DII basketball roundup: Lincoln Memorial is the latest No. 1 as four new teams enter the Top 25
Five weeks. Four different No. 1 teams. Welcome to the wild ride that's been the 2017-18 DII basketball season.
RANKINGS: Complete NABC Top 25
Lincoln Memorial is the latest to reign atop the NABC Coaches Poll, supplanting West Liberty after the Hilltoppers' heartbreaking one-point loss to last year's national runner-up Fairmont State. Let's dive into the latest poll and see how it breaks down after another week of ups and downs.
Morehouse remains undefeated:
There's only one undefeated team remaining in DII basketball, and that's the upstart Morehouse Tigers. Their 18-0 start is the best start in program history, as well as the longest winning streak in their history. Now the No. 7 team in DII, the Tigers have a signature win over Claflin, who fell out of the rankings this week but still received votes.
Lincoln Memorial is the latest to hold No. 1
Northwest Missouri State (now No. 6), Queens (now No. 2) and West Liberty (now No. 5) all had shots at the No. 1 spot in DII. Now it's Lincoln Memorial's turn.
BREAKING: For the fourth time in program history, @LMUMBB is the No. 1 team in the nation. The Railsplitters are the top-ranked team in both the @NABC1927 and D2SIDA media polls pic.twitter.com/5HvlNndsTI— LMU Railsplitters (@LMURailsplitter) January 30, 2018
The Railsplitters are on an eight-game winning streak, one that saw them defeat former No. 1 Queens on their home court. Their last loss was to then-No. 1 Northwest Missouri State, so it only seems fitting that Lincoln Memorial is finally back on top.
Just in time for a top 10 showdown
The Lone Star Conference continues to dominate the poll as three teams check in this week's Top 25. Texas A&M-Commerce is the lowest at No. 22, but Texas-Permian Basin (No. 7) and West Texas A&M (No. 10) find themselves in the top 10. That makes the Monday, Jan. 30 showdown a top 10 matchup, and a battle for first place in the conference.
Welcome to the poll
Four newcomers entered the poll this week. Clark Atlanta makes the grandest entrance, coming in at No. 21 behind a 18-1 record. No. 23 Shippensburg is on a seven-game winning streak, including a 10-point victory over then-No. 18 West Chester. Bridgeport makes its season debut at No. 24, while Barry gets back into the mix at No. 25 after a bit of a rough patch.
Overall record of the Top 25: 445-54
The Top 25 simply doesn't like to lose. No. 3 Ferris State has been dominant at 21-1, tying No. 16 Northern State for the most wins in the poll. Both No. 2 Queens and No. 11 Findlay are tied for second with 20 wins apiece. Only two teams have four losses — No. 24 Bridgeport and No. 25 Barry — the most of any team in the rankings. Barry also has the least amount of wins of any team in the Top 25, with just 13 thus far on the season.
Obviously at 18-0, the Morehouse Tigers have the longest win streak in DII. But there are several other teams worth noting on big runs. Findlay is amid a 16-game win streak, while Clark Atlanta is riding a 14-game winning streak into the Top 25. No. 14 Southern Nazarene, No. 4 Western Oregon and No. 12 Valdosta State are all on 12-game win streaks.
Risers and fallers
Cal Poly Pomona jumped six spots this week at No. 19, making the Broncos the biggest risers. No. 17 Fort Lewis and No. 18 Dallas Baptist aren't far behind, moving up four spots apiece. Quite a few teams dropped several spots this week. No. 13 Virginia State, thanks to a loss to Bowie State, and No. 20 West Florida, who lost by one to Alabama-Huntsville, both dropped five spots, tying them for biggest fallers of the week. Three teams — No. 9 Bellarmine, No. 16 Northern State and No. 22 Texas A&M-Commerce fell four spots each.
Fun with numbers:
13-0 — Southern Nazarene is still undefeated in Great American Conference play, breaking their own record set last week for best start in the conference's history.
54 — Bellarmine's home win streak. Despite losing on the road to Indianapolis and dropping a few spots this week, the Knights have a chance to extend the streak to 56 this week.
59.8 — Points allowed by Northwest Missouri State, the lowest in DII.
110.2 — West Liberty's points per game, the highest mark in DII.
122 — Consecutive weeks that West Liberty has been in the Top 25. Coming in at No. 5 this week, 92 of those weeks have been as a top 5 team.