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Wayne Cavadi | | February 28, 2021

DII Report: New college basketball Power 10 rankings as the Selection Show nears

2021 DII college baseball power rankings and season preview

Northwest Missouri State improved to 21-1 this past week, marking the 10th consecutive season the Bearcats have reached the 20-win mark. It's been a simply remarkable run for Ben McCollum and it looks like they aren't ready to slow down any time soon.

We're one week from the DII men's and women's selection shows and conference tourneys are underway. Any surprise that Monday marks the first day of March?

Baseball is in swing, every hoops contest counts and there is spring football on the horizon. Spring has sprung and we'll do our best to keep you up to date in this week's DII Report. 

2021 Hall of Fame Classic field announced

Before we get into the latest Power 10, let's look ahead to the future. The big news of the week was that the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic is set to return in November of this year. The two-day tournament took a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus, but is set to tip off Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 with a (per usual) loaded field. 

Northwest Missouri State will make its third-straight appearance in DII's premier season-opening tournament. The Bearcats will be joined by a few teams that look to be heading towards the 2021 tournament in Alabama Huntsville, St. Thomas Aquinas and Northern State. Missouri Western, who had a strong showing in head coach Will Martin's debut, Seattle Pacific, Embry-Riddle and Rockhurst will round out the field.  

The DII men's basketball Power 10 rankings

It has been a wild run down the stretch. Top 25 teams are dropping like flies, which has led to a bit of a shakeup since we last checked in on the Power 10. 

1. Northwest Missouri State (Previous: 1): The Bearcats erupted for 95 points to get to 20 wins on Thursday, shooting a remarkable 68 percent. They have won 16 in a row and locked up their eight-straight MIAA regular season title. This team isn't super deep, but Ryan Hawkins, Diego Bernard and Trevor Hudgins are going to make opponents lives miserable this March. 

2. Mercyhurst (5): This team is rolling, now 11-0, matching the best start in program history. This defense is impressive as the Lakers lead in scoring defense and scoring margin at over 30 points per game. This team isn't sloppy either: the Lakers lead DII in turnover margin at 10.2 and steals per game with over 11. Michael Bradley is DII's best by a wide margin in assist turnover ratio at 7.14, the next closest being West Lib's Luke Dyer at 4.71.

3. Truman (6): The Bulldogs finished the regular season winners of 13 in a row and a pretty 17-1 record. Not to sound like a broken record, but we're just about in March and this entire starting five is still averaging double figures in scoring. With Dylan Peeters down low and Turner Scott running the show, Truman presents an interesting challenge for opposing defenses.

4. Colorado Mesa (First out): The Mavericks took down then-No. 1 Colorado School of Mines and then avenged their lone loss of the season, defeating Western Colorado 93-77. There's nothing flashy about this team, but they can clearly grind out wins and play well together. Ethan Menzies and Georgie Dancer have been very good thus far. Now 18-1 and winners of their first RMAC title in 11 years, the Mavericks are serious contenders this March.

5. West Texas A&M (4): The Buffs came in at No. 3 this preseason and pretty much held steady as a top 5 all year through. This past weekend, they ended Lubbock Christian's perfect run in an 82-78 victory, before falling to the Chaps in the regular-season finale. This is one of the most potent offenses in the nation, dropping 92.7 points per game. Joel Murray and Qua Grant continue to amaze, while Jon'il Fugett continues his breakout. 

6. Colorado School of Mines (2): The Orediggers lost a tough one to Colorado Mesa, but when your only blemish is a loss to a now-top-5 team, you're still pretty darn good. Mines rebounded from its first loss with a 20-point win over Adams State. The defense is still one of the best in Division II and with Brendan Sullivan and Kobi Betts leading the way, March should be fun out West. 

7. Northern State (3): The Wolves dropped their regular-season finale, but bumped a very tough Augustana (SD) team before advancing to the finals of the NSIC tournament. If being a DII superstar got you a blue checkmark on your jersey, Parker Fox would be verified with one. He's an absolute beast, averaging more than 20 points per game, just about 10 rebounds a night and leading DII in blocks per game.

8. Hillsdale (10): The Chargers escaped their narrowest victory of the season on Wednesday before taking down Cedarville on Saturday to end their season 19-1 and winners of 16 straight. Patrick Cartier continues to lead the way with 20.4 points per game while shooting an impressive 65 percent from the field. But this team is deep with four starters logging double figures nightly.

9. Lubbock Christian (7): The Chaps lost to West Texas A&M on Friday, but made sure they ended the season right, dominating the Buffs 103-85 in their final game of the season. It earned the Chaps their first-ever Lone Star Conference crown, which is an impressive feat in its own right. Lloyd Daniels went for 31 points on an impressive 12-for-14 shooting. This team is really strong on both sides of the court and have a quartet of scorers in double figures.

