-straight week. The Crusaders (27-2) earned a trip to Kansas City, Mo., and the National Championship after winning the Southern States Athletic Conference West Division regular-season title.
With the most wins in the NAIA (31), No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) finished with 226 points. The Cougars are an automatic championship qualifier out of the American Midwest Conference (regular-season champion). They are heading to their fourth-straight and 18th overall national championship.
No. 5 SAGU (Texas) rounds out the top five for the fourth-consecutive week. The Lions, who recorded 213 points, have been ranked in the top five in all 12 polls this season. Regular-season champions of the Sooner Athletic Conference, SAGU will bring a 26-5 record to Kansas City.
No. 24 Cumberlands (Ky.) and No. 25 St. Thomas (Texas) each jump into the Top 25 for the first time all year. Both clubs were ranked numerous times last season -- Cumberlands was No. 22 on Jan. 29, 2013 and St. Thomas was 23rd on March 26, 2013.
The following schools fell out of the Top 25: Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) (No. 21) and Evangel (Mo.) (No. 24).
No. 19 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) improved six positions from last week, which is the best jump. The Pioneers rattled through the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament as the No. 3 seed, and defeated then-No. 24 Evangel, 77-67, in the title game on Monday.
No. 23 Montana State-Northern suffered the worst fall, dropping four spots. The Lights bowed out in the First Round of the Frontier Conference tournament against unranked Great Falls (Mont.), 64-54, on Feb. 28.
All 10 conferences and independents are represented in this week's poll. Six leagues claimed three teams apiece, which was the most of any of the conferences.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) Cal State San Marcos and William Carey (Miss.) each boast the longest active win streak at 21-straight victories heading into the national championship... Three teams: Cal State San Marcos, Columbia (Mo.) and Pikeville (Ky.) all stand with at least 30 wins on the year... The combo of No. 4 Columbia and No. 9 Freed-Hardman (Tenn.) out of the American Midwest Conference have now been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last nine polls... This year, there have been six different No. 1-ranked teams: Cal State San Marcos, Freed-Hardeman, SAGU (Texas), Pikeville, Georgetown (Ky.) and Columbia... Twenty-nine different teams have held the No. 1 ranking since 2000... Through 12 polls (including Preseason), there have been 46 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. 16... Last year, five programs earned the No. 1 ranking: Georgetown, Columbia, Concordia (Calif.), Cumberlands (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist... Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 36-straight mentions, followed by Columbia at 34, Cal State San Marcos at 25 and Pikeville at 25… 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 – March 12 (FINAL)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cal State San Marcos (9)||30-1||250|
|2||2||Pikeville (Ky.) (1)||30-2||242|
|3||3||William Carey (Miss.)||27-2||234|
|10||11||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||23-7||182|
|13||13||LSU Shreveport (La.)||21-8||146|
|18||17||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||21-9||113|
|19||25||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||23-10||95|
|20||22||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||23-10||92|
|22||23||Hope International (Calif.)||22-9||80|
|25||RV||St. Thomas (Texas)||20-10||49|