By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The unanimous selection at No. 1 is Talladega (Ala.) in the 10th edition of the 2014 - 15 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Tornadoes hold the top distinction for the third-straight poll with all 10 first-place votes and 250 points. This marks the first time Talladega earned all the first-place nods.
At the time of the rankings period, Talladega held a 26-3 overall record and won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a 13-0 mark. The Tornadoes are gearing up for the league’s postseason tournament in New Orleans, La., from Friday through Sunday.
The rest of the top-five teams make subtle movement. No. 2 Hope International (Calif.) improved two positions with 237 total points. With 235 points, No. 3 Cal State San Marcos slid up one spot. After two-straight weeks at No. 2, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) fell back to fourth with 226 points.
No. 5 Dalton State (Ga.) holds its highest position in school history, posting 217 points. The Roadrunners won their first-ever Southern State Athletic Conference (SSAC) regular-season title with a 26-3 overall record. They enter the SSAC tournament on a nine-game winning streak.
There was a significant amount of movement within the poll with 21 of 25 teams shifting around. LSU Alexandria (La.), champions of the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) regular season, improved a poll-best five positions. Conversely, No. 22 Evangel (Mo.) dropped down six spots for the worst fall.
No. 25 LSU Shreveport (La.) hops into the Top 25 for the first time since Jan. 6, 2015 and the fourth time overall this season. Winners of four-straight games, the Pilots take a No. 6 seed into the RRAC tournament Tuesday to face Wiley (Texas).
Cumberlands (Ky.) (No. 25) drops out this week after six-straight rankings.
All 10 conferences and Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) are represented in this week's poll. With four ranked teams, the Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference each claim the most out of any league. The Mid-South Conference and SSAC 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 final regular-season edition of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 – used to decide the at-large teams for the upcoming Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship – is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 at 3 p.m. CST. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) Talladega (Ala.) is the fourth different program this year to hold the No.1 ranking, joining Vanguard (Calif.), Cal State San Marcos and Campbellsville (Ky.)… The Tornadoes now have claimed eight mentions in the top-five this year – prior to 2014-15, their highest ranking was No. 6… There have been 40 different teams ranked during the 2014-15 season, with 12 of those programs being ranked in all 11 polls (including Preseason) – last year, 47 different teams found themselves in the Top 25… This week, No. 6 Pikeville (Ky.) had its streak of a top-five ranking halted at 22-straight polls dating back to the 2013-14 season… Preseason No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Vanguard (Calif.) fell off the Top 25 radar prior to the first regular-season edition… No. 18 Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 48-straight mentions, followed by Cal State San Marcos and Pikeville at 36… 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 – March 3
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Talladega (Ala.) (10)||26-3||250|
|2||T4||Hope International (Calif.)||26-2||237|
|3||T4||Cal State San Marcos||26-3||235|
|5||6||Dalton State (Ga.)||26-3||217|
|9||10||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||25-4||182|
|13||14||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||24-5||154|
|14||12||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||21-9||148|
|17||17||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||23-4||129|
|20||22||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||23-7||95|
|25||RV||LSU Shreveport (La.)||21-9||39|
Others Receiving Votes: Bethel (Tenn.) 38; Cumberlands (Ky.) 37; Wiley (Texas) 36; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 31; Philander Smith (Ark.) 20; Missouri Valley 17; Faulkner (Ala.) 15.