Much like last week, the top 10 in DII men's basketball continued to show their might, going a combined 17-1 on the week. No. 1 Northwest Missouri State sent a clear message to the rest of the circuit why they are No. 1 defeating nationally-ranked Missouri Southern by 21 points, while the red-hot Florida Southern Mocs avenged their last loss, taking down No. 5 Nova Southeastern.
RANKINGS: How the Power 10 fared last week
Before we get started on the latest Power 10, remember we've added a bonus. For the fourth — and final — week in a row, I'll be looking at how those first regional rankings may unfold this coming Wednesday, Feb. 19. I'll take a guess each week at who the top seed could be in each of those regions. So, how did we get to these 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. That means my Power 10 and regional rankings could have slightly different looks as the regional rankings are more of a season outlook while the Power 10 is more in the now.
Here are your latest Power 10 rankings, followed by the final release of my top seeds in each region.
DII men's basketball Power 10: Feb. 17
(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, Feb. 16.)
No. 1 Northwest Missouri State |24-1| Previous: 1
The Bearcats will have to replicate their success from last week's impressive road win at Missouri Southern as the Lions head to Maryville on Thursday. Northwest Missouri State hasn't lost at home in two years, so you can be sure there will be a rowdy crowd on hand to ensure the streak stays alive. Trevor Hudgins and Ryan Hawkins were both named to the Bevo Francis midseason watchlist and continue to pace this team.
This week: Feb 20 vs. Missouri Southern; Feb. 22 vs. Pittsburg State
No. 2 Lincoln Memorial | 25-1 | Previous: 2
Another week, another two blow out wins for the Railsplitters. This team is just reeling off points, scoring 94 and 108 this week. Four starters are consistently adding to the box score averaging 13 or more points per game with Courvoisier McCauley continuing to build on his breakout season, averaging 20.5 points per game.
This week: Feb. 19 at Mars Hill; Feb. 22 at Catawba
ALL-STATS TEAM: The DII men's basketball players who couldn't be stopped, so far
No. 3 West Texas A&M | 23-1 | Previous: 3
The Buffs have won 16 in a row fueled by their own high-scoring offense that has little trouble winning in blowout fashion. They do have to go on the road to Commerce this week and face a Texas A&M-Commerce team that has handle ranked competition extremely well this season. Still, Joel Murray and Qua Grant have shown little fear going at any defense in their way.
This week: Feb. 20 at UT Tyler; Feb. 22 at Texas A&M-Commerce
No. 4 UC San Diego | 24-1 | Previous: 4
The Tritons have won 16 in a row, 14 of which came without Chris Hansen, a special player I had on my preseason player of the year watchlist. Hansen returned from his injury this weekend and, albeit in a limited role, UC San Diego got better. That's a scary thought for a team that's 24-1. This is a huge advantage for the Tritons in what should be a fun West Regional tournament.
This week: Feb. 20 at Cal State East Bay; Feb. 22 at Cal State Monterey Bay
PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR WATCHLIST: Keep your eyes on these DII superstars
No. 5 Florida Southern | 23-2 | Previous: 6
Excuse the humble brag, but I had the Mocs in the top 10 very early this season, and they are showing why when it matters most. They have won 11 in a row and 20 of their last 21, with the lone loss an eight-point heartbreaker in overtime to Nova Southeastern. Well, Florida Southern avenged that loss this weekend in impressive fashion, showing its offense (and defense) can hang with even the most high-octane offenses in DII basketball.
This week: Feb. 19 vs. Eckerd; Feb. 26 at Tampa
No. 6 Azusa Pacific | 21-3 | 7
The Cougars had a big three-win week, all of which came in double-digit style. Selom Mawugbe is one of my favorite players to watch in DII basketball, now averaging 16.9 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while leading the division with an absurd 74.1 field-goal percentage. This isn't a one-trick pony though, with plenty of other weapons that can give UCSD a run in the West.
This week: Feb. 20 vs. Academy of Art; Feb. 22 at Dominican (CA)
No. 7 St. Edward's | 23-2 | Previous: 8
This is a big week for the Hilltoppers. St. Edward's has been fire at home this year, a perfect 15-0, but has to hit the road against two teams that were in the top 25 at different points this season. Still, the Hilltoppers are cruising and winning games with little trouble. Let's not forget this is the only team to handle West Texas A&M this season, so two big wins away from Austin, Texas this weekend will send a big message heading into the Lone Star Conference tournament.
This week: Feb. 20 at DBU; Feb. 22 at Tarleton
No. 8 Indiana (Pa) | 21-2 | Previous: 9
The Crimson Hawks are back on track after a loss to Mercyhurst and its tricky defense. IUP has won three in a row including a thrilling 85-83 victory over Gannon this past week. Armoni Foster and Malik Miller combined to score 56 of those points showing the dangerous duo can take over any game at any time. That will make the Crimson Hawks dangerous in the Atlantic.
This week: Feb. 19 vs. Edinboro; Feb. 22 at Seton Hill
No. 9 Jefferson | 22-2 | Previous: 10
Nothing fancy, no DII basketball stat leaders, but the Rams just keep winning. They have now reeled off 15 in a row despite scoring just 78.3 points per game, the lowest average of any Power 10 team. That said, this starting five is tricky, all able to score as DeVaughn Mallory, Josh Bradanese and Kylan Guerra all average over 15 per game.
This week: Feb. 18 vs. Georgian Court; Feb. 22 at Chestnut Hill
No. 10 Nova Southeastern | 19-3 | Previous: 5
I'm keeping the Sharks in the top 10 despite the loss, even though you could make a strong case that the loss should have opened the door to Bridgeport. But the fact is the Sharks lost by a mere six points to one of the toughest teams in the land, one which they already showed they can beat. This team is an offensive juggernaut and will be tough to stop come March.
This week: Feb. 19 at Palm Beach Atlantic; Feb. 22 at Florida Tech
DII men's basketball regional rankings: Who's No. 1?
If the regional rankings were released today, here's who I think would be the No. 1 team in each of the eight regions.
- Atlantic: Indiana (Pa). The Crimson Hawks will have some intriguing competition from West Liberty and Shippensburg, but I think they are the clear-cut choice.
- Central: Northwest Missouri State. Next.
- East: Jefferson. The Rams win over Bridgeport keeps them out in front for now.
- Midwest: Ferris State. With a Grand Valley State loss and Bellarmine continuing to trend in the wrong direction, the Bulldogs have the most breathing room they've had in weeks.
- South: Florida Southern. Obviously, Nova Southeastern is still a team to watch, but keep your eye on the red-hot Valdosta State Blazers as well.
- South Central: West Texas A&M. St. Edward's is creeping closer and there is little that separates the two, but I think the Buffs will take No. 1 in the first regional rankings.
- Southeast: Lincoln Memorial. Next.
- West: UC San Diego. This is Tritons country, but Azusa Pacific is making a heck of a case.