Contact: Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oregon Tech notched its first No. 1 ranking since 2009 as the Hustlin’ Owls moved up in the sixth edition of the 2011 – 12 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced Monday by the national office. They recorded seven first-place votes and 338 total points in a ranking that saw only four programs hold their position from last week. Northwood (Fla.), this week’s No. 2 team, was knocked off the perch after suffering a 78-72 loss at unranked Embry-Riddle (Fla.) on Jan. 19.
After an 85-75 setback against then-No. 17 Warner Pacific (Ore.) on Dec. 29, Oregon Tech has won seven-straight games. Included in that stretch were wins over two Top-25 teams. The Hustlin’ Owls have the rematch against Warner Pacific on the road Saturday. Oregon Tech was last ranked No. 1 back on Jan. 12, 2009, which marked the fifth-straight week for the Hustlin’ Owls.
Northwood, who had its 15-game winning streak halted with the loss, still earned four first-place votes and 329 points. Holding at No. 3, Davenport (Mich.) checked in with 328 total points. Fourth-ranked Grace (Ind.) tallied 301 points and No. 5 McPherson (Kan.) moved into the top five for the second time this year with 300 points.
Four newcomers make their mark, led by No. 21 Goshen (Ind.). Despite a loss in their last outing, the Maple Leafs hold a 15-7 overall record and are tied for third in the Mid-Central College Conference (MCC). No. 22 St. Ambrose (Iowa), No. 24 Cornerstone (Mich.) and No. 25 Mount Mercy (Iowa) all hop into the Top 25 – all three teams were ranked at least on one occasion earlier this year.
Those teams replaced Indiana Tech (No. 15), Huntington (Ind.) (No. 19), Ashford (Iowa) (No. 24) and Eastern Oregon (No. 25).
No. 16 St. Thomas (Fla.) and No. 17 Spring Arbor (Mich.) were the biggest movers within the poll sliding up five positions. The Bobcats own NAIA Division II’s longest winning streak at 12-consecutive games. Spring Arbor has won three in-a-row to improve its record to 15-7 overall and sits in second place in the MCC.
The Sun Conference leads all leagues and independents with four ranked members: Northwood (Fla.), St. Thomas, No. 20 Southeastern (Fla.) and No. 23 Warner (Fla.). The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Great Plains Athletic Conference and MCC all claim three schools in the Top 25. Overall, 11 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented this week.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The seventh regular-season Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 30.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999 – 2000) The Cascade Collegiate Conference has three teams ranked in the top 11: Oregon Tech, No. 8 Warner Pacific (Ore.) and No. 11 Northwest (Wash.)… Oregon Tech becomes the third different team this year to be ranked in the No. 1 spot, joining Northwood (Fla.) and Indiana Wesleyan… No. 9 Jamestown (N.D.) enjoys its first ranking inside the top 10 since a No. 9 position on Oct. 31, 2007… There have been 45 different teams to be ranked at least once this season… No. 4 Grace (Ind.) has been in the top 10 in all seven polls this year – before this season, the Lancers had not reached the top 10 since the 1992-93 season… No. 11 Northwest (Wash.) was the last undefeated team to lose, with that setback coming on Jan. 6, 2012 after the Eagles started 14-0… No. 1 Oregon Tech has spent 15-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 13, followed by Oklahoma Wesleyan and former NAIA member Walsh (Ohio) at 12 mentions each… Oregon Tech is listed with the longest active streak in the Top 25 at 82-straight weeks – the last time the Hustlin’ Owls were not ranked was on Jan. 11, 2005… In second place is Northwood with 47-consecutive mentions.
2011-12 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – (Jan. 23)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 – 12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Oregon Tech (7)||21-2||338|
|2||1||Northwood (Fla.) (4)||17-2||329|
|3||3||Davenport (Mich.) (2)||20-2||328|
|8||8||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||17-4||266|
|10||9||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||17-5||247|
|14||18||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||15-6||188|
|16||21||St. Thomas (Fla.)||13-6||170|
|17||22||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||15-7||164|
|19||20||Valley City State (N.D.)||17-6||135|
|22||RV||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||13-8||104|
|25||RV||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||15-5||63|
Others receiving votes: Bluefield (Va.) 62; Indiana Wesleyan 54; Southern Oregon 45; Daemen (N.Y.) 44; Midland (Neb.) 35; Saint Francis (Ind.) 17; Ashford (Iowa) 15; Saint Mary (Kan.) 11; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 7; Huntington (Ind.) 7; Eastern Oregon 3; Marian (Ind.) 1; William Penn (Iowa) 1; Cal Maritime 1; Tennessee Wesleyan 1.