The latest NABC poll for DII men's basketball was released Tuesday afternoon. While the top five remains unchanged, No. 6 through No. 25 are completely different from last week.
NCAA.com has complete takeaways and analysis from the rankings. But first, the poll itself:
|1||Colorado School of Mines (12)||9-0||394||1|
|2||Northern State (2)||10-0||384||2|
|3||Northwest Missouri State (2)||12-1||373||3|
|5||West Texas A&M||5-1||326||5|
|19||St. Thomas Aquinas||0-0||92||21|
Aside from the top five, this latest poll is unrecognizable from the last
Colorado School of Mines, Northern State, Northwest Missouri State, Lincoln Memorial and West Texas A&M all took care of business last week. After those five? Well, that's when the poll got interesting.
There were changes to all 20 of the remaining spots. No. 23 Northwest Nazarene and No. 24 Glenville State joined the party, while then-No. 9 West Liberty and then-No. 23 Missouri Western dropped out. We'll have more on the Hilltoppers in a moment.
Texas A&M-Kingsville had the highest jump of any team, rising eight spots from No. 22 to No. 14. The Javelinas have won nine straight games and haven't lost since Dec. 18.
Colorado Mesa drops following first loss of the season
It was just last Saturday when then-No. 6 Colorado Mesa had more wins (11) than any other undefeated team ranked in the NABC poll. But the Mavericks' perfect season came to a close that day, when they were stunned by Western Colorado 78-72.
That loss came after Colorado Mesa had won consecutive overtime games by a combined total of three points. The Mavericks dropped three spots to No. 9, and were leapfrogged by Findlay, Truman State and Mercyhurst in that order. Those three teams are currently riding winning streaks of six, five and six, respectively.
West Liberty ends three-game skid, but falls out entirely
All the positives of a 4-0 start have seemingly evaporated for West Liberty. And while the Hilltoppers got back into the win column on Monday, the three-game losing streak was too much to overcome.
In the span of two weeks, they went from being ranked fourth, to No. 9, to now out of the NABC poll entirely. What's puzzling is that West Liberty's five wins have all been double-digit victories, but each one of its three losses have been by fewer than 10 points.
The Hilltoppers dropped what was then their third game in a row on Saturday, and fell to Charleston (W.Va.) 78-74. Despite entering with the highest-scoring offense in DII, they were held to a season-low 74 points on 37.7 percent shooting.
However, they responded with a dominating 117-85 win over Glenville State on Monday. So, which performance is more indicative of West Liberty? It's too early to tell. But the Hilltoppers will need more of the latter to get back into next week's poll.