By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cal State San Marcos locks down the No. 1 ranking in the 10th regular-season edition of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. Bolstered by Division I's longest win streak at 19-straight games (tie), the Cougars own the top spot for the sixth-straight week. The rest of the top five teams hold from last week: No. 2 Pikeville (Ky.), No. 3 William Carey (Miss.), No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 5 SAGU (Texas).
The 11th and final regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced at 3 p.m. CST on Wednesday, March 12, along with the official 32 National Championship qualifiers. The official championship bracket will be announced live via a selection show at 8 p.m. Follow along with all of the conference tournaments by clicking here.
Cal State San Marcos gathered nine-of-10 first-place votes and 250 total points. With a 28-1 overall record, the Cougars are the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Association of Independent Institutions postseason tournament. They will play the winner of the West Virginia Tech / Allen (Pa.) contest on March 8.
With 242 total points and the remaining first-place vote, Pikeville is the No. 2 team for the fifth-straight time. The Bears have already earned an automatic berth to the 2014 National Championship as winners of the Mid-South Conference (MSC) regular-season title. The No. 1-seeded Bears take on Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Thursday in the MSC quarterfinals.
Tied with Cal State San Marcos for the longest active win streak, No. 3 William Carey stands with 234 points in the poll. The Crusaders have a first round bye in the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament and play on Thursday.
No. 4 Columbia posted 226 points and will take a 28-2 record into the American Midwest Conference tournament.
Fifth-ranked SAGU, who finished with 218 points, is next in action in the quarterfinals of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday.
Both No. 17 St. Gregory's (Okla.) and No. 21 Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) enjoy the best improvement within the poll, leaping up three positions. Conversely, No. 24 Evangel (Mo.) suffered a five-spot drop from last week.
All four of the newcomers this week previously landed a Top 25 mention at least once earlier this season: No. 18 Wiley (Texas), No. 22 Wayland Baptist (Texas), No. 23 Hope International (Calif.) and No. 25 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.).
The following schools fell out of the Top 25: Oklahoma City (No. 17); Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) (No. 22), St. Catharine (Ky.) (No. 23) and Biola (Calif.) (No. 25).
All 10 conferences and independents are represented in this week's poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) Cal State San Marcos, No. 6 Emmanuel (Ga.) and William Carey (Miss.) each boast the longest active win streak at 19-straight victories... Eighteen teams in the Top 25 this week shifted two-or-fewer positions... In the last five polls, No. 1 Cal State San Marcos has tallied nine first-place votes... The Nos. 2 - 5 ranked teams are automatic qualifiers for the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship, March 19-25... The combo of No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 8 Freed-Hardman (Tenn.) out of the American Midwest Conference have now been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last eight polls... This year, there have been six different No. 1-ranked teams: Cal State San Marcos, Freed-Hardeman, SAGU (Texas), Pikeville (Ky.), Georgetown (Ky.) and Columbia... Twenty-nine different teams have held the No. 1 ranking since 2000... Through 11 polls (including Preseason), there have been 44 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 are currently ranked No. 16... 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 35-straight mentions, followed by Columbia at 33, Cal State San Marcos at 24 and Pikeville at 24… 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 – March 4
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cal State San Marcos (9)||28-1||250|
|2||2||Pikeville (Ky.) (1)||27-2||242|
|3||3||William Carey (Miss.)||24-2||234|
|11||10||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||21-7||174|
|13||12||LSU Shreveport (La.)||21-7||155|
|17||20||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||21-8||112|
|22||RV||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||21-9||83|
|23||NR||Hope International (Calif.)||20-9||78|
|25||RV||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||20-10||63|