10. West Liberty (Previous - NR): Yes, I'm very high on the Hilltoppers, but they are peaking at the right time. They had a very uncharacteristic three-game skid, but seem to have things figured out. They have won nine in a row, breaking the century mark seven times on that run. Dalton Bolon and Pat Robinson III are both averaging over 20 per game.

First five out: Lincoln Memorial, St. Thomas Aquinas, Alabama Huntsville, Flagler, Point Loma

Milestones on the hardwood

Lubbock Christian women's basketball made history, winning its 88th-consecutive home game. The run it has been on since becoming a DII team in 2015 — which includes five conference titles and two national championships — is simply remarkable. Now it holds the record, taking down top-25 West Texas A&M 68-42 to set the mark. Lubbock Christian made it 89 in a row, beating West Texas A&M 48-45 on Saturday to close the regular-season undefeated. 

BY THE NUMBERS: We break down LCU's historic streak

Biola head coach Dave Holmquist picked up his 1000th victory on Saturday. It was an impressive 73-51 victory over Concordia (CA). Alex Wright scored 20 to help get the Eagles to 8-3 on the season. Only Mike Krzyzewski (1,165), Herb Magee (1,123), Harry Statham (1,122) and Danny Miles (1,040) have more. Magee is currently head coach at fellow DII school Jefferson. Check out the full story here.

How about Tyler Geiman? We've raved about Washburn's superstar all season, and his ability to seemingly do it all. He did just that Monday, recording the first triple-double in program history. He finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the Ichabods' victory over Northeastern State. 

Around the horn: What we watched in DII baseball 

Our preseason No. 1 Colorado Mesa actually lost on Opening Day, a rarity for the Mavericks who had won their last seven season openers. The Mavs' bats fired back to win the next three in their mini-tournament. Haydn McGeary got nine hits in 16 at bats, with a home run and five RBI. Both Matthew Turner and Spencer Bramwell each had a pair of home runs and drove in seven on the weekend. Ryan Day closed things out with a complete game shutout for the Mavs.

Angelo State is rolling, posting an impressive walk-off win to get to 9-1 on the season. Benjamin Elder pitched a complete game shutout in game one of the double-header against St. Mary's on Saturday, but the nightcap saw some late-inning dramatics. The Rattlers scored five runs in the top of the eight to take a 10-7 lead, but the Rams rallied, with none other than Josh Elvir tying the game with a two-run bomb. That set the stage for Jackson Hardy's game-winning bunt single in the ninth.

How about Davenport? The Panthers were No. 24 in our preseason top 25 — and one of our sleepers for this season — and came out strong in 2021. Davenport took two of three from No. 3 Central Missouri. Nolan Anspaugh was huge in the two victories, going 5-for-10 with three runs scored, four RBIs and a home run.

In another battle between two of our preseason top-25 teams, Georgia College and North Georgia faced off over the weekend. Each team got their turn erupting at the plate, splitting Saturday's double header. Georgia College finally got to the Nighthawks' Parker Morrison — who had pitched three complete games prior to this outing â€” scoring 10 runs in 2.2 innings off the North Georgia ace. Cam Hill was 4-for-4, scoring four times and driving in three in the 16-6 Bobcats victory. The Nighthawks struck back, winning 12-3 in Game 2. Nick Levensteins continued his torrid-hot start, going 2-for-4 with three runs driven in and two runs scored. 

Minnesota State returned to action and took two of three from UMSL. Collin Denk went five strong, striking out six while allowing just two hits to close out Saturday with a win for the Mavericks. Teddy Peterson has had a nice weekend at the plate so far, going 5-for-11 with a home run and five RBI. Tampa also returned to action. Technically, the Spartans are reigning champs and are entering 2021 with a strong squad. They split a double-header with Saint Leo on Saturday. 

Last Sunday, Lenoir-Rhyne's Andrew Patrick tossed the first no-hitter of the DII baseball season — and the first for the Bears since 1997. Perhaps even more impressive, he did it against big-hitting, top-10 Catawba. Patrick struck out six and walked three in the gem. 

DII football programs with the most NCAA DII national championships

Here's a look at the programs that have won the most DII football national championships.

The 11 most played rivalries in DII football history

South Dakota School of Mines and Black Hills State faced off yet again in their long history, making it the most played rivalry in DII football. Here's the complete list.

DII football Sunday: A new Power 10, Harlon Hill watchlist, and what you may have missed in Week 1

Ferris State opened with a win to maintain the top spot, but there was certainly a shakeup in the latest DII football Power 10 rankings. Take a look, plus more than 20 players to watch for the 2022 Harlon Hill Trophy.