Hilltoppers Move Up to No. 1 in National Top 25 - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Hilltoppers Move Up to No. 1 in National Top 25

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The unbeaten West Liberty University men's basketball team found itself in a familiar spot Tuesday afternoon when the Hilltoppers moved up to No. 1 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) weekly NCAA Division II Top 25 poll.
West Liberty (5-0), which hasn't played since a 128-69 romp past West Virginia State on Nov. 25, received 12 of the 16 first-place votes and 391 points to move up from the No. 2 spot it had occupied in recent weeks. This marks the fourth consecutive year Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers have been ranked No. 1 in the nation at some point during the season and is the 21st No. 1 ranking for the Black and Gold. It's also the 28th consecutive top 5 ranking for the Hilltoppers, who have won 116 of their last 120 regular-season games.
West Liberty finished the 2011 and 2013 campaigns as the unanimous No. 1 team in the nationwide coaches' balloting and has now been ranked in 53 consecutive NABC Top 25s dating back to the 2009-10 season. That's the longest active streak in the nation.
After beating three NCAA Division I opponents in the Preseason NIT, Metro State (Colo.) was knocked out of the No. 1 spot in its return to NCAA Division II play on Saturday night. The Roadrunners fell, 72-69, at then-No. 7-ranked Western Washington.
That opened the door for West Liberty to take over the No. 1 spot with Bellarmine (Ky.) picking up three of the four remaining first-place votes to move up to No. 2. Defending national champion Drury (Mo.) is No. 3 this week with Florida Southern and Western Washington rounding out the top five. 
Metro State checks in at No. 6 with Atlantic Region power Indiana (Pa.) moving up three spots from No. 10 to No. 7. Findlay, Ohio stayed at No. 8 with Minnesota State and Dixie State (Utah) completing the Top 10. No. 17 East Stroudsburg (Pa.) was the only other Atlantic Region team to receive a vote in this week's poll.
The Hilltoppers are scheduled to end their 10-day Thanksgiving hiatus on Thursday when the make the trek north to South Euclid, Ohio and an MEC test against Notre Dame (OH). Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
MEN'S BASKETBALL
NCAA Division II Top 25
(Through games of Sunday, Dec. 1)
Team (FPV) Rec Pts Pvs
  1. WEST LIBERTY (12) 5-0 391 2
  2. Bellarmine, Ky. (3) 4-0 381 3
  3. Drury, Mo. 5-0 360 4
  4. Florida Southern (1) 8-0 348 5
  5. Western Washington 4-0 344 7
  6. Metro State, Colo. 3-1 321 1
  7. Indiana, Pa. 6-0 289 10
  8. Findlay, Ohio 3-0 278 8
  9. Minnesota State 7-1 258 11
10. Dixie State, Utah 4-0 248 12
11. Southern Indiana 4-0 241 14
12. Montevallo, Ala. 5-0 210 16
13. Livingstone, N.C. 4-0 188 15
14. Tarleton State, Texas 6-0 184 17
15. Fort Hays State, Kan. 7-0 165 20
16. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 7-2 131 9
17. East Stroudsburg, Pa. 6-0 109 23
18. Arkansas-Fort Smith 6-0 107 25
19. Colorado School of Mines 4-0 98 24
20. Midwestern State, Texas 5-2 89 6
21. Bentley, Mass. 7-0 88 NR
22. Washburn, Kan. 7-0 67 NR
23. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 5-1 62 13
24. Georgia Southwestern 7-0 34 NR
25. Texas A&M-Commerce 8-0 27 NR
  Others receiving votes: Alaska-Anchorage 23, North Alabama 16, UNC-Pembroke 16, Indianapolis (Ind.) 15, St. Cloud State (Minn.) 15, Cal State-San Bernardino 14, Lake Superior State (Mich.) 14, USC-Aiken 10, Cal State-Stanislaus 6, Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 6, Delta State (Miss.) 6, Florida Tech 6, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 6, Lewis (Ill.) 6, Northeastern State (Okla.) 6, Angelo State (Texas) 5, Valdosta State (Ga.) 4, Benedict (S.C.) 2, San Francisco State (Calif.) 2, California Baptist 1, Central Missouri 1, Fort Lewis (Colo.) 1, St. Mary's (Texas) 1.