By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the first time in school history, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) boasts the No. 1 ranking in the second regular-season installment of the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Wolves replace Northwood (Fla.), who was perched on top of the poll for the last three times. Every team within the top nine shifted positions.
One thing that Cardinal Stritch has done early this season is win. With a perfect 10-0 record, the Wolves are also riding a 26-game Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference win streak. Cardinal Stritch ranks seventh in the NAIA in scoring defense (59.4 papg) and has held four opponents to 50 or fewer points. This week, the Wolves tallied 11-of-12 first-place votes and 312 total points.
Moving up two spots, No. 2 Eastern Oregon checks in with 300 points and the remaining first-place nod. The Mountaineers are tied with No. 6 William Penn (Iowa) for the most wins in the NAIA with 14. Indiana Wesleyan makes the same movement improving two positions to third with 287 points. The Wildcats will host No. 23 Indiana East Tuesday.
Previous top-ranked Northwood (Fla.) falls to No. 4 after a loss to then-No. 8 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) on Dec. 1. The Seahawks landed 273 total points. With the upset win, Embry-Riddle jumps up into the top five with 272 points. This is the first top-five ranking for the Eagles since Feb. 7, 2011.
No. 18 St. Thomas (Fla.), No. 22 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 24 Cal Maritime and No. 25 Briar Cliff (Iowa) are the newcomers this week.
Several schools dropped out of the Top 25: Warner (Fla.) (No. 12); Spring Arbor (Mich.) (No. 21); Madonna (Mich.) (No. 24) and Point (Ga.) (No. 25).
The Cascade Collegiate Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference each claim the most schools with four apiece in the Top 25. The Crossroads League and The Sun Conference land a trio of programs on the list. Overall, there are 11 of the 13 conferences and independents represented this week in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The third regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Dec. 11. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000) In a top-10 matchup in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, No. 7 Dordt (Iowa) hosts No. 9 Northwestern (Iowa) Wednesday... Falling to No. 4 this week, Northwood (Fla.) is outside the top two for the first time in 22 polls, dating back to Jan. 17, 2011... Oregon Tech had its streak of 90-consecutive polls snapped (dating back to Jan. 11, 2005) in the Nov. 27 poll as the Hustlin' Owls were in the "receiving votes" category... Embry-Riddle (Fla.) owns the most No. 1 rankings since 2000 with 17; Oregon Tech is next with 15, followed by Northwood, Oklahoma Wesleyan and former NAIA member Walsh (Ohio) at 12 mentions each... Northwood now holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 55-consecutive mentions and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 39-straight.
2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - Rating No. 2
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (11)||10-0||312|
|2||4||Eastern Oregon (1)||14-0||300|
|6||7||William Penn (Iowa)||14-0||264|
|13||13||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||7-3||184|
|15||18||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||8-1||169|
|17||19||Valley City State (N.D.)||5-2||136|
|18||RV||St. Thomas (Fla.)||5-2||131|
|21||22||Central Christian (Kan.)||9-0||95|
|22||RV||Saint Francis (Ind.)||7-2||94|
|25||RV||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||8-3||54|
Others receiving votes: Madonna (Mich.) 52; Ave Maria (Fla.) 49; Rochester (Mich.) 43; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 34; Point (Ga.) 25; Bethel (Ind.) 18; Indiana Tech 15; Warner (Fla.) 13; Hastings (Neb.) 8; Dakota State (S.D.) 6; York (Neb.) 4; Saint Mary (Kan.) 3.