DII basketball roundup: A new No. 1, four new teams, and more in a wild week in the Top 25
Three straight weeks. Three different No. 1 teams in DII basketball. Welcome to the craziness of 2018.
Northwest Missouri began the year as No. 1. Then it was Queens (NC) turn. Now, undeafeated West Liberty, behind 15 of 16 votes, is the latest No. 1 in the land. With a matchup against No. 16 Wheeling Jesuit this coming Saturday, just how long will the Hilltoppers run last at the top?
It wasn't just the top spot that changed, as there was a lot of movement in the Top 25. Let's break it down by the numbers.
The Top 25 breakdown
0 -- Teams that held onto the same spot in the NABC poll. All 25 teams either moved up, down or out of the Top 25.
1-1 -- Lincoln Memorial's record against the No. 1 team in DII. The Railsplitters lost to No. 1 NWMSU in December and defeated No. 1 Queens this past weekend. Both games were rematches from the 2017 NCAA tournament.
2 -- Undefeated teams remaining. No. 1 West Liberty is 15-0. So is No. 14 Morehouse, off to the best start in program history.
3 -- Teams representing the Gulf South Conference (West Florida, Valdosta State, and Christian Brothers) and the Lone Star Conference (West Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Commerce, and Texas-Permian Basin) in the Top 25. The three LSC teams are in the top eleven teams of DII.
4 -- New teams in the Top 25. Claflin debuts in the highest slot, coming in at No. 20. That makes this weekend's Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown with Morehouse a Top 20 battle. Valdosta State comes in at No. 21 after a big win over GSC rival, No. 22 Christian Brothers. Southern Nazarene debuts at No. 24 while William Jewell returns to the poll at No. 25. Now 15-2, the Cardinals 14th win was one of historic porportions as head coach Larry Holley picked up career win 900.
In case you missed it...— FOX 4 News (@fox4kc) January 14, 2018
William Jewell’s Larry Holley now has 900 career wins. Top 10 in all levels of college basketball! Congrats to one of the “jewels” of KC sports!@williamjewell @WJCCardinals ^JL pic.twitter.com/jCtIfazjHb
4 -- The teams that dropped out of this week's poll: Fort Lewis, Colorado School of Mines, California Baptist and Cal Poly Pomona.
6 -- Spots both Morehouse and Dallas Baptist (No. 17) jumped this week, tied as the biggest climbers of the week.
11 -- Least amount of wins by any team in the poll. Barry comes in at 11-3.
13-1 -- Record of Southern Nazarene who made their NABC debut this week. That's not just for 2017-18, that's the first time in program history.
14 -- One loss teams remaining in the rankings.
19 -- Most wins of any team in the Top 25. No. 5 Ferris State and No. 8 Northern State were tied at 18-1 at the time of voting, but the Wolves of Northern State picked up their 19th win Monday. That gives them DII's longest winning streak, reeling off 18 straight after a loss to Washburn in the second game of the season.
52 -- Consecutive games won at Knights Hall in Louisvilee, Ky., home of No. 6 Bellarmine. The Knights have two more home games on tap this coming weekend.
59.0 -- The least amount of points allowed per game in DII. No. 2 Northwest Missouri State dominates defensively.
113.8 -- The highest scoring average in DII basketball. The honor goes to No. 1 West Liberty.
355-35 -- Combined record of the Top 25.
Top 25 matchups
This weekend is full of fun Top 25 action. No one has a tougher schedule this week than Texas A&M-Commerce, facing not one, but two teams in the Top 11 in a three day span.
- No. 1 West Liberty vs. No. 16 Wheeling Jesuit
- No. 3 Lincoln Memorial vs. Carson-Newman (received 24 votes, the most of any program outside the Top 25.
- No. 10 Texas A&M-Commerce vs. No. 11 Texas-Permian Basin (Thursday)
- No. 7 West Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Texas A&M-Commerce
- No. 20 Claflin vs. No. 14 Morehouse