By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With the most wins in the NAIA, Eastern Oregon sticks at No. 1 in the sixth regular-season edition of the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Mountaineers gathered 12 first-place votes to go along with 343 points to remain No. 1 for the third-straight poll.
Eastern Oregon takes to the road for its next two games as it takes on No. 15 Northwest (Wash) Friday and Evergreen (Wash.) Saturday. The Mountaineers defeated Evergreen, 77-60, Dec. 21 and took down Northwest, 77-63, the next day. Eastern Oregon is looking to extend an eight-game win streak.
No. 2 William Penn (Iowa) received the last first-place vote and notched 332 points for second place. The Statesmen are 21-1 on the season and in first-place in the Midwest Collegiate Conference. William Penn returns to action on Wednesday when it takes on Grand View (Iowa). Moving up one spot to No. 3 is Indiana Wesleyan. The Wildcats collected 321 points. Moving up two positions to No. 4 is St. Thomas (Fla.). The Bobcats are in the top five for the first time in school history as they tallied 293 points. Falling to No. 5 is Cardinal Stritch (Wis.). The Wolves sit with 285 points.
No. 12 Doane (Neb.) and No. 19 Ave Marie (Fla.) are the biggest movers in the poll with a five-spot shift. Doane is currently on a four game-win streak. The Tigers look to extend their winning ways when they face Concordia (Neb.) on Wednesday. Ave Marie looks to bounce back from a six-point loss to St. Thomas when it faces Webber International (Fla.) Wednesday.
Conversely, No. 21 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) fell the farthest as the Eagles were ninth in last week's poll. Since Jan. 9, Embry-Riddle has lost four of its last five contests.
No. 22 York (Neb.), No. 23 Saint Mary (Kan.) and No. 25 Hastings (Neb.) are the newcomers this week. York snaps the longest drought of the bunch as the Panthers were last ranked on Jan. 16, 2001 (No. 19). With a 7-1 record in their last eight games, the Panthers have put themselves tied for the top spot in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.
Hastings checks into the poll for the first time since Feb. 22, 2010 (No. 24). Saint Mary jumps back in for the second time this year as the Spires were recognized 12th in the 2012 - 13 Preseason Top 25.
Southern Oregon (No. 21), Cal Maritime (No. 23) and College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (No. 25) all dropped out this week.
The Great Plains Athletic Conference and The Sun Conference each list out four Top 25 programs, which is the most of any conference or independent. The Cascade Collegiate Conference and Crossroads League place a triplet of teams on the list. Overall, 11 of the 13 conferences and independents are 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 seventh regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 29. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1991 - 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) Despite falling two spots to No. 5, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) is the only team this year to be ranked in the top-five in all seven polls... Three different teams have been ranked No. 1 this year: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Eastern Oregon and Northwood (Fla.)... With No. 22 York (Neb.) and No. 25 Hastings (Neb.) as newcomers this week, there are now 41 different teams to be listed in the Top 25 this year... Northwood holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 60-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 44-straight, followed by Indiana-Southwest (38), Grace (Ind.) (32) and Northwestern (Iowa) (28)... There have been 35 teams all-time to be ranked No. 1, with nine programs earning at least 10 top mentions... Bethel boasts the most all-time No. 1's with 35, followed by Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 17, Oregon Tech at 15, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (currently a member in NAIA Division I) and former member Northern State (S.D.) with 14, Oklahoma Wesleyan and former member Walsh (Ohio) at 13, Northwood (Fla.) at 12 and Jamestown (N.D.) at 11 - no other school has more than 10 mentions at No. 1... Oregon Tech had its streak of 90-consecutive polls snapped (dating back to Jan. 11, 2005) in the Nov. 27, 2012 poll as the Hustlin' Owls were in the "receiving votes" category.
2012 - 13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - Rating No. 6
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Eastern Oregon (12)||22-1||343|
|2||2||William Penn (Iowa) (1)||21-1||332|
|4||6||St. Thomas (Fla.)||17-4||293|
|5||3||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||20-3||285|
|6||8||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||18-4||283|
|9||7||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||19-3||256|
|16||18||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||19-4||188|
|19||24||Ave Maria (Fla.)||16-3||129|
|23||RV||Saint Mary (Kan.)||15-5||81|
|24||20||Valley City State (N.D.)||15-5||79|
Others receiving votes: Oklahoma Wesleyan 48; Cal Maritime 43; Cornerstone (Mich.) 38; Southern Oregon 33; Tennessee Wesleyan 27; Bellevue (Neb.) 26; Taylor (Ind.) 19; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 7; Dakota State (S.D.) 5; Indiana East 3.