By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cal State San Marcos is back in the No. 1 position, knocking Campbellsville (Ky.) from the perch in the 2014 - 15 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. In the fifth regular-season edition, the Cougars landed 246 total points and 5-of-10 first-place votes. Campbellsville was the No. 1-ranked team for the previous three-straight polls.
The Cougars held the No. 1 spot in the first regular-season installment back on Dec. 9, 2014. Today marks the ninth all-time No. 1 ranking in Cal State San Marcos history. The Cougars picked up win No. 20 – tying No. 2 Pikeville (Ky.) for the fastest team to reach 20 wins – with a 100-91 defeat of Northern New Mexico on Jan. 24. Cal State San Marcos has a break until Feb. 4 when it faces The Master’s (Calif.) prior to a tilt against No. 14 Concordia (Calif.) on Feb. 7.
Moving up one position, Pikeville tallied 241 total points and two first-place nods. The Bears are tied with Talladega (Ala.) for Division I’s longest win streak at 14-straight games. Ranked in the top-five in all six polls this year, Pikeville heads to Cumberland (Tenn.) Thursday.
Snatching the remaining three first-place votes, No. 3 Hope International (Calif.) checks in with 238 points. The Royals are tied with No. 10 Arizona Christian for first-place in the Golden State Athletic Conference. These two teams do battle on Tuesday in Fullerton, Calif.
Moving up two spots with 224 points, No. 4 Talladega is enjoying its third top-five mention of the season. The Tornadoes take their 14-game win streak into a match with Tougaloo (Miss.) on Saturday. Talladega stands 19-3 overall and locks down the No. 1 spot in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.
No. 5 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) claimed 216 total points. The Lions recently defeated St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.), 100-77, on Jan. 24 for its 17th win of the year. Moving up two spots this week, Freed-Hardeman is boasting its highest ranking since a No. 5 spot on Feb. 18, 2014.
No. 17 MidAmerica Christian (Okla.), one week after its first ranking in 2014-15, vaults up eight positions for the best improvement within the poll. The Evangels are on a roll with six-straight wins, including a 92-75 upset over then-No. 8 Oklahoma Baptist on Jan. 24.
With that loss for Oklahoma Baptist, the Bison tumble down 12 positions to No. 20 for the farthest fall.
No. 22 Bethel (Tenn.) makes a splash with its first Top 25 ranking this year, and first one since Feb. 26, 2013 (No. 25). The Wildcats have won five-straight games to improve to 16-4 on the year. They recently took down then-No. 5 Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 74-71, on Jan. 24.
William Carey (Miss.) (No. 18) was the lone team to drop out of the Top 25. The Crusaders had their 30-straight polls of being ranked snapped, which dates back to Dec. 4, 2012.
All 10 conferences and Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) are represented in this week's poll. With four ranked teams, the Mid-South Conference claims the most out of any league: Pikeville, No. 6 Campbellsville, No. 14 (tie) Georgetown and No. 23 Cumberlands (Ky.). Three other conferences landed three Top 25 teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and unaffiliated groups. The sixth regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Feb. 3. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) After suffering an 88-76 loss to then-No. 17 Georgetown (Ky.) in the NAIA Game of the Week on Jan. 22, the previous No. 1 Campbellsville (Ky.) Tigers fall back to No. 6 this week… With three teams receiving at least one first-place vote, this marks the first time since Dec. 9, 2014 when that occurred… There have been 38 different teams ranked during the 2014-15 season – last year, 47 different teams found themselves in the Top 25… No. 2 Pikeville (Ky.) has held a top-five ranking in 18-straight polls dating back to the first regular-season edition of the 2013-14 season… In six Top 25 polls this year (including Preseason), there have been three different No. 1-ranked programs: Vanguard (Calif.), Cal State San Marcos and Campbellsville (Ky.)… Preseason No. 1-ranked Vanguard maintains status in the “receiving votes” category with eight points this week… Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 43-straight mentions, followed by Cal State San Marcos and Pikeville at 31… There have been 31 different teams since 2000 to hold the No. 1 position... Former NAIA member Mountain State (W.Va.) leads the all-time charts with 48 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by NAIA Division II member Robert Morris (Ill.) with 24... Concordia and Georgetown are next with 12, Columbia and Cal State San Marcos at nine No. 1 recognitions… 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.
2014 – 15 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Jan. 27
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Cal State San Marcos (5)||20-2||246|
|2||3||Pikeville (Ky.) (2)||20-1||241|
|3||4||Hope International (Calif.) (3)||18-1||238|
|8||13||Dalton State (Ga.)||16-2||196|
|9||14||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||16-2||185|
|11||11||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||14-2||164|
|12||19||Great Falls (Mont.)||17-4||161|
|T14||5||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||17-3||142|
|17||25||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||14-6||112|
|24||23||Philander Smith (Ark.)||13-5||60|
Others Receiving Votes: William Carey (Miss.) 51; Westmont (Calif.) 37; Montana Tech 33; Missouri Valley 14; SAGU (Texas) 14; Vanguard (Calif.) 8; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 4; Central Methodist (Mo.) 3.