By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Columbia (Mo.) is the unanimous No. 1 selection for the fourth-consecutive poll in the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. With a 24-0 record, the Cougars are the only undefeated team across NAIA Men's and Women's Division I and II basketball. They brought in 11 first-place nods and 281 total points in the seventh regular-season edition.
Columbia (24-0) has six more regular season games on the docket with the next one at Benedictine-Springfield (Ill.) Thursday. Of those remaining six opponents, none have a winning record and those teams have a combined 31 percent winning percentage.
For the third-straight time, Lee (Tenn.) is No. 2 with 272 points. The next three teams all saw movement which included No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 4 John Brown (Ark.) and No. 5 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). The Blue Raiders jumped up one spot with 261 points. John Brown, leaders in the Sooner Athletic Conference, ties its highest ranking this year and improved two positions. The Warriors fell two spots after a loss to then-No. 19 Westminster (Utah), 95-82, on Feb. 2.
Westminster enjoys the best improvement within the poll, thanks in large part to that victory over Lewis-Clark State. At 20-4 overall, the Griffins have won seven in-a-row and are tied for the top spot in the Frontier Conference standings.
After a loss to unranked Central Methodist (Mo.) on Feb. 2, No. 22 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) falls five spots from last week. That slide down was the largest fall of any program.
No. 25 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) is the newsmaker this week with its first NAIA ranking in school history. The Evangels have won four of their last five contests, including one over then-No. 21 Science & Arts (Okla.) Jan. 24.
The other newcomer is No. 22 Georgetown (Ky.). The Tigers are 8-1 in their last nine contests and are back in the Top 25 for the first time since a No. 3 position in the Preseason Top 25.
Two teams fall out this week, Cumberlands (Ky.) (No. 22) and Arizona Christian (No. 25).
The Sooner Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference contain the most Top 25 teams of any conference or unaffiliated group with four. The Frontier Conference and Mid-South Conference each landed a trio of ranked programs. Overall, all 11 conferences and unaffiliated groups are represented this week.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The eighth regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Feb. 12. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) There have been 43 different teams represented through eight polls this season (includes Preseason Top 25)... Columbia (Mo.) is the fourth different No. 1 team this year, joining Concordia (Calif.), Cumberlands (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist... Oklahoma Baptist leads the active group of being ranked with 58-straight mentions, followed by Rogers State (Okla.) at 24 and Montana State-Northern at 23... Since the 2000 - 01 season, there have been 25 different teams to hold the No. 1 ranking, with seven of those program having five-or-more listings on top of the charts...Former NAIA member Mountain State (W.Va.) leads this group with 48 No. 1 rankings, followed by Robert Morris (Ill.) with 24, Concordia (Calif.) is next with 12, Georgetown (Ky.) is at 10 and Rogers State is at seven... Robert Morris is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 - 07 season... By falling out of the Top 25 in the Dec. 4, 2012 edition, Georgetown had its consecutive streak of being ranked stopped at 78-straight, which was the longest active stretch at the time.
2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 7
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Columbia (Mo.) (11)||24-0||281|
|3||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||21-2||261|
|4||6||John Brown (Ark.)||20-4||250|
|5||3||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||21-3||239|
|8||8||Cal State San Marcos||19-4||220|
|15||12||Hope International (Calif.)||21-3||149|
|19||18||William Carey (Miss.)||18-4||129|
|20||20||Rogers State (Okla.)||17-6||122|
|21||24||LSU Shreveport (La.)||16-4||81|
|22||17||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||17-7||78|
|24||23||Philander Smith (Ark.)||16-6||76|
|25||RV||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||12-7||61|
Others receiving votes: Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 60; Arizona Christian 34; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 26; Shawnee State (Ohio) 26; Southern-New Orleans (La.) 22; Montana Western 19; St. Thomas (Texas) 12; Vanguard (Calif.) 4; Cumberlands (Ky.) 3; Texas College 3.