More First-Place Votes for No. 1 Hilltoppers - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

More First-Place Votes for No. 1 Hilltoppers

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After clinching its third consecutive 30-win season while finishing off a "three-peat" in the West Virginia Conference tournament, the West Liberty University men's basketball team picked up a few more first-place votes this week to strengthen its hold on the top spot in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) weekly NCAA Division II Top 25 poll.

Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (30-1) received 13 of the 16 first-place votes in the nationwide balloting by the Division II coaches' ratings panel after sweeping to its third straight WVIAC Tournament title with a trio of double-digit wins last week.
West Liberty stretched its nation's best winning streak to 15 games – its second 15-game winning streak of the season – on Saturday by coasting to a 92-78 victory against regionally-ranked Fairmont State in the tournament final.
Defending national champion Western Washington (26-1) and fellow Great Northwest Athletic Conference power Seattle Pacific (23-3) each moved up a spot to Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, this week with Metropolitan State, Colo. (24-2) slipping from No. 2 to No. 4 on the heels of Friday night's 70-69 upset loss to Colorado State-Pueblo. Cal Poly-Pomona (24-2) stayed put at No. 5 for the second consecutive week. This week's poll included games played through Sunday.
This is the 52nd consecutive weekly poll appearance for the Hilltoppers, the longest unbroken run in the national rankings by a WVIAC school since Salem was ranked for an NCAA Division II record 76 consecutive weeks from 1997 to 2003. West Liberty is the only conference team to crack this week's Top 25 but Fairmont State also received votes.
With most of the nation's NCAA Division II teams heading into conference tournament play this week, the WVIAC champion Hilltoppers are one of only three teams to have already clinched an NCAA regional berth. The other early automatic qualifiers are unranked Bowie State, Md. (16-11), which upset its way to the CIAA Tournament title, and No. 15 Benedict, S.C. (23-6), the SIAC Tournament winner.
West Liberty is once again expected to be selected as host of the Atlantic Region tournament, which will be played on March 16, 17 and 19. The last set of NCAA Division II Atlantic Region rankings will be released tomorrow with the regional ranking committee to announce the 8-team regional field on Sunday night. The final NABC Top 25 poll of the 2012-13 season will be announced on Tuesday, March 12.
NABC DIVISION II TOP 25
Men's Basketball
(Through games of Sunday, March 3)
Team (FPV) Rec Pts Pvs
1. WEST LIBERTY (13) 30-1 397 1
2. Western Washington (3) 26-1 386 3
3. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 23-3 357 4
4. Metropolitan State, Colo. 24-2 351 2
5. Cal Poly Pomona 24-2 344 5
6. Alabama-Huntsville 22-4 320 6
7. Minnesota State 24-4 306 7
8. Drury, Mo. 22-4 290 8
9. Saint Anselm, N.H. 22-4 272 9
10. Florida Southern 21-5 241 14
11. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 22-4 228 12
12. Bellarmine, Ky. 21-6 217 15
13. Indiana, Pa. 21-5 181 16
14. Winston-Salem State, N.C. 21-6 174 10
15. Benedict, S.C. 23-6 169 18
16. Saint Leo, Fla. 20-6 160 11
17. Wisconsin-Parkside 19-7 140 13
18. Southern Indiana 20-6 131 19
19. East Stroudsburg, Pa. 21-5 111 20
20. Dominican, N.Y. 22-5 81 23
21. Augustana, S.D. 21-7 61 25
22. Fort Lewis, Colo. 19-6 46 17
23. Winona State, Minn. 24-7 44 21
24. Michigan Tech 19-7 41 NR
25. Eckerd, Fla. 19-6 30 NR
Others receiving votes: Dixie State (Utah) 26, Adams State (Colo.) 20, FAIRMONT STATE 16, UNC-Pembroke 15, Gannon (Pa.) 9, Grand Canyon (Ariz.) 9, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 7, Barton (N.C.) 4, Kentucky Wesleyan 4, Newman (Kan.) 4, Wayne State (Mich.) 4, Findlay (Ohio) 1, Fort Hays State (Kan.) 1, Harding (Ark.) 1, Livingstone (N.C.) 1.