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NAIA DI Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll No. 6

February 28, 2017
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) once again holds a familiar perch, as the Lions own the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the sixth-straight edition, the national office announced Tuesday. Freed-Hardeman was the unanimous pick, gathering all 10 first-place votes and 250 points. The final regular-season installment is scheduled to release Wednesday, March 8.

Official qualifiers and bracket for the 2017 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship will be announced via a video selection show at 7 p.m. CST on March 8. Additionally, information will be posted on www.NAIA.org.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999-2000)
• Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) holds the No. 1 ranking for the sixth-consecutive poll and 24th time in program history this week. The Lions trail only former member Union (Tenn.) (53), Oklahoma City (49) and Vanguard (Calif.) (41) for the most No. 1 rankings since the start of the 1999-2000 season.
• The Lions claimed a spot in the 2017 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championships, presented by Wells Fargo, for the 21st-straight season after winning the American Midwest Conference (AMC) regular-season title. Freed-Hardeman has been the class of the AMC three out of the last four seasons, including a 24-0 record in the league this season.
• The Lions, who are the only remaining unbeaten team at 30-0, play Williams Baptist (Ark.) Wednesday as part of the AMC Tournament.
• Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) returns to the No. 2 ranking after a one-poll hiatus. The Warriors closed the regular-season with a 29-1 record and host the lowest remaining seed in the Frontier Conference tournament on Friday.
• Rounding out the top five once again are No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Vanguard (Calif.) and Shawnee State (Ohio), which are both tied at No. 4.
• Lindsey Wilson is the only team this season to be ranked among the top five in every poll. The Blue Raiders saw their run at an unbeaten regular-season end last week in an 89-73 loss to Shawnee State. Due to the loss, Lindsey Wilson holds the No. 2 seed in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) tournament and has to play the No. 7 seed Cumberland (Tenn.) on Thursday.
• Overall, only six teams held their positions from the last poll – Freed-Hardeman, No. 8 Baker (Kan.), No. 9 Campbellsville (Ky.), No. 10 Lyon (Ark.), No. 20 Montana Western and No. 22 Pikeville (Ky.).
• No. 12 Montana State-Northern, No. 14 Biola (Calif.) and No. 21 Central Methodist (Mo.) highlight the poll with three-spot jumps, while No. 17 Wayland Baptist (Texas) and No. 18 Bethel (Tenn.) each slid down four spots.
• Two newcomers join the Top 25 in No. 23 Loyola (La.) and No. 25 Talladega (Ala.). Both clubs have previously been ranked at some point during the season.
• Only Freed-Hardeman and MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) have held the No. 1 ranking this season.
• Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the top-ranked team in the preseason poll has never finished the year unranked. Currently, preseason No. 1 MidAmerica Nazarene is not in the Top 25.
• Nine of 10 conferences are represented in the poll. The Association of Independent Institutions is the only league not represented.
• The AMC, MSC and Golden State Athletic Conference are tied for the most teams in the poll with four each.
• In total, 30 teams have been ranked in the Top 25 this season.
• Union and Vanguard are the only programs to have spent an entire season ranked No. 1 (Union: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) (Vanguard: 2005-06, 2006-07).

Poll Methodology
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, Association of Independent Institutions and Unaffiliated Groups.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
• Frequency of polls occur bi-weekly. This policy was approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) for the 2016-17 academic season. This change will allow raters the opportunity to consider a larger body of work in between rating periods.
• For the complete ratings calendar, click here.

2016-17 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (Feb. 28)
RANK PRVS SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) Record TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (10) 30-0 250
2 4 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 29-1 237
3 2 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 28-1 235
T4 3 Vanguard (Calif.) 27-2 223
T4 5 Shawnee State (Ohio) 28-2 223
6 7 Oklahoma City 26-2 207
7 6 Westmont (Calif.) 24-4 203
8 8 Baker (Kan.) 26-4 190
9 9 Campbellsville (Ky.) 25-5 185
10 10 Lyon (Ark.) 25-4 183
11 12 Columbia (Mo.) 25-5 167
12 15 Montana State-Northern 22-7 160
13 11 Benedictine (Kan.) 23-7 152
14 17 Biola (Calif.) 23-6 140
15 16 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 23-7 134
16 17 John Brown (Ark.) 22-7 133
17 13 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-5 129
18 14 Bethel (Tenn.) 21-9 121
19 21 The Master’s (Calif.) 20-7 103
20 20 Montana Western 22-7 91
21 24 Central Methodist (Mo.) 22-8 89
22 22 Pikeville (Ky.) 20-9 81
23 RV Loyola (La.) 25-5 79
24 23 Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 22-8 72
25 RV Talladega (Ala.) 19-8 54

Dropped from the Top 25: Cumberland (Tenn.) (No. 19); Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (No. 25)

Others receiving votes: Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 45; LSU Shreveport (La.) 36; Clarke (Iowa) 24; Mobile (Ala.) 15; William Penn (Iowa) 12; Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 9; William Woods (Mo.) 8; Cumberland (Tenn.) 7; Wiley (Texas) 6.