2014 - 15 NAIA Division I Men?s Basketball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? FINAL

2014 - 15 NAIA Division I Men?s Basketball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? FINAL

By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hope International (Calif.) is the new No. 1 in the final regular season edition of the 2014 - 15 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Royals claimed 9-of-10 first-place votes and 250 points to earn the program's first-ever No. 1 ranking.

Hope International improved to 29-2 after winning the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament championship on Tuesday evening, a 75-61 victory over fellow Top 10 team Concordia (Calif.). The Royals also won the league's regular-season championship with a 14-2 record.

After spending the last three weeks in the top spot, Talladega (Ala.) slipped one position to No. 2 in this week's poll. The Tornadoes also doubled up as regular season and tournament champions, capturing the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference crown on Sunday to improve to 29-4 overall.

Two of the next three positions remained unchanged as Cal State San Marcos and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) continued in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively. Campbellsville (Ky.) moved up two positions to round out the top five after winning the Mid-South Conference tournament championship.

Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) enjoyed the greatest upward movement in this week's rankings, climbing seven spots to share the No. 13 position with Mid-America Christian (Okla.). Conversely, Columbia (Mo.) and Montana-Western each dropped three places from the prior poll.

No. 24 Cumberlands (Ky.) climbed back into the Top 25 after falling out during last week's rankings. The Patriots had been a part of six-straight rankings before dropping out of the Top 25. LSU Shreveport is the only ranked team from a week ago to fall out of this week's Top 25.

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 poll will be used to decide the at-large teams for the upcoming Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship. The entire field and bracket will be released on Wednesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. CST. For more information on the polls, click here.

NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) Hope International is the fifth different program this year to hold the No.1 ranking, joining Vanguard (Calif.), Cal State San Marcos, Talladega (Ala.) and Campbellsville (Ky.)… The Royals have been ranked in the top 10 in each poll this season – prior to 2014-15, their highest ranking was No. 12… 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… Last week, No. 7 Pikeville (Ky.) had its streak of a top-five rankings 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. 19 Xavier (La.) leads the active group of being ranked with 49-straight mentions, followed by Cal State San Marcos and Pikeville at 37… There have been 32 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 11

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2014-15 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 2 Hope International (Calif.) (9) 29-2 250
2 1 Talladega (Ala.) (1) 29-4 240
3 3 Cal State San Marcos 28-3 234
4 4 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 29-3 227
5 7 Campbellsville (Ky.) 28-5 219
6 5 Dalton State (Ga.) 27-4 204
7 6 Pikeville (Ky.) 26-5 193
7 9 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 28-4 193
9 7 Concordia (Calif.) 26-7 189
10 10 LSU Alexandria 23-3 180
11 13 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 27-5 168
12 11 Georgetown (Ky.) 25-7 152
13 14 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 23-10 149
13 20 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 25-7 149
15 12 Columbia (Mo.) 26-6 142
16 16 Benedictine (Kan.) 24-8 130
17 17 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 24-5 119
18 15 Montana Western 22-9 110
19 18 Xavier (La.) 24-9 106
20 18 Arizona Christian 24-8 96
21 21 Westmont (Calif.) 21-10 84
22 22 Evangel (Mo.) 20-12 79
23 23 Oklahoma City 18-8 77
24 RV Cumberlands (Ky.) 22-10 51
25 24 SAGU (Texas) 22-10 42
 

Others Receiving Votes: Missouri Valley 41; Wiley (Texas) 40; LSU Shreveport (La.) 31; Bethel (Tenn.) 28; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 23; Philander Smith (Ark.) 17; WVU Tech 9; Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 6; William Carey (Miss.) 6.