2014-15 NAIA Division II Women?s Basketball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? Final (Feb. 24)
By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Despite a thrilling 80-72 loss against No. 3 Concordia (Neb.) in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) tournament championship, Morningside (Iowa) closes the regular season ranked atop the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Mustangs, who collected eight first-place votes and 369 points, have listed atop the poll 31 times since the 1999-2000 season, including their current run of 11-straight.
The 32 national qualifiers for the 2015 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm, will be released today at 3 p.m. CST. The official championship bracket will be announced via a live show at 7 p.m. on www.NAIANetwork.com.
Morningside (32-1) had previously won 32-straight en route to the GPAC regular-season title and an automatic berth into the national championship field. The loss also ended the Mustangs’ school-record 39-game home court winning streak. Morningside had not fallen inside the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center since Jan. 9, 2013.
Davenport (Mich.) collected the final six first-place votes and 366 points to lock down the No. 2 spot for the 11th time in 12 polls. The Panthers enter the national championship with an unblemished 31-0 record after downing Siena Heights (Mich.), 62-37, in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament championship game.
Concordia claimed the No. 3 spot with 351 points, while No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (338 points) and No. 5 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (324 points) round out the top five.
Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament champions College of Saint Mary (Neb.) jumped a poll-high four places to No. 14, while No. 21 Robert Morris slid five places from No. 16 after being upset in its first game of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
No. 25 Southwestern (Kan.) is the only newcomer in this installment. The Moundbuilders were last ranked on Dec. 3, 2014.
Twelve conferences/Association of Independent Institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four teams from the GPAC, CCAC and Crossroads League.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions. For the entire 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
Notes: (All information dates back to the 1999 – 2000 season) There was minimal movement at the top of the poll as only No. 5 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan swapped places from last week… Two Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) members – No. 1 Morningside (Iowa) and No. 3 Concordia (Neb.) remain in the top three… The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Crossroads League both have two schools in the top seven… Preseason No. 1 Saint Francis (Ind.) held steady to No. 9 this week… Indiana Wesleyan has appeared at the top of the poll on 35 occasions, the most of any program, followed by Morningside with 31 and Saint Francis with 24… Fourteen different teams have earned the No. 1 ranking all-time… Three schools have spent an entire season ranked No. 1: Morningside in 2008-09, College of the Ozarks (Mo.) in 2007-08 and Saint Francis in 1999-2000… In the last 13 years, six teams that were ranked No. 1 in the preseason have gone on to win the national championship, with the last being Northwestern (Iowa) in 2011 and 2012… Morningside (141) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (128) are now joined by No. 2 Davenport (Mich.) (101) as being the only programs ranked in the Top 25 for over 100 consecutive weeks… Since 2007, the only national champions to hail from a conference other than the GPAC are Indiana Wesleyan (2007, 2013) and Saint Francis (2014).
2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Final (March 4)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (8)||32-1||369|
|2||2||Davenport (Mich.) (6)||31-0||366|
|4||4||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||29-3||338|
|5||6||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||27-4||324|
|9||9||Saint Francis (Ind.)||23-9||271|
|13||14||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||23-8||216|
|14||18||College of Saint Mary (Neb.)||26-6||210|
|19||19||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||23-9||159|
|20||20||Siena Heights (Mich.)||26-7||157|
|21||16||Robert Morris (Ill.)||21-6||150|
|22||23||St. Thomas (Fla.)||27-4||134|
|23||21||Purdue Calumet (Ind.)||21-8||113|
|24||24||Rio Grande (Ohio)||25-7||81|
Others Receiving Votes: Southeastern (Fla.) 66; Tabor (Kan.) 61; Union (Ky.) 34; Valley City State (N.D.) 27; Madonna (Mich.) 14; Ashford (Iowa) 13; Asbury (Ky.) 10; Oregon Tech 10; Webber International (Fla.) 5; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 4; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 4; Bryan (Tenn.) 3.
^ 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Feb. 24)