KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Findlay’s loss over the weekend to Wayne State (Mich.) has brought the highest scoring team in NCAA Division II to the top of the national rankings as well, as West Liberty — a team averaging 122.6 points per game — takes over the top spot in the new NABC/Division II men’s basketball rankings.
The Hilltoppers, who survived a close call in their lowest scoring game of the season in a 86-84 win against Wheeling Jesuit last week, received all eight first place votes to become the first team from the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to hold the No. 1 ranking since 2000. West Liberty is one of five undefeated teams remaining in NCAA Division II, all five of whom are among the ranked this week.
Bellarmine, who held the top spot for a period in December, moved up to No. 2 this week and is followed by Fort Hays State (who lost Monday at Missouri Southern, a loss that is not reflected in this week’s rankings as only games through Sunday are considered), undefeated Hillsdale and Augusta State, who dropped two spots after an overtime loss at Flagler last week that dropped the Jaguars from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Southern Indiana, who has won eight consecutive games since losing to Bellarmine last month, holds the No. 6 spot in this week’s rankings. The Screaming Eagles are followed by Cal State-Dominguez Hills, Findlay, Alabama-Huntsville and Minnesota State. The second 10 begins with unbeaten Lincoln Memorial, who is trailed by Incarnate Word, Grand Valley State, Christian Brothers and Central Oklahoma, who beat two top teams out of the Lone Star Conference’s South Division last week.
The two remaining undefeated teams are part of the next five in the rankings, beginning with No. 16 Tampa. Central Washington remained at No. 17, while Kentucky Wesleyan dropped 11 spots to No. 18. West Texas A&M, 13-0 on the year, makes its first appearance in the Top 25 at No. 19 and is followed by Bentley.
The final five teams in the poll this week are Winona State, Missouri Southern, Midwestern State and two newcomers to the Top 25, Valdosta State and Alaska-Anchorage.
|1.||West Liberty (8 first place votes)||11-0||200||2|
|3.||Fort Hays State||13-1||181||5|
|7.||Cal State-Dominguez Hills||11-1||152||10|
|13.||Grand Valley State||12-2||95||15|
|19.||West Texas A&M||13-0||61||NR|
|Other’s Receiving Votes: Humboldt State (Calif.) 8, Harding (Ark.) 7, Wayne State (Mich.) 7, Winston-Salem State (N.C.) 6, Fairmont State (W.Va.) 5, Fort Lewis (Colo.) 4, Saint Anselm (N.H.) 3, Georgia Southwestern 2, Indianapolis (Ind.) 2, Montevallo (Ala.) 2, Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.) 2, Merrimack (Mass.) 1.|