Hilltopper Men No. 7 in Final Coaches' Poll - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Hilltopper Men No. 7 in Final Coaches' Poll

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Despite an upset loss in the championship game of the inaugural Mountain East Conference tournament, the West Liberty men's basketball team checked in at No. 7 Tuesday afternoon when the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) released its final weekly NCAA Division II Top 25 poll of the 2013-14 season.

This marks the fifth consecutive season that Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (26-3) have finished in the Top 10 of the national coaches' poll. The Black and Gold was No. 10 in the 2010 poll, No. 3 in the 2012 balloting and a unanimous No. 1 pick in 2011 and 2013.
It's also the 44th consecutive week that West Liberty has been ranked in the Top 10. That's the longest active streak and the fourth-longest stretch of consecutive Top 10 rankings in more than 50 years of NCAA Division II polling. WLU's 66-week stretch of Top 25 rankings also ranks as the nation's longest active streak and the fifth-longest all-time.
The Hilltoppers were one of four Top 10 teams to be bitten by the upset bug in their conference tournaments last week forcing a significant reshuffling in the final poll of the season.
Metro State, Colo. (28-1) received all 16 first-place votes as the unanimous pick for No. 1 while East Stroudsburg, Pa. (28-1) held onto the No. 2 spot after winning the PSAC Tournament. Tarleton State, Texas (27-2), Southern Connecticut State (27-2) and South Carolina-Aiken (29-3) round out the top five.
Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. (27-2) held off West Liberty for the No. 6 spot. Completing the Top 10 are Drury, Mo. (25-3), Minnesota State (29-4) and Florida Southern (26-4).
West Liberty, the three-time defending NCAA Division II Atlantic Region champion, had to settle for the No. 2 seed in what shapes up as a highly-competitive 2014 Atlantic Region Tournament after a late 3-pointer by Charleston's Xavier Humphrey gave the Golden Eagles a 63-60 upset win in Sunday's MEC championship game in Charleston.
No. 2 East Stroudsburg is the No. 1 seed in a loaded Atlantic Region field that also includes No. 15 Indiana, Pa. (23-4) and Charleston (21-8), which was listed among several teams also receiving votes in this week's Top 25.
The Hilltoppers and Tarleton State are the only Top 10 teams not serving as regional hosts this weekend. Tarleton State is the No. 2 seed in the South Central Region, behind No. 1-ranked Metro State.
West Liberty opens defense of its Atlantic Region crown Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against a familiar foe in Glenville State (18-10). The Hilltoppers beat the Pioneers twice during the regular season. The regional semifinals will be played on Sunday with the championship game set for Tuesday night.
MEN'S BASKETBALL
Final NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll
(Through games of Sunday, March 9)
Team (FPV) Rec Pts Pvs
  1. Metro State, Colo. (16) 28-1 400 1
  2. East Stroudsburg, Pa. 28-1 380 2
  3. Tarleton State, Texas 27-2 369 5
  4. Southern Conn. State 27-2 341 6
  5. South Carolina-Aiken 29-3 334 7
  6. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 27-2 300 13
  7. WEST LIBERTY 26-3 297 3
  8. Drury, Mo. 25-3 287 4
  9. Minnesota State 29-4 280 14
10. Florida Southern 26-4 247 16
11. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 26-5 213 18
12. Indianapolis, Ind. 23-4 211 8
13. Colorado School of Mines 24-4 196 9
14. Southern Indiana 25-5 183 20
15. Indiana (Pa.) 23-4 178 10
16. Cal State-San Bernardino 23-4 165 12
17. California Baptist 24-3 160 11
18. Montevallo, Ala. 24-5 123 17
19. Missouri Southern 24-5 109 NR
20. Central Missouri 24-5 97 15
21. Findlay, Ohio 24-5 65 NR
22. Wisconsin-Parkside 23-6 45 19
23. Midwestern State, Texas 22-7 40 24
24. Cal Poly-Pomona 21-6 36 22
25. Lake Superior State, Mich. 26-5 34 21
Others receiving votes: Delta State (Miss.) 27, Philadelphia (Pa.) 16, Lewis (Ill.) 11, CHARLESTON 8, Winona State (Minn.) 8, Chico State (Calif.) 7, Livingstone (N.C.) 7, Bellarmine (Ky,.) 5, Dixie State (Utah) 4, Michigan Tech 4, Saint Leo (Fla.) 4, Arkansas-Fort Smith 3, North Alabama 3, Cal State-Stanislaus 2, Texas A&M International 1.