By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the first time in school history, SAGU (Texas) boasts the No. 1 ranking in the fourth installment of the 2013 - 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25, announced by the national office Tuesday. The Lions, behind seven first-place votes and 248 total points, slide up from No. 2 last week. The movement was possible after former-No. 1 Pikeville (Ky.) lost on Jan. 16 to then-No. 18 Georgetown (Ky.).
SAGU, behind 10-straight wins, is the leader in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC). The Lions are 15-1 overall and 8-0 in the SAC, which is three-games better than anyone else in the league. On Tuesday, SAGU faces Northwood (Texas) before a Thursday date with Wayland Baptist (Texas).
No. 2 Cal State San Marcos improves one position with 239 points. The Cougars reached the 20-win threshold before any other men's college basketball team after an 86-73 victory over Simpson (Calif.) on Jan. 18.
The only undefeated team in NAIA men's basketball, No. 3 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) captured the other three first-place votes and tallied 236 points. The Lions took down then-No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) on Jan. 18, 80-65, in the NAIA Game of the Week. Freed-Hardeman takes its 14-0 record on the road to Williams Baptist (Ark.) on Thursday.
Falling down to No. 4, Pikeville brings in 227 total points. Holding steady at No. 5, Evangel (Mo.) rounds out the top five with 217 points.
After the defeat of then-No. 1 Pikeville, Georgetown claims the biggest upward climb from No. 18 to No. 11 (tie). Tumbling down 10 spots to No. 24 (tie), St. Catharine (Ky.) suffered the largest drop. The Patriots have dropped two of their last four games.
There are four newcomers since the Jan. 14 edition: No. 18 Montana Western, No. 20 Rio Grande (Ohio), No. 24 (tie) Great Falls (Mont.) and No. 24 (tie) Martin Methodist (Tenn.). Great Falls and Rio Grande claim their first Top 25 ranking, since the 2000 season. Both Montana Western and Martin Methodist held a Top 25 spot earlier this season.
Westminster (Utah) (No. 19), Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (No. 22 - tie) and Wayland Baptist (No. 24) fell out this week.
All 10 conferences and independents are represented in this week's poll. The Golden State Athletic Conference and the Mid-South Conference lead all leagues with four teams apiece.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The fifth regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 28. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) SAGU (Texas) becomes the 27th different team since 2000 to boast the No. 1 ranking... SAGU is joined by Pikeville (Ky.), Georgetown (Ky.) and Columbia (Mo.) as the teams to hold the No. 1 spot this year... The only undefeated team in Division I is No. 3-ranked Freed-Hardeman at 14-0, which also is good for the longest win streak in Division I... Through five polls (including Preseason), there have been 42 different teams ranked... Preseason No. 1 and defending national champion Georgetown looks to become the first team since Oklahoma City in 2008 to be the Preseason No. 1 and win the national championship in the same season -- the Tigers stand No. 11 (tie) this week... Last year, five programs earned the No. 1 ranking: Georgetown, Columbia, Concordia, Cumberlands (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist... Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 29-straight mentions, followed by Columbia at 27, Evangel (Mo.) at 19, Cal State San Marcos at 18 and Pikeville at 18… Former NAIA member Mountain State (W.Va.) leads this group with 48 No. 1 rankings, followed by Robert Morris (Ill.) with 24... Concordia and Georgetown are next with 12 and Columbia is at nine mentions… Robert Morris, now a NAIA Division II member in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 – 07 season... A conference change this year saw the CCAC move to NAIA Division II.
2013 – 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Jan. 21
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||SAGU (Texas) (7)||15-1||248|
|2||3||Cal State San Marcos||20-1||239|
|3||6||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (3)||14-0||236|
|T8||9||William Carey (Miss.)||11-2||189|
|17||11||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||13-3||117|
|19||25||Hope International (Calif.)||14-3||108|
|20||RV||Rio Grande (Ohio)||13-5||102|
|21||T16||Philander Smith (Ark.)||13-5||97|
|22||21||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||9-5||93|
|T24||NR||Great Falls (Mont.)||13-6||54|
|T24||14||St. Catharine (Ky.)||11-6||54|
|T24||RV||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||10-5||54|
Others receiving votes: LSU Shreveport (La.) 41; Oklahoma City 34; Westminster (Utah) 29; Faulkner (Ala.) 9; Graceland (Iowa) 7; Life (Ga.) 3; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 3.