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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | December 23, 2019

Bellarmine, Northwest Missouri State ride into new year atop the DII men's basketball Power 10

Northwest Missouri State claims the 2019 DII Men's Basketball Championship

Welcome to the final DII men's basketball Power 10 rankings of 2019. Not much changed at the top, but we do have a debut rounding out the top 10. Bellarmine and Northwest Missouri State have cemented their places atop the poll, while Nova Southeastern rebounded from an upset with a big top 25 victory.

RANKINGS: Last week's Power 10

Before we jump into this week's rankings, let's remember: These are my picks, and mine alone. I base them off several categories that the DII men's basketball selection committee will use come NCAA DII tournament time such as — but not limited to — ranked teams beaten, record against winning teams, strength of schedule and average scoring margin. 

2019 UPSETS: Central Missouri over Northwest Missouri State | Rollins over Nova Southeastern

Now, here's how the final Power 10 of 2019 shapes up.

DII men's basketball Power 10: Dec. 23

(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, Dec. 22.)

No. 1 Bellarmine | 8-0 | Previous: 1
The Knights are holding opponents to 60.0 points per game, the third-best mark in DII men's basketball. That's helped this squad beat a pretty stout schedule — their opponents have a combined .573 winning percentage — by 26.5 points per game. It's all about the starting five who all seem able to contribute in many different ways. 

No. 2 Northwest Missouri State | 10-1 | Previous: 2
The Bearcats responded to a week off with two big wins. Ryan Hawkins, Trevor Hudgins, and Diego Bernard are all playing at high levels right now, combining for 56.7 of the Bearcats 87.27 points per game. They come out of the break with three games at home, where the Bearcats have won 22 in a row. 

No. 3 Nova Southeastern | 8-1 | Previous 6
The Sharks have been on a roller coaster ride the past few weeks, dropping from third to sixth, then back up to third this week. Nova Southeastern bounced back with a 21-point win over the No. 23 team in the country behind another 100-point output. This team is scoring a DII-best 110.9 points per game. 

No. 4 Lincoln Memorial | 12-1 | Previous: 4
The Railsplitters stand pat after a huge start to the 2019-20 season, picking up two more wins, including a tight one against Kentucky Wesleyan. Sophomore Courvoisier McCauley continues his breakout season, going for 44 points last week, the most a Railsplitter has scored since 1987. 

No. 5 West Texas A&M | 12-1 | Previous: 5
The Buffs had a perfect week and continue to be pretty dominant so far, outscoring their opponents 97.4 to 72.8 points per game. Qua Grant and Joel Murray continue to avoid the sophomore slump, combining for 41.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. This team is explosive and is riding the longest home-winning streak in DII. 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCHLIST: Keep your eyes on these DII superstars

No. 6 Indiana (Pa) | 9-1 | Previous: 3
The Crimson Hawks finally found the loss column, and the reason they only drop three spots was because it was to a very good Shippensburg team. This team still looks like the ones to beat in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Armoni Foster, Tommy Demogerontas, and Malik Miller are all scoring more than 16 points per game.

No. 7 UC San Diego | 11-1 | Previous: NR
Last week, the Tritons fell out of the Power 10 for the first time all season. They had an off week but what they lost was player of the year candidate Chris Hansen to injury. I wanted to see how they responded, and a 3-0 week is a pretty good indicator that they aren't going anywhere. Chrsitian Oshita and Tyrell Roberts look like they will be able to keep the ship sailing. 

HISTORY: Chaminade's history at the Maui Invitational

No. 8 Ferris State | 14-1 | Previous: 8
The Bulldogs are the first team to 14 wins this season, and they are doing it with a balanced scoring attack. Walt Kelser (19.1 points per game) and Jaylin McFadden (18.7 points per game) lead five Bulldogs in double-digit scoring. 

No. 9 St. Edward's | 10-1| Previous: 9
The Hilltoppers closed the year with a big 34-point win and are scoring over 90 points per night. They stumbled early out of the gate, but this team has a lot of experience and looks like they have their footing back. Ashton Spears is a beast, averaging 20.1 points per game. 

No. 10 West Chester | 11-0 | Previous: NR
Welcome to the Power 10. The only thing that held the Golden Rams out of the Power 10 so far is that they have played one of the easiest schedules in DII, but 11-straight wins are 11-straight wins. Two months into the season, and you simply can no longer ignore one of the two remaining undefeated teams in DII. Robbie Heath scores 25.1 points per game to lead West Chester. 

Just missed (in alphabetical order):

It's time to put Embry-Riddle on watch. This team is scoring over 100 points per night and is now 11-1. Southern Nazarene has three losses, but Jhonathan Dunn and Micah Speight are arguably the most dangerous scoring duo in DII men's basketball right now. Here are the teams that are right outside the top 10. 

  • Daemen
  • DBU
  • Dixie State
  • Embry-Riddle
  • Florida Southern
  • Missouri Southern
  • Southern Nazarene

Team to watch this week: Texas A&M-Commerce — the Lions knocked DBU from the Power 10 this week. Though they are only 7-4, it is the third top 15 team the Lions have beat since Nov. 23.

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