By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Columbia (Mo.) holds the No. 1 ranking for the seventh-straight week in the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. Finishing the regular season at a perfect 30-0, the Cougars become the first team since Georgetown (Ky.) in 2007 - 08 to head into postseason play undefeated. Columbia ended with 281 total points and 11 first-place votes in the 10th regular-season edition.
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. Prior to that, the 32 qualifiers and 11th regular season Top 25 poll will be announced by 4 p.m.
With the second-most wins in the NAIA at 28-1, No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) captured 272 points. The Flames, who are the No. 1 seed in the East Division in the upcoming Southern States Athletic Conference tournament, is ranked second for the sixth-straight week.
For the second-consecutive poll, No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 4 John Brown (Ark.) flip-flopped positions from last week. John Brown's 73-48 loss to then-No. 9 Oklahoma Baptist in the NAIA Game of the Week coupled with Lindsey Wilson going 12-2 in its last 14 games forced the switch. Both clubs currently stand as top seeds in their respective conferences.
Capturing the No. 1 seed in the Frontier Conference tournament, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) holds at the No. 5 position. With 242 total points, the Warriors have won five-of-their-last-six contests.
With a seven-spot improvement to No. 15, Montana Western makes the biggest jump this week. Conversely, No. 25 Bethel (Tenn.) has lost two-straight to fall 10 spots.
No. 24 Arizona Christian is back in after a one-week absence. The FireStorm have won four-of-their-last-six games to hold the No. 3 seed in the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament.
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (No. 20) was replaced this week in the Top 25.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences or unaffiliated groups with four Top 25 programs: Lee, No. 12 William Carey (Miss.), No. 14 Emmanuel (Ga.) and No. 19 Faulkner (Ala.). 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 final regular-season Top 25 will be announced on March 6. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) For the last seven-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. 4 John Brown (Ark.) and No. 8 Oklahoma Baptist... There have been 44 different teams represented through 11 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 seventh-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 61-straight mentions (which dates back to March 5, 2008), followed by Montana State-Northern at 26, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 23, Xavier (La.) at 22, Lee (Tenn.) at 21 and Columbia at 20... 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 and Columbia both 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. 10
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 – 13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Columbia (Mo.) (11)||30-0||281|
|3||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||26-3||263|
|4||3||John Brown (Ark.)||25-5||244|
|5||5||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||26-4||242|
|7||6||Cal State San Marcos||23-5||223|
|12||11||William Carey (Miss.)||23-4||193|
|17||18||Hope International (Calif.)||24-6||131|
|18||24||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||20-9||123|
|21||19||LSU Shreveport (La.)||21-6||89|
|22||23||Philander Smith (Ark.)||21-8||79|
Others receiving votes: Concordia (Calif.) 62; Westminster (Utah) 47; Science & Arts (Okla.) 37; St. Thomas (Texas) 33; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 29; Robert Morris (Ill.) 13; Campbellsville (Ky.) 6; Park (Mo.) 6.