By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cal State San Marcos lands on top of the 2014 - 15 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the third-consecutive week, the national office announced Tuesday. With nine-of-10 first-place votes and 250 points, the Cougars won its 22nd game of the year after a 74-65 victory against then-No. 8 Concordia (Calif.) on Feb. 7 in the NAIA Game of the Week.
With a 22-2 overall record and an eight-game winning streak, Cal State San Marcos continues to be one of the hottest NAIA teams. The victory over Concordia marked the Cougars 25th-straight home win. The Cougars are scheduled to play five more regular-season games prior to the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) tournament March 6-8 in Montgomery, W.Va. The Cougars next face NCAA Division II McMurry (Texas) on Thursday.
Earning the final first-place tally and its highest position in school history, No. 2 Talladega (Ala.) checks in with 237 points. The Tornadoes are tied for the most wins in the NAIA (22) and hold the longest active win streak at 16-straight games – the 17th win in that streak occurred Monday after the weekly rankings process. Talladega ranks No. 5 in the NAIA in scoring margin (+18.8) and in four of its last six contests, the team has won by at least 10 points.
No. 3 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) slides up one position with 231 points. The Lions own a 2.5-game lead in the American Midwest Conference standings with five more contests remaining.
Also improving one spot is No. 4 Pikeville (Ky.) with 230 points. No. 5 Hope International (Calif.) drops down three positions from last week, this time earning 219 points.
No. 14 LSU Alexandria (La.) continues its upward trend as the Generals are the biggest mover up five spots this week. Ranked for the first time in history in the Jan. 13th edition, LSU Alexandria has won six games in-a-row and now holds first place in the Red River Athletic Conference with a 12-2 mark.
No. 19 Bethel (Tenn.) tumbled down 11 spots for the largest fall. The Wildcats had their seven-game winning streak stopped Feb. 5 against unranked William Carey (Miss.).
No. 23 Oklahoma City earns its first Top 25 mark of the 2014-15 season. The Stars, who are 12-6 on the year and winners in six-straight games, were last ranked on Feb. 25, 2014 in the No. 17 position.
After two losses last week, Oklahoma Baptist (No. 17) drops out of the Top 25. The Bison were ranked in each of the previous seven polls this year.
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 and Sooner Athletic Conference claim the most out of any league. The Golden State Athletic Conference and SSAC each landed a trio of Top 25 teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and unaffiliated groups. The eighth regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Feb. 17. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) Just two programs – No. 1 Cal State San Marcos and No. 6 Campbellsville (Ky.) – are the only ones to hold their Top 25 position from last week… In the last 18 polls, No. 1-ranked Cal State San Marcos has boasted a top-three position, including 11 No. 1 spots… No. 2 Talladega (Ala.) now owns five top-five rankings this year – prior to 2014-15, its highest ranking was No. 6… There have been 39 different teams ranked during the 2014-15 season, with 12 of those programs being ranked in all eight polls (including Preseason) – last year, 47 different teams found themselves in the Top 25… No. 4 Pikeville (Ky.) has held a top-five ranking in 20-straight polls dating back to the first regular-season edition of the 2013-14 season… There have been three different No. 1-ranked programs this season: Vanguard (Calif.), Cal State San Marcos and Campbellsville (Ky.)… Preseason No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Vanguard fell off the radar this week and earned no points… No. 17 Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 45-straight mentions, followed by Cal State San Marcos and Pikeville at 33… 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, Cal State San Marcos at 11 and Columbia 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 – Feb. 10
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cal State San Marcos (9)||22-2||250|
|2||3||Talladega (Ala.) (1)||22-3||237|
|5||2||Hope International (Calif.)||21-2||219|
|8||12||Dalton State (Ga.)||19-3||191|
|T12||16||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||21-3||154|
|16||14||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||16-8||130|
|18||21||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||19-4||117|
|20||20||Great Falls (Mont.)||17-6||98|
|21||22||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||16-4||88|
Others Receiving Votes: Westmont (Calif.) 53; Philander Smith (Ark.) 37; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 35; William Carey (Miss.) 21; Central Methodist (Mo.) 12; Oklahoma Baptist 11; Missouri Valley 10; Wiley (Texas) 10; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 4.