By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oklahoma Baptist becomes the third different team in the last three weeks to boast the No. 1 ranking in the 2011 - 12 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the NAIA announced Monday. The Bison moved up one spot after the reigning No. 1 team, Shorter (Ga.), fell on Feb. 13. The point total is a close one in the ninth installment as Oklahoma Baptist stands with 310 points and nine first-place votes and Shorter is at 302 with three first-place nods.
Oklahoma Baptist claimed the outright Sooner Athletic Conference title, a berth in the national championship and the top seed in the league tournament with a 78-68 win over Lubbock Christian (Texas) on Feb. 18. The Bison look to extend a six-game winning streak on Thursday against Mid-America Christian (Okla.) followed by a road game at Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Shorter suffered an 87-84 defeat at the hands of then-No. 4 Southern Poly (Ga.). However, the Hawks still won their first conference title in the sport since 1977 with a 90-63 victory over Brewton-Parker (Ga.) on Feb. 18. That victory handed Shorter the States Athletic Conference East Division title. The Hawks have two regular-season games remaining, first with a home battle against No. 16 Lee (Tenn.) on Thursday.
Holding at the third position, Robert Morris (Ill.) gathered 294 total points this week. One of the biggest movers this week, Concordia (Calif.) springs up to No. 4 after a ranking at No. 11 last week. Holding the top spot in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) standings, the Eagles have won their last four games, including triumphs over nationally-ranked Westmont (Calif.) and Azusa Pacific (Calif.).
Southern Poly falls one position to fifth with 268 points. The drop occurred after Southern Poly lost by 25 points at Lee, which happened three days after the upset of No. 1 Shorter.
No. 12 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) and No. 20 Campbellsville (Ky.) make a splash this week. The Sea Lions, who have made some noise in the GSAC, are ranked for the first time since March 5, 2008 (No. 25). They stand in second-place in the GSAC with two more games on the docket. Campbellsville leaps back in with its last ranking on Jan. 16.
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (No. 21) and Cumberlands (Ky.) (No. 24) are this week's teams to drop out of the Top 25.
Eleven of the 12 of the conferences and unaffiliated groups are represented this week The Sooner Athletic Conference and GSAC each place four teams in the Top 25. The Mid-South Conference, Red River Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference each landed a trio of ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The next Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Feb. 27.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 - 01 season) Through 10 polls (including preseason) this year, there have been five different teams to boast the No. 1 ranking (Concordia (Calif.), Oklahoma Baptist, Pikeville (Ky.), Robert Morris (Ill.) and Shorter (Ga.))... There have been 25 different teams to be ranked the top team, and within that group, 16 teams with multiple No. 1 rankings... No. 2 Shorter leads the NAIA with 26 wins... Shorter had never been ranked inside the top 10 prior to this year... There have been 40 different teams to be ranked at some point this season... No. 9 Mountain State (W.Va.) boasts the longest active stretch of consecutive rankings with 143-straight weeks; No. 13 Georgetown (Ky.) is next with 75, followed by No. 11 Texas Wesleyan at 52 and No. 1 Oklahoma Baptist at 47... Mountain State has the most No. 1 rankings since 2000 - the Cougars have been No. 1 a total of 48 times since 2000, which marks the highest total of any program in that span... Robert Morris is second with 24 No. 1s and Concordia (Calif.) and Georgetown have sported 10 top mentions ... Robert Morris is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 - 07 season.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 – 12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Oklahoma Baptist (9)||24-3||310|
|2||1||Shorter (Ga.) (3)||26-2||302|
|3||3||Robert Morris (Ill.)||24-3||294|
|5||4||Southern Poly (Ga.)||22-5||268|
|6||6||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||22-6||261|
|7||7||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||21-6||248|
|8||16||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||18-8||231|
|9||9||Mountain State (W.Va.)||21-7||230|
|10||5||Rogers State (Okla.)||21-6||228|
|12||RV||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||18-7||188|
|15||13||John Brown (Ark.)||22-6||182|
|19||19||LSU Shreveport (La.)||19-7||117|
|23||23||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||20-8||87|
|24||17||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||21-7||85|