2014 - 15 NAIA Division II Men?s Basketball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll ? (March 25)
By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Coming off its third-ever national championship, Cornerstone (Mich.) holds the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The top billing is the Golden Eagles’ first since Feb. 1, 2005 and seventh overall. The unanimous No. 1 selection with 11 first-place votes, Cornerstone gathered 281 total points.
Cornerstone – as the No. 3 seed – defeated No. 5-seed Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) by a 66-45 score on March 17 at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship in Point Lookout, Mo. Finishing the year 33-5, the Golden Eagles now are tied with two other programs for the most national titles in the 24-history of NAIA Division II. Cornerstone won by an average margin of 15-points during the run to the title in five games behind NABC/NAIA Division II Coach of the Year Kim Elders.
With 272 points, No. 2 Dakota Wesleyan holds its highest ranking in school history. The Tigers were the national runners-up and prior to this year’s national championship, never advanced past the championship second round.
National semifinalists – No. 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 4 Davenport (Mich.) – posted 261 and 253 points, respectively, in the Top 25.
Formerly ranked No. 1 for all 12 polls during the 2014-15 regular season, Indiana Wesleyan dips down the No. 5 ranking with 247 points. The Wildcats tripped up in the quarterfinal round against Davenport.
No. 9 Southern Oregon, jumping up 12 positions, was the best improvement from last poll. Conversely, No. 14 Bellevue (Neb.) dipped down seven spots for the largest drop.
Amongst all 14 conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions, Cascade Collegiate Conference, Crossroads League and Great Plains Athletic Conference all landed four teams each in the Top 25. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference are represented by a trio of schools.
There were no newcomers in the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES (All information dates back to 1991 – 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) The seven all-time No. 1 rankings for Cornerstone (Mich.) is 14th most on the all-time list…The Golden Eagles end the season on a 16-game winning streak… Eleven conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions are represented in the postseason Top 25… No. 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) recorded the most wins of any NAIA Division II team with a 35-2 mark…Through all 13 polls (including Preseason Top 25), 43 different teams were ranked this season – there were 45 different programs last year… Fifteen teams held a position in all 13 polls this year… Bethel’s (Ind.) 35 all-time No. 1 mentions tops the list, followed by 21 by Embry-Riddle, 15 by Indiana Wesleyan and Oregon Tech and 14 former Division II member MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)… Davenport (Mich.) now holds the active streak of being consecutively ranked with 76-straight mentions… There have been 36 teams to be ranked No. 1 all-time… Indiana Wesleyan, Jamestown and Embry-Riddle are the only Division II programs to last the entire season ranked in the No. 1 position – Jamestown did it during the 2003-04 campaign (11 polls) and Embry-Riddle’s run was during 2000-01 (nine polls).
2014 – 15 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll – (March 25)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||3||Cornerstone (Mich.) (11)||33-5||281|
|2||5||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||32-5||272|
|6||4||College of Idaho||30-6||236|
|7||9||Saint Francis (Ind.)||27-8||226|
|10||11||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||27-5||191|
|15||16||Warner Pacific (Ore.)||26-8||157|
|17||20||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||25-10||147|
|19||13||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||24-8||118|
|21||17||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||25-9||106|
|24||22||St. Francis (Ill.)||23-10||83|
|25||25||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||22-11||67|
Others receiving votes: Tabor (Kan.) 48; Cal Maritime 46; Jamestown (N.D.) 36; Dakota State (S.D.) 20; Southeastern (Fla.) 17; St. Thomas (Fla.) 15; Brescia (Ky.) 8; Milligan (Tenn.) 5; Northern New Mexico 5; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 3.
^ ranking from March 4, 2015