For the first time in its 111-year history, North Central (Ill.) is the No. 1 NCAA Division III program in the nation, taking the top spot in this week’s Top 25 Poll released by D3hoops.com.
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The Cardinals were ranked third in the previous poll. North Central won twice at the D3hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas on Dec. 28-29, defeating No. 10 Ramapo 67-57 before posting a 80-72 victory against UW-La Crosse.
Having closed non-conference play with a perfect record of 11-0, the Cardinals are off to the second-best start in the program’s history and are currently in their third-longest winning streak.
North Central received 605 points and 12 of the 25 first-place votes in this week’s poll. Middlebury was a close second with 602 points and nine first-place votes, while St. Thomas (Minn.) was third with 591 points and four first-place votes. The top five is rounded out by Rochester (N.Y.) and Washington (Mo.).
North Central is one of four College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) teams to be ranked in the top 25, joining eighth-ranked Wheaton (Ill.), 19th-ranked Augustana and 25th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan.