By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fresh off its first-ever NAIA National Championship, Indiana Wesleyan is ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Wildcats earn their first No. 1 ranking since Dec. 5, 2012 and their third overall. With a 31-6 overall record, Indiana Wesleyan boasted all 13 first-place votes and 343 total points.
Indiana Wesleyan, the No. 5 seed in the national championship tournament, posted double-digits wins in all five games en route to the championship banner. That accomplishment marked the first time in Division II championship history that all five games were won by 10-plus points -- the Wildcats owned a 14.8 scoring margin. Jordan Weidner, the Championship Most Outstanding Player, averaged 23.0 points, 5.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds during the five games.
National runner-up Midland (Neb.) captured 332 total points to land the No. 2 position. The ranking is the highest in school history for the Warriors. Midland ends the year with a 30-6 mark and made its first appearance in the title game as the Warriors eventually fell to Indiana Wesleyan, 78-68, on March 18. The previous high ranking was No. 7 on two occasions earlier this year. In the last edition, Midland held the No. 10 ranking on March 5.
Tying for the best improvement within the poll, No. 3 Southeastern (Fla.) jumped up 14 positions. The Fire, who recorded 313 total points in the poll, competed in their first-ever National Championship where they advanced to the semifinal round. Southeastern finished the season with a 27-7 record and its first-ever top 10 national ranking.
No. 4 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) gathered 304 total points. The Wolves returned to the 2014 championship after winning it all in 2013, but tripped up in the championship second round. Cardinal Stritch was the championship's top seed and was ranked No. 1 for the previous seven Top 25 polls dating back to Jan. 21.
With 301 total points, No. 5-ranked Robert Morris (Ill.) slides up 14 spots from the final regular-season installment. The unseeded Eagles punched a Fab Four ticket before eventually falling 100-61 to Midland in the semifinals. Robert Morris tallied a 26-10 overall record.
No. 11 (tie) IU Southeast (Ind.) suffered the largest drop within the poll, tumbling down eight spots. Seeded third in the National Championship, the Grenadiers were upset 71-66 by Robert Morris in the second round.
Reaching the championship quarterfinal round, No. 16 William Penn (Iowa) is the lone newcomer. The Statesmen are in the Top 25 for the first time since the Preseason edition on Oct. 29, 2013 (No. 7).
Concordia (Ore.) (No. 25) is the team that dropped out of this edition.
Thirteen of 14 conferences and independents are represented this week, led by four teams each from the Crossroads League and The Sun Conference. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference landed a trio of programs.
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) Top-ranked Indiana Wesleyan becomes the third different No. 1 team this year, joining Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) -- last year, there were four different No. 1's... Eleven programs earned a ranking in all 13 polls (including Preseason Top 25) this year -- of that group, only Cardinal Stritch boasted a top-10 mention each week... The seven-straight weeks at No. 1 for Cardinal Stritch earlier this year was the longest for any team since former member Walsh (Ohio) rattled off eight-straight top rankings during the 2010-11 season... There were 45 different teams ranked this year... Bethel's (Ind.) 35 all-time No. 1 mentions tops the list, followed by 21 by Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 15 by Oregon Tech and 14 by former Division II member MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)... Northwood (Fla.) holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 79-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 63-straight... There have been 36 teams to be ranked No. 1 all-time... 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’ Postseason Top 25 Poll - (March 26)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||5||Indiana Wesleyan (13)||31-6||343|
|4||1||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||30-5||304|
|5||19||Robert Morris (Ill.)||26-10||301|
|9||2||College of Idaho||28-6||244|
|T11||6||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||30-5||236|
|15||11||St. Thomas (Fla.)||26-7||183|
|16||RV||William Penn (Iowa)||24-10||160|
|T18||14||Saint Francis (Ind.)||21-11||155|
Others receiving votes: Concordia (Ore.) 59; College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 53; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 32; Tabor (Kan.) 22; Southern Oregon 20; Hastings (Neb.) 20; Northwestern Ohio 13; Cincinnati Christian (Ohio) 12; Jamestown (N.D.) 11.