By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) claims the No. 1 position in the 2012 – 13 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, announced Wednesday by the national office. The Wolves won their first-ever NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship on March 12 and finished 35-3. Cardinal Stritch captured all 12 first-place votes and 312 points to sit in the top spot for the third time this season.
The 35 wins are the most for a Division II team since Oklahoma Wesleyan did so in winning the 2009 championship. Cardinal Stritch held off then-No. 1 William Penn (Iowa), 73-59, in Point Lookout, Mo., to win the trophy. Fourth-year head coach Drew Diener was honored as the Rawlings-NAIA Division II National Coach of the Year and he mentored Championship MVP and NAIA First-Team All-American Darren Moore.
National runner up, William Penn collected 302 total points to take the No. 2 ranking. No. 3 Indiana Southeast and No. 4 Dordt (Iowa) both improved seven spots from the final regular season poll. The Grenadiers advanced to the 2013 semifinals and Dordt bowed out in the quarterfinal round. No. 5 Grace (Ind.) posted 271 total points and holds the highest ranking since a fourth spot during the 2011 – 12 season.
Grace was the biggest positive mover within the poll, bettering their No. 20 spot in the final regular-season Top 25. Overall, seven programs improved five-or-more spots this week. On the flip side, No. 20 Eastern Oregon tumbled down 12 positions. The Mountaineers were the No. 8 seed in the national championship and lost 77-53 to unseeded Midland (Neb.) in the first round.
No. 14 (tie) Dakota State (S.D.), No. 23 Cal Maritime and No. 25 (tie) College of the Ozarks (Mo.) are the rookies this week. Dakota State earns its first ranking in school history after playing in the national quarterfinals. The Trojans ended the year 24-10. Both the Keelhaulers and Ozarks were mentioned in the Top 25 earlier in the year.
Northwest (Wash.) (No. 23), Valley City State (N.D.) (No. 24) and Oklahoma Wesleyan (No.25) dropped out from the final regular season Top 25.
Overall, 12 of the 13 conferences and independents are represented this week in the poll. The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Crossroads League, Great Plains Athletic Conference, Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference and The Sun Conference each lay claim to the most reps with three each. The Association of Independent Institutions, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Midwest Collegiate Conference land a pair in the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1991 – 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) No. 3 Indiana Southeast enjoys its highest ranking since the same position Feb. 15, 2010… Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) becomes the 22nd team to be ranked No. 1 on at least three occasions in Division II history… Eleven teams finish the year with a ranking in all 12 polls (including Preseason Top 25)… There were four different teams to be ranked No. 1 this year: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Eastern Oregon, Northwood (Fla.) and William Penn (Iowa)… There have been 45 different teams to be listed in the Top 25 this year… Northwood holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 66-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 50-straight, followed by Indiana-Southeast (44) and Northwestern (Iowa) (34)… There have been 36 teams all-time to be ranked No. 1, with nine programs earning at least 10 top mentions… Bethel (Ind.) 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 – Postseason
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (12)||35-3||312|
|2||1||William Penn (Iowa)||34-2||302|
|8||7||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||29-6||237|
|13||5||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||27-7||187|
|T14||RV||Dakota State (S.D.)||24-10||173|
|16||12||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||27-6||156|
|T20||21||St. Thomas (Fla.)||21-12||122|
|T25||NR||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||23-13||72|
Others receiving votes: Valley City State (N.D.) 42; Northwest (Wash.) 38; Lourdes (Ohio) 35; Taylor (Ind.) 12; Ave Maria (Fla.) 10; Saint Mary (Kan.) 5; Morningside (Iowa) 4; Hastings (Neb.) 3; Oklahoma Wesleyan 3.
^ ranking on Feb. 27, 2013 in final regular season Top 25