By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Undefeated Columbia (Mo.) tops the ninth regular-season edition of the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll for the sixth-consecutive time, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Cougars, who earned all 11 first-place votes and 281 total points, are trying to become the first team since Georgetown (Ky.) in the 2007 - 08 season to finish the regular season without a loss (31-0). Columbia has two more games on the slate, prior to the American Midwest Conference tournament, starting with Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) Thursday and at William Woods (Mo.) Saturday.
On March 6, the NAIA is providing a free live selection show with graphics to reveal the 32-team bracket for the 76th Annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. The men's bracket will be announced immediately after the women's at approximately 7:15 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org.
For the fifth-straight time, Lee (Tenn.) maintains a grasp on the No. 2 ranking. With 272 points, the Flames have won 14 games in-a-row to take over first place in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) standings. Lee's regular-season finale is scheduled against No. 17 Emmanuel (Ga.) Feb. 25.
No. 3 John Brown (Ark.) and No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) flip-flopped positions from last week with 258 and 249 points, respectively. Checking in at No. 5 is Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) with 248 points.
With an eight-spot spike, No. 11 William Carey (Miss.) enjoys the largest jump this week. The Crusaders have been ranked in each of the past nine polls and it has been a wide range - from No. 4 on Jan. 15 to 19th in the last two rankings. William Carey has lofted to second-place in the SSAC standings after five-straight wins.
No. 21 Faulkner (Ala.) dropped 12 spots from the last time for this week's largest fall. The Eagles were a victim of William Carey, losing 95-72 on Feb. 14 before a 61-43 loss to unranked Loyola (La.) Feb. 16.
No. 22 Montana Western, who joins No. 23 Philander Smith (Ark.) and No. 24 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) as newcomers, highlights the group. The Bulldogs earn their first ranking of the season and are making a push towards the Frontier Conference title. Recently, Montana Western defeated then-No. 18 Westminster (Utah) and then-No. 12 Montana State-Northern.
Both Philander Smith and Martin Methodist held a Top 25 spot earlier this year.
Three teams fell out of the Top 25: Westminster (No. 18), Mid-America Christian (Okla.) (tied-No. 23) and Arizona Christian (No. 25).
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences or unaffiliated groups with four Top 25 programs: Lee, William Carey, No. 17 Emmanuel (Ga.) and Faulkner. The Frontier Conference, Heart of America Athletic 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 10th regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Feb. 19. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) For all six-straight weeks that Columbia (Mo.) has been No. 1, the Cougars have captured all first-place votes during that time... The Sooner Athletic Conference is the only league that has two teams ranked in the top 10 - No. 3 John Brown (Ark.) and No. 9 Oklahoma Baptist... There have been 44 different teams represented through 10 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... Columbia is No. 1 for the sixth-straight week, which marks the longest stretch since Robert Morris (Ill.) went seven-consecutive weeks during 2010 - 11 season... Oklahoma Baptist leads the active group of being ranked with 60-straight mentions (which dates back to March 5, 2008), followed by Montana State-Northern at 25, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 22, Xavier (La.) at 21, Lee (Tenn.) at 20 and Columbia at 19... Since the 2000 - 01 season, there have been 25 different teams to hold the No. 1 ranking, with eight 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 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. 9
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Columbia (Mo.) (11)||28-0||281|
|3||4||John Brown (Ark.)||24-4||258|
|4||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||24-3||249|
|5||5||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||25-3||248|
|6||7||Cal State San Marcos||22-4||241|
|11||19||William Carey (Miss.)||22-4||189|
|18||21||Hope International (Calif.)||23-5||126|
|19||20||LSU Shreveport (La.)||19-5||103|
|20||22||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||21-7||101|
|23||RV||Philander Smith (Ark.)||19-8||75|
|24||RV||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||17-9||68|
Others receiving votes: Arizona Christian 56; St. Thomas (Texas) 38; Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 38; Rogers State (Okla.) 20; Park (Mo.) 20; Shawnee State (Ohio) 14; Westminster (Utah) 12; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 4; West Virginia Tech 4; Texas College 3; Campbellsville (Ky.) 3.