Men's Basketball Climbs to 21st in Nation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After entering the NABC/Division II men’s basketball poll at No. 24 a week ago, the Anderson University men’s basketball team climbed to 21st in the nation in the latest NABC/Division II men’s basketball rankings, as released Tuesday afternoon.

Anderson (20-4, 15-1 SAC) clinched the South Atlantic Conference regular-season title with a dramatic, 62-61, win at Lincoln Memorial last Saturday and carries a six-game win streak into Wednesday night’s conference matchup with Wingate at the Abney Athletic Center. The Trojans have won 13 of their last 14 games and have recorded their third consecutive 20-win season

Joining the Trojans in the top-25 is Lincoln Memorial, which slipped from eighth to 12th after falling to the Trojans for the second time this season. 

A significant amount of changes have taken place in this week’s rankings, as the top two spots have flip-flopped and numerous teams have either advanced or fallen due to last week’s results.

West Liberty, who finished the 2010-11 season as the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II, has moved back to the top spot after last week’s No. 1 team, Bellarmine, suffered a loss at Southern Indiana. The Hilltoppers spent the final nine weeks atop the poll a year ago and are back on top heading into the final week of regular season play for most of the conferences nationwide.

Bellarmine fell to No. 2 with its loss at USI, while Colorado School of Mines, Alabama-Huntsville and Midwestern State all made rises within or into the top five.  The No. 6 team this week is Shaw, who is currently on a 19-game winning streak, while Tarleton State, Northern Kentucky, Southern Indiana and Missouri Southern complete this week’s top 10.

The second 10 begins with Christian Brothers, who moved up two spots despite its loss Sunday to Alabama-Huntsville.  Lincoln Memorial fell four spots to No. 12, while Indiana (Pa.), Western Washington and Metropolitan State fell into the next three spots. In at No. 16 this week is Northwest Missouri State, with Arkansas Tech, District of Columbia, Kentucky Wesleyan and Alaska-Anchorage holding down the next four positions.

Anderson heads up the final five teams in this week’s poll as it is rounded out by Winona State, Indianapolis, Seattle Pacific and Charleston, who is making its first appearance in the top 25 since Feb. 4, 2002. Winona State, the No. 3-ranked team last week, had 13 games nullified by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference due to the use of an ineligible player since the last poll was released; its place in the NSIC standings and any potential post-season play will be affected based on a formula used by the NCAA championships committee in such cases.  Per NCAA guidelines, the on-court results for the Warriors will stand.

The NCAA will release its second regional rankings of the 2011-12 season on Wednesday.

The Trojans are making their second straight weekly appearance in the poll since earning the No. 25 spot in early December, 2009. AU opened that campaign with three straight wins and their hottest start in school history at that time. The ranking marked the first time AU had climbed into the Top 25 poll since becoming a four-year institution in the nineties.

Records and previous rankings are through games of Feb. 19, 2012.  The next poll will be released on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

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