By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With 10 first-place votes, Oregon Tech moves up to the No. 1 ranking in the ninth edition of the 2011 - 12 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Monday by the national office. The Hustlin' Owls have been back-and-forth with Northwood (Fla.) for the top spot since the Dec. 12 installment. This time, Oregon Tech tallied 371 points and boasted its second top ranking of the 2011 - 12 campaign. Winners in 11 of their last 12 games, the Hustlin' Owls need one more victory to gain their fourth-straight Cascade Collegiate Conference regular-season title.
Second-ranked Northwood fell one position after dropping a 76-62 decision to then-No. 25 Warner (Fla.) on Feb. 11. That loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Seahawks, who have been No. 1 or 2 in all 10 polls this season. Northwood captured three first-place votes and 358 total points.
No. 3 Davenport (Mich.) and No. 4 Dordt (Iowa) both locked down their spots from last week after securing their respective regular-season conference championships. With a 72-48 victory over Madonna (Mich.) on Feb. 8, Davenport snatched the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference title. Dordt won the Great Plains Athletic Conference crown with an 85-68 win against Concordia (Neb.) on Feb. 11. The Defenders grabbed the remaining first-place vote in the poll this week.
McPherson (Kan.), moving up one slot to fifth, recorded 321 total points. The Bulldogs own a 1.5-game lead with two games left on the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season slate.
For the first time all season, there were no newcomers. The Top-25 did not move much, with only two clubs shifting three-or-more positions. No. 21 Warner slid up from 25th last week, while No. 24 Saint Francis (Ind.) suffered a four-spot fall. Warner was boosted by the upset over top-ranked Northwood over the weekend, which snapped a five-game losing streak in the series. Saint Francis dropped a pair of Mid-Central College Conference games last week.
The Mid-Central College Conference and The Sun Conference top all conferences and independents with four programs included in the Top 25. The Cascade Collegiate Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference both placed three schools in the ranking. Overall, 11 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 10th regular-season Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Feb. 20.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000) Oregon Tech has hit the No. 1 ranking now twice this year with the other time coming on Jan. 23; Northwood (Fla.) has owned the No. 1 spot on six occasions... No. 14 Indiana Wesleyan was the third team this year on top of the polls (Nov. 28 & Dec. 5)... There are 12 teams to be ranked in all 10 polls this year (including preseason)... The top-five teams boast the most wins at 25... There have been 45 different teams to be ranked at least once this season... No. 7 Grace (Ind.) has been in the top 10 in all 10 polls this year - before this season, the Lancers had not reached the top 10 since the 1992-93 season... No. 10 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 18-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 eight listings... Oregon Tech is listed with the longest active streak in the Top 25 at 85-straight weeks - the last time the Hustlin' Owls were not ranked was on Jan. 11, 2005... In second place is Northwood with 50-consecutive mentions and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 34-straight.
2011-12 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - (Feb. 13)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 – 12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Oregon Tech (10)||25-3||371|
|2||1||Northwood (Fla.) (3)||25-3||358|
|4||4||Dordt (Iowa) (1)||25-3||343|
|6||7||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||23-5||309|
|12||12||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||21-6||233|
|13||13||St. Thomas (Fla.)||18-7||223|
|16||18||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||20-8||180|
|18||16||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||19-8||158|
|T19||17||Valley City State (N.D.)||20-7||150|
|22||23||Saint Mary (Kan.)||21-4||120|
|24||20||Saint Francis (Ind.)||18-10||97|
Others receiving votes: Tennessee Wesleyan 43; Midland (Neb.) 40; Ashford (Iowa) 40; Goshen (Ind.) 28; Cornerstone (Mich.) 28; Daemen (N.Y.) 27; Southern Oregon 18; Cal Maritime 10; Morningside (Iowa) 10; Central Christian (Kan.) 3; Huntington (Ind.) 1; Eastern Oregon 1; Sterling (Kan.) 1; Clarke (Iowa) 1; Reinhardt (Ga.) 1; Calumet (Ind.) 1.