By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the eighth time this year, Northwood (Fla.) holds the No. 1 position in the final regular-season installment of the 2011 - 12 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Wednesday by the national office. With all 14 first-place votes and 374 points, the Seahawks wrapped up the regular-season with a 30-3 record and were champions of The Sun Conference Tournament.
Qualifiers for the 21st annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship will be announced today at 3 p.m. CST on NAIA.org. Ten at-large selections will be added to the 21 automatic berths, along with host school Ozarks (Mo.). The official 32-team bracket will then be unveiled by 6 p.m. CST on NAIA.org.
No. 2 Oregon Tech bumps up one spot with 357 points. Davenport (Mich.) also slides up once to No. 3 with 346 points. After a loss in the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament championships, Dordt (Iowa) falls two positions to No. 4. Fifth-ranked McPherson (Kan.) holds with 327 points.
No. 23 (tie) Saint Francis (Ind.) bumped out Valley City State (N.D.) (No. 25). The Cougars advanced to the title game in the Mid-Central College Conference tournament as the No. 4 seed. Saint Francis was out of the poll for one week on Feb. 20.
The Mid-Central College Conference boasts the most programs ranked in the Top 25: No. 11 Grace (Ind.), No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 19 Marian (Ind.) and Saint Francis. Overall, 12 of the 14 conferences and independents are represented this week.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The postseason Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on March 19.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000) Northwood (Fla.) has now been the unanimous No. 1 pick for five weeks this year and the overall No. 1 selection in eight of 12 polls... There have been three teams this year to own the No. 1 ranking: Northwood (Fla.), Oregon Tech and Indiana Wesleyan... There are 12 teams to be ranked in all 12 polls this year (including preseason)... There have been 46 different teams to be ranked at least once this season... No. 8 Northwest (Wash.) was the last undefeated team to lose this year, with that setback coming on Jan. 6, 2012 after the Eagles started 14-0... Oregon Tech has spent 20-straight polls ranked in the top 10, dating back to Jan. 10, 2011... Embry-Riddle (Fla.) owns the most No. 1 rankings since 2000 with 17; Oregon Tech is next with 14, followed by Oklahoma Wesleyan and former NAIA member Walsh (Ohio) at 12 mentions each; Northwood is right behind with 10 listings... Oregon Tech is listed with the longest active streak in the Top 25 at 87-straight weeks - the last time the Hustlin' Owls were not ranked was on Jan. 11, 2005... In second place is Northwood with 52-consecutive mentions and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 36-straight.
2011-12 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - (Feb. 29)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 – 12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Northwood (Fla.) (14)||30-3||374|
|6||6||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||28-5||311|
|12||11||St. Thomas (Fla.)||22-7||237|
|15||15||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||25-8||208|
|16||15||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||23-7||191|
|21||22||Saint Mary (Kan.)||25-5||135|
|22||19||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||21-10||123|
|T23||RV||Saint Francis (Ind.)||21-12||105|