The top five teams held from the Dec. 12 poll, although with shuffling in the Nos. 2 through 4 slots. No. 2 Briar Cliff (Iowa) and No. 3 Davenport (Mich.) are each up one spot with 352 and 351 points, respectively. No. 4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) slides back two places with 347 points due to losses to Biola (Calif.) on Dec. 29 and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) on Dec. 30. No. 5 Morningside (Iowa) remains in the same slot after collecting 324 points.
Two-time defending champion and preseason No. 1 Northwestern (Iowa) made the biggest leap this week by vaulting 10 spots to No. 10. The Red Raiders lost four of seven early in the season but have rallied, winning their last nine games. That streak includes victories over then-No. 8 Hastings (Neb.), 80-68, on Dec. 17 and over then-No. 7 Concordia (Neb.), 74-67, on Jan. 4. St. Thomas (Fla.) made the next biggest leap among ranked teams, going from No. 23 to No. 17. In their last two outings, wins over Johnson & Wales (Fla.) and Northwood (Fla.), the Bobcats have triumphed by a combined score of 145-88.
Meanwhile, Kansas Wesleyan, formerly No. 12, experienced the biggest drop as it fell from the poll completely after losing three-straight. The only other team to fall from the rankings was Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), who was ranked No. 18 in the Dec. 12 poll.
Kansas Wesleyan and Cardinal Stritch are replaced by No. 20 Friends (Kan.) and No. 22 Southwestern (Kan.). Friends is now 6-0 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) play after a 64-60 win over Bethel (Kan.) on Jan. 5 and a 82-64 win over McPherson (Kan.) on Jan. 7. Southwestern sits in second place in the KCAC with its only league loss coming to Friends, 86-76, on Dec. 10.
The Great Plains Athletic Conference placed the most teams of any league in the poll with five: Briar Cliff, Morningside, No. 6 Concordia, Northwestern and No. 13 Hastings. The Mid-Central College Conference was second with four ranked teams: Indiana Wesleyan, No. 8 Bethel (Ind.), No. 16 Grace (Ind.) and No. 23 Marian (Ind.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The next poll will be announced on Jan. 16.
Notes: (All information as of the 1999 – 2000 season) Indiana Wesleyan has now appeared at the top of the poll on 18 occasions, ranking second all-time to Morningside’s (Iowa) 19 No. 1 rankings … Hastings (Neb.) has appeared at No. 1 a total of 13 times, followed by Saint Francis (Ind.) and Davenport (Mich.), who have both made a dozen No. 1 appearances … There have been 14 different teams to garner the No. 1 ranking all-time … Northwestern made 33-consesecutive appearances in the top 10 until falling out of the rankings in this season’s first regular-season poll … The Red Raiders have now been placed in the top 10 of 87 polls all-time … Three schools have spent an entire season at No. 1: Morningside in 2008-09, College of the Ozarks (Mo.) in 2007-08 and Saint Francis (Ind.) in 1999-2000 … In the last 12 years, five teams that have been rated No. 1 in the preseason have gone on to win the national championship.
|RANK||PVS||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Indiana Wesleyan (14)||17-1||374|
|2||3||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||16-3||352|
|4||2||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||14-3||347|
|9||11||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||13-4||267|
|15||14||Grand View (Iowa)||12-5||218|
|17||23||St. Thomas (Fla.)||12-4||161|
|18||16||Saint Mary (Neb.)||12-4||160|
Others receiving votes: Oregon Tech 73; Ave Maria (Fla.) 58; Taylor (Ind.) 50; Kansas Wesleyan 37; Cornerstone (Mich.) 34; Mount Marty (S.D.) 30; College of Idaho 16; Saint Francis (Ind.) 12; Cal State San Marcos 8; Northwestern Ohio 7; Warner Pacific (Ore.) 6; Siena Heights (Mich.) 4; Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) 4; Huntington (Ind.) 1; Bluefield (Va.) 1; Tennessee Wesleyan 1; Milligan (Tenn.) 1.