Undefeated West Liberty All Alone at No. 1

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Now the only remaining unbeaten team in the NCAA Division II ranks, West Liberty had no problem maintaining its stranglehold on the No. 1 spot when this week’s National Association of Basketball Coaches’ (NABC) Top 25 was released on Tuesday.

Coach Jim Crutchfield’s high-flying Hilltoppers (13-0) reeled off three more double-digit wins last week to once again claim all 16 first-place votes from the NABC’s nationwide ranking committee. Preseason No. 1 Augustana, S.D. (13-1) remained locked in at No. 2 but the rest of the Top 25 deck was reshuffled.

Fairmont State (12-1), whose only loss was a two-point thriller at West Liberty, is the new No. 3 with perennial powers Midwestern State, Texas (12-1) and Cal Poly-Pomona (14-1) rounding out the Top 5. Tarleton State, Texas (13-2) checks in at No. 6 followed by Eckerd, Fla. (14-1), California Baptist (14-2), Bellarmine, Ky. (11-2) and Minnesota State-Moorhead (17-2).

Queens, N.C. (12-1) slipped from No. 8 to No. 13 this week. Queens was knocked from the ranks of the unbeatenon Saturday by No. 16 Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. (12-2).

This is West Liberty’s 41st No. 1 ranking in the past six seasons and extends the Hilltoppers’ NCAA Division II record of consecutive Top 25 rankings to 88 weeks, stretching all the way back to the 2009-10 season.

The Hilltoppers have been ranked in the Top 10 for 67 consecutive weeks, dating back to Dec. 13, 2011. That’s the third-longest run of Top 10 rankings since the NCAA Division II poll was instituted during the 1960-61 season.

Not only does the Mountain East Conference have two of the top three teams in the poll with West Liberty and Fairmont State, the MEC picked up a third Top 25 entry this week when Wheeling Jesuit (13-1) made its debut at No. 24. It’s the Cardinals’ first national ranking since the 1997-98 season.

Poor road conditions forced the postponement of West Liberty’s home game against West Virginia Wesleyan on Tuesday. Weather permitting, the Hilltoppers and Bobcats will try again Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the ASRC.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

National Association of Basketball Coaches

NCAA Division II Top 25

(Jan. 12, 2015)

Team (FPV) Rec Pts Pvs

  1. WEST LIBERTY (16) 13-0 400 1

  2. Augustana, S.D. 13-1 383 2

  3. FAIRMONT STATE 12-1 364 5

  4. Midwestern State, Texas 12-1 344 6

  5. Cal Poly-Pomona 14-1 337 7

  6. Tarleton State, Texas 13-2 306 9

  7. Eckerd, Fla. 14-1 279 12

  8. California Baptist 14-2 281 10

  9. Bellarmine, Ky. 11-2 272 11

10. MSU-Moorhead 17-2 255 3

11. Western Oregon 12-2 234 14

12. Saint Anselm, N.H. 13-1 226 15

13. Queens, N.C. 12-1 217 8

14. UC-San Diego 12-2 190 17

15. Angelo State, Texas 12-2 177 4

16. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 12-2 168 19

17. Ashland, Ohio 12-2 128 21

18. Fort Lewis, Colo. 12-2 119 16

19. Lake Superior State, Mich. 12-2 104 13

20. Indianapolis, Ind. 10-2 85 25

21. Columbus State, Ga. 11-2 61 18

22. Delta State, Miss. 12-3 55 NR

23. Barry, Fla. 11-2 48 NR

24. WHEELING JESUIT 13-1 39 NR

25. Chico State, Calif. 12-3 31 20

Others receiving votes: Kentucky Wesleyan 25, Texas A&M-Commerce 13, Minnesota-Duluth 11, West Chester (Pa.) 9, St. Edward’s (Texas) 7, Seattle Pacific (Wash.) 5, Humboldt State (Calif.) 4, Alaska-Anchorage 3,  Alabama-Huntsville 3, Arkansas-Fort Smith 2, NW Missouri State 2, Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 1, Central Washington 1, Lindenwood (Mo.) 1, Southern Connecticut State 1, Wisconsin-Parkside 1.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